Record fine for Swedish online pirate

A Swedish man has been ordered to pay 4.3 million (€481,000) Krona in damages for sharing a single film on a torrent website. The fine meted out by a Swedish court is more than twice the US limit of $150,000 damages per pirated title. The man uploaded the pre-release film Beck: Buried Alive to now-closed BitTorrent site Swebits.

“The high damages show what damage creators and rights holders suffer through illegal file sharing of a movie. Going forward, we have a number of processes which we can use to seek compensation for piracy of one or more films,” commented anti-piracy group Rights Alliance lawyer Henrik Pontén.

The offender distributed 517 other films and television shows on Swebits, but only received a suspended prison sentence and 160 hours of community service for the piracy of these products.

A 28-year-old man has been fined 4.3 million Swedish krona – just over £400,000 – for uploading one film to a torrent-sharing website.

Film studio Nordisk Film AS – which owns the rights to the title the man uploaded – calculated what it felt was the financial loss of it being shared illegally online. It had asked for double the awarded amount.

Publishers for the other 517 titles – which had been shared on Swebits.org – did not make an estimation of losses, accordingly no further damages were awarded.

Rights Alliance said that the biggest part of the fine referred to compensation and should equate to what the man would have paid if he had bought a licence to distribute the movie for free downloads.

“The man is also to pay damages for other losses such as disturbance on the market and goodwill losses,” it stated.

The Rights Alliance plans to bring more cases to trial in the near future.

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