Four Pirate Bay Founders Not Guilty In Copyright Infringement Case, Belgian Court Says

The founders of the world’s most popular torrent site, Pirate Bay, have been in hot water the past few years, following a copyright infringement case against them. Now, the four co-founders of Pirate Bay are acquitted of criminal copyright infringement and abuse of electronic communications, according to a ruling by the Belgian court located in Mechelse.

According to Tech Crunch, Carl Lundström, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, and Gottfrid Svartholm were facing the criminal charges for their alleged involvement with Pirate Bay. However, the four Pirate Bay co-founders stated that they have not been involved with the maintenance of the website and cannot be held liable for the charges dropped against them.

Based on a report by RT, the Belgian court is reviewing the activities of Pirate Bay from September 2011 to November 2013. The defendants, however, said that Pirate Bay was sold in 2006 to a Seychelles-based company called Reservella and since then, they have had no control over Pirate Bay’s activities.

A report from Torrent Freak provides more details.

“All four defendants deny having had anything to do with the site since it reported sale to a Seychelles-based company called Reservella in 2006. That has proven problematic, since the period in which the four allegedly committed the crimes details in the Belgian case spans September 2011 and November 2013.”

Since there was a lack of evidence connecting the four co-founders to Pirate Bay’s activities for the time in question, the case fell apart and they were found not guilty of the crimes. Additionally, Svartholm, one of the co-founders, was behind bars for more than a year during that time.

After the verdict was dropped, the prosecution, which is the Belgian Entertainment Association, agreed with the decision the court made.

“Technically speaking, we agree with the court.”

The Pirate Bay founders may have won this case, but this might not be their last battle in court (it surely isn’t the first).

Neij, who was just released after spending 10 months in prison for his involvement in Pirate Bay, said that the prison time was worth it.

“Things were not too bad in prison. It was well worth doing prison time for The Pirate Bay, when you consider how much the site means to people.”

As the Inquisitr previously reported, the French court shut down Pirate Bay, and others such as Denmark, Italy, UK, and the United States have attempted to have the torrent-sharing site shut down permanently.

[Image via Pirate Bay]

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