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UPDATE 2-Swedish court upholds Pirate Bay conviction

* Court upholds ruling vs men linked to file sharing website

* Industry hails ruling, supporters reject it

* Major film, music companies brought the case to court

(Adds recording industry quotes)

By Simon Johnson and Patrick Lannin

STOCKHOLM, Nov 26 (Reuters) - A Swedish appeals court on Friday upheld a ruling against three men behind file sharing website Pirate Bay, raising the fine to more than $6 million but cutting their prison sentences to between four and 10 months.

An industry body hailed the decision and said the authorities should move to shut the site down. A Swedish political party with its roots in support for the website and anti-copyright laws said the judgment meant nothing.

The case was brought by Swedish subsidiaries of leading music and film companies, including Sony BMG, 6758.T Universal Music, VIV.PA EMI [LNDONJ.UL] and Warner Brothers TWX.N as part of the industry's fight against the sharing of film and video over the Internet.

“The appeals court, like the district court, finds that the service Pirate Bay has facilitated illegal file sharing in a way which is punishable for those who carried out the service,” the court said in a statement.

A lower court had last year sentenced four men linked to what is one of the world’s biggest file sharing websites to one year in jail and a fine of 32 million crowns ($4.57 million).

The Svea appeals court said in a statement it had reduced the prison sentences by varying amounts, but raised the fine to 46 million crowns ($6.57 million). The new judgment applied to three of the men, Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundstrom.

The court reduced Neij’s sentence to 10 months, Sunde’s to eight and Lundstrom’s to four. A fourth man, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, was ill and could not take part in proceedings, it said.


Despite the court case, the website is still functioning. On its website, Pirate Bay says that it is now run by a different organisation and is registered in the Seychelles.

A U.S. court in October shut down another popular file sharing website, LimeWire.

The Pirate Party, a political party which grew out of a movement of people sympathetic to file sharing and which has one seat in the European Parliament, criticised the court’s ruling.

“This case was politically motivated from the start and (the problem) must be solved politically,” Pirate Party leader Rick Falkvinge told reporters.

“This doesn’t mean anything for The Pirate Bay and it doesn’t mean anything for similar sites. File sharing is increasing every day and the only thing this means is that more and more people will try to hide what they are doing on the Internet.”

Iindustries bodies said they were pleased with the ruling and called for action to shut down the website.

“Today’s judgment confirms the illegality of The Pirate Bay and the seriousness of the crimes of those involved,” Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI, which represents the recorded music industry worldwide, said in a statement.

“It is now time for The Pirate Bay, whose operators have twice been convicted in court, to close. We now look to governments and ISPs (Internet service providers) to take note of this judgment, do the responsible thing and take the necessary steps to get The Pirate Bay shut down.” (Editing by Tim Pearce)