Swedish court says Pirate Bay judge not biased

Pirate Bay's first server is displayed at the Technical Museum in Stockholm April 16, 2009. REUTERS/Jessica Gow/Scanpix/Files

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The judge who sentenced four men to prison for running The Pirate Bay, one of the world’s biggest free file-sharing websites, was not biased, a Swedish court of appeal ruled on Thursday.

Lawyers for the men had called for a retrial, arguing judge Tomas Norstrom might have been bisaed due to his memberships of several groups for copyright protection.

“The court has come to the conclusion that none of these circumstances, neither alone nor togehter, means there is doubt on whether the judge was objective,” the court said in a statement.

The four men behind the website -- Carl Lundstrom, Peter Sunde, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Fredrik Neij -- were each sentenced in April to one year in jail for breaching copyright and ordered to pay $3.6 million in compensation.

Music and film companies including Warner Bros., MGM, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox Films, Sony BMG, Universal and EMI had sought damages of more than 100 million Swedish crowns ($12.6 million) to compensate for lost revenues.