Pirate Bay founders get rich in jail

Hans Pandeya, CEO of Global Gaming Factory X AB speaks to the media in Stockholm June 30, 2009. Pandeya, announced on Tuesday Global Gaming Factory X AB has purchased The Pirate Bay, the popular filesharing Web site, for 60 million kronor ($7.8 million). Global Gaming Factory X said the deal would include rights to use the Pirate Bay domain name and accompanying Web sites. REUTERS/Maja Suslin/Scanpix

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish software company Global Gaming Factory X AB said on Tuesday it had agreed to buy free file-sharing website The Pirate Bay, and that it would find ways to compensate copyright owners for downloaded material. The four Swedish men behind the website were sentenced in April to one year in jail and ordered to pay damages of 3.6 million dollars for running the site, which is one of the world’s largest for downloading files on the Internet.

The buyer said the website, for which it would pay 60 million Swedish crowns ($7.7 million), was viable based on plans for a new business model that would satisfy both content providers and copyright owners.

“We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site,” said Global Gaming Chief Executive Hans Pandeya in a statement.

Music and film companies including Warner Bros. WMG.N, MGM, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox Films, Sony BMG 6758.T, Universal GE.NVIV.PA and EMI had sought damages of more than 100 million Swedish crowns ($12.6 million) to compensate for lost revenues.

The verdict has been appealed to a higher court.

($1=7.826 Swedish Crown)

Reporting by Veronica Ek; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter