A Swedish court found four defendants guilty of illegally distributing copyrighted material on one of the largest file-sharing Web sites, and slapped them with a $3.6 million fine for damages as well as a year-long jail sentence. The Pirate Bay Web site allows people to search BitTorrent links to find music, movies, games and other files.
Music and movie industry leaders hope the decision will discourage illegal file sharers, although latest word is that the defendants will appeal to Sweden's Supreme Court. One industry representative even compared the online pirates to the notorious real-world pirates that have been attacking shipping off the coast of Africa.
"They are turning the Internet into a cyber Somalia," said Rick Carnes, president of the Songwriters' Guild of America, in an interview with CNET.
In our new Etc. format, LiveScience provides links to articles of interest around the web. It is in Beta.