18 December 2013
Last updated at 08:32 ET
The Swedish Pirate Party said the decision showed that existing legislation was outdated
A 28-year-old man has been fined 4.3 million Swedish krona – just over £400,000 – for uploading one film to a torrent-sharing website.
He was also given a suspended jail sentence and 160 hours of community service for uploading 517 other titles.
Anti-piracy group Rights Alliance described him as Sweden’s “worst ever” pirate.
Copyright reformists criticised the ruling, and said legislation was “outdated”.
The Swedish Pirate Party told news site TorrentFreak that “the only way forward is a radical reform of copyright law that allows for the sharing of culture”.
In line with typical practice in Sweden, the court requested that media did not publish the man’s name.
Good will losses
Film studio Nordisk Film AS – which owns the rights to the title the man uploaded – calculated what it felt was the financial loss of it being shared illegally online. It had asked for double the awarded amount.
Publishers for the other 517 titles – which had been shared on now-closed Swebits.org – did not make an estimation of losses, and so no further damages were awarded.
Swedish anti-piracy group Rights Alliance said in a statement: “The biggest part refers to compensation and should equalise what the man would have paid if he had bought a licence to distribute the movie for free downloads.
“The man is also to pay damages for other losses such as disturbance on the market and goodwill losses.”
The Rights Alliance said it planned to bring more cases to trial in the near future.