TPB fines to be used to fight more piracy cases, not refund artists

By Lee Kaelin on July 30, 2012, 4:00 PM

After a lengthy legal battle, last February the founders of The Pirate Bay were ordered by the Swedish Supreme Court to pay $675,000 to music labels in order to compensate artists who lost out on royalties due to piracy. Except that might not be the case at all, according to TorrentFreak, who say the compensation will be used to line the pockets of the Swedish IFPI, an anti-piracy body that claims to represent the worldwide recording industry.

As a result of the original verdict being upheld at the defendants' last avenue of appeal, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundström were ordered to serve their jail terms as well as pay an additional €50,000 to several music industry companies, including EMI Music, Sony Music and Universal Music, specifically for compensating artists and rightsholders for the losses they suffered.

However, it appears that the music companies have struggled to collect the money due. According to an unpublished document, believed to be from the legal department at IFPI, they have been unable to collect any assets because the convicted have nothing of value in the country.

“We have filed applications with Sweden’s Enforcement Agency to secure assets to satisfy these funds. So far very little has been recovered as the individuals have no traceable assets in Sweden and the Enforcement Agency has no powers to investigate outside Sweden. There seems little realistic prospect of recovering funds,” the document read.

While that is troubling enough, what comes next will be nothing short of disturbing for the rights holders expecting compensation. “There is an agreement that any recovered funds will be paid to IFPI Sweden and IFPI London for use in future anti-piracy activities,” IFPI writes.

“As far as I know, no money ever won in a lawsuit by IFPI or the RIAA has even gone to any actual artist,” Peter Sunde of The Pirate Bay said upon hearing the news. This isn't the first time anti-piracy outfits have kept the money awarded either. The RIAA previously told TorrentFreak that “any funds recouped are re-invested into our ongoing education and anti-piracy programs.”




User Comments: 11

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ramonsterns said:

On a scaled of I'm not a single bit surprised to 10, I'm not a single bit surprised.

Guest said:

It amazes me how fines for these sorts of violations always seem to go to the lawyers, and government/political slush funds and the folks actually impacted by the crime get next to nothing.

....Wonder if the Mafia gets their cut? :)

Guest said:

Lets see if I got this right. You win because you have "right" on your side because you are protecting the interests of someone else. Then you keep the money that is due them. And that is right?

ramonsterns said:

It amazes me how fines for these sorts of violations always seem to go to the lawyers, and government/political slush funds and the folks actually impacted by the crime get next to nothing.

....Wonder if the Mafia gets their cut?

Because the sad truth is some pirates care more about the artist than the people "helping" them do.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

This is EXACTLY what the anti-piracy movement is all about. People who have shared files have done more to advance the careers of artists, actors, musicians, etc. than these hypocritical bastards.

"The RIAA previously told TorrentFreak that ?any funds recouped are re-invested into our ongoing education and anti-piracy programs.?"

Exactly how many more "education and anti-piracy" programs are needed? Since Napster, these agencies have spent MILLIONS on these so-called "programs" and haven't even made a dent. They know they can't win. Rather than put the money to developing a business model that would keep piracy to a minimum, make the consumer happy, and pay the artist, they try to take advantage of the situation through unneeded litigation and extortion and keep shoveling money into their vaults.

WithoutAnyMilk WithoutAnyMilk said:

This is EXACTLY what the anti-piracy movement is all about. People who have shared files have done more to advance the careers of artists, actors, musicians, etc. than these hypocritical bastards.

+1 for this. They are thieves standing on a hollow platform of morality. They are the Peter Popoffs of the world claiming to be shepherds for the weak, when they are actually vagabonds looking to pilfer purses. They are the modern-day mafia, and unfortunately, they cannot be stopped.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"So far very little has been recovered as the individuals have no traceable assets in Sweden and the Enforcement Agency has no powers to investigate outside Sweden" So in other words the IFPI isn't getting any money anyways, thank god. Whats more criminal now, someone downloading a song, or that same individual being sued for $10,000 just to have that money end up in the pockets of the agency eligibly trying to protect the artist. Oh how the legal system is flawed and corrupt at the same time.

avoidz avoidz said:

I hope the judge that are on to these copyright trolls start throwing out more cases. Or at the very least, start making them pay for each filing they submit (since the trolls are robbing the legal system of money while they are attempting to extort money from IP addresses).

Guest said:

Not surprised to hear this crap. I became a pirate in 1982 when I made my first mix tape. I guess that makes me a rebel and cur of society. I am so sad. NOT REALLY!

DjKraid DjKraid said:

...wow...that's bullsh*t! ...and besides, what have PB actually done? -stored the torrent files...I think that PB shouldn't get any fines, if some one should get fines then it's the uploaders who should get it.

I have also been downloading loads of stuff but if I for ex. dl a movie that I like then I also buy it...the same goes for games even tho I trade for them so they are free anyways

Guest said:

what a freaken joke! money will just end up in the hands of lawyers like it always does. what people don't address is that there are too many lawyers out there. too many students going into debt for law school and then coming out to realize that the market for the lawyer job has just about every niche filled. only then once in debt do they realize they need to become very creative to find any lucrative lawyer work.

so then they pursue anything they can come up with. such as going after and pursuing litigation against people in the form of "pay or trial" scare tactics for Media companies. who are lost causes to begin with themselves!

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