Four pirates in the dock

Painting by Mark Shaver
On Monday, the creators of a popular file-sharing site, ‘The Pirate Bay,’ were in a Swedish court on charges of copyright infringement. The charges were later changed to “assisting making available copyright material”.

The website that is at the center of the charges allows people worldwide to share audio and video files.

The accused, Carl Lundstrom, 48, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, 28 and Peter Sunde and Fredrik Neij, who are both 30, say they haven't done anything illegal because their website does not contain copyrighted material. Instead, the four argue, it directs millions of users to free music, movie and computer game downloads through so-called ‘torrents.’

A number of firms, including Sony and Warner Bros, claim the defendants not only assisted in copyright infringement, but also profited from it.

The companies are demanding 10.6 million euros in damages.

Meanwhile, demonstrators have been waving the Jolly Roger outside of the Stockholm court in support of the defendants.