This story has been updated. See below for details.
A Swedish court on Friday found the four defendants in the high-profile Pirate Bay case guilty, sentencing each to a year in jail. The defendants were also ordered to pay a total of 30 million Swedish kronor ($3.6 million) in damages to copyright holders, among them a number of American media giants.
The four men--Peter Sunde, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Fredrik Neij, and Carl Lundström--were found guilty of having made 33 copyright-protected files accessible for illegal file sharing via the Piratebay.org Web site.
"The crime has been committed in a commercial and organized form," Judge Tomas Norström said in a Web broadcast from a press conference in Stockholm.
Warg and Neij are the founders of The Pirate Bay. Sunde is a programmer and a spokesman there, and Lundström offered technical services to the site in 2005.
The Web site--one of the most visited BitTorrent destinations in the world--offers a search engine for torrents that can be used for file sharing. It also offers a tracker, which is a server that keeps file swappers linked.
After a 13-day trial, judge Tomas Norström, plus his assistant and three namndeman (essentially a jury with extended powers), found ample evidence for a guilty verdict, though no actual files are stored on the Web site.
As a result of a civil claim filed alongside the criminal case, the four men will have to pay $3.6 million in compensation for lost sales to 17 media companies. Among them are Warner Bros. Entertainment, MGM Pictures, Columbia Pictures Industries, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Sony BMG, Universal, EMI, Blizzard Entertainment, Sierra Entertainment, and Activision.
The largest portion of that total is allotted to Twentieth Century Fox ($1.3 million), followed by Columbia Pictures ($504,000) and Warner Bros. ($300,000).
The four defendants have already vowed to appeal the verdict, and it could take years before the case reaches Sweden's Supreme Court.
"This is a victory for the prosecutor so far, but this is just the first round," said Jonas Nilsson, the defense attorney for Fredrik Neij, according to Swedish News Agency TT. The $3.6 million in damages is extreme in a Swedish case, Nilsson told TT.
Update 3:40 a.m. PDT: Added comment from the judge and a defense attorney, plus a breakdown of the largest portions of the $3.6 million in damages.
Update 6:48 a.m. PDT: Lundström's attorney, Per E. Samuelsson, has sent his appeal to a higher court, Svea hovrätt, according to Swedish Public Radio SR.