Music industry executives in Europe have begun pressuring Global Gaming Factor, the company that intends to buy The Pirate Bay, to turn over to them any money it pays to acquire the site.
Jo Oliver, the general counsel for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), wrote Hans Pandeya, Global Gaming's CEO, on July 24. Oliver told Pandeya that the group will ask authorities in Sweden to "issue an order prohibiting Global Gaming from paying the purchase sum" to the founders of The Pirate Bay. Oliver added that copyright owners will also ask the government require Global Gaming to turn over information about the acquisition should it go through.
In the spring, a Swedish court found the Web site's co-founders--Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, Fredrik Neij, and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg--along with Carl Lundstr?m guilty of having made 33 copyright-protected files accessible for illegal file sharing via the Piratebay.org Web site. The court sentenced them to a year in jail and ordered them to pay $3.6 million in damages. But Sunde Kolmisoppi maintains that the co-founders haven't owned The Pirate Bay since 2006.
Last month, CNET News reported that the IFPI planned to intercept any money Global Gaming pays to acquire The Pirate Bay. Copyright owners from the film and music industry allege that Reservella, the holding company that is the listed owner of The Pirate Bay, is controlled by Neij.
The IFPI also didn't mince words about what would happen if the new Pirate Bay continued to help users download pirated music.
"We need to warn you that if GGF takes responsibility for The Pirate Bay service in its current form, or if GGF operates The Pirate Bay in any way in violation of applicable copyright law, we will be forced to take legal action."
Oliver told Pandeya that he could count IFPI as a friend if he is successful in licensing music from the top record companies.
"We hope that your discussions with the rights holders reach a mutually acceptable resolution," Oliver wrote. "IFPI would welcome and give strong support to the launch of a new online service."
Pandeya has said that under his control The Pirate Bay will morph into a legal service that offers content in exchange for users' computer bandwidth and hard drive space.