Defense attorneys representing the operators of the Pirate Bay made their final case Tuesday for the legitimacy of the site, as the Pirate Bay trial in Stockholm came to a close.
Prosecutors have accused the defendants of making available copyrighted material in violation of the law, and in their closing arguments on Monday, said each of the four defendants should be sentenced to a year in prison, according to news reports.
Defendants Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde Kolmsioppi, and Carl Lundstorm have argued that Pirate Bay does not host infringing content on its servers, but merely acts as a search engine for visitors searching for content--such as Hollywood movies or commercial software--available via the BitTorrent protocol.
"It is a completely legal technology that is offered by The Pirate Bay," Jonas Nilsson, the defense attorney for Neij, said on Tuesday, according to Swedish news site The Local. "It is an open site where users themselves upload content... Bit torrent technology can be used for both legal and illegal means on Pirate Bay in the same way as by Google or MySpace."
Prosecutors during the trial have claimed that the majority of the material available on The Pirate Bay is copyrighted and have argued that every MP3 file swapped online amounts to a lost record sale.
"There is certainly a lot of copyrighted material, but this is an Internet problem, not a Pirate Bay problem," Nilsson said Tuesday.
Peter Danowsky, representing the International Federation of Phonographic Industries on Monday, said it was irrelevant that torrent files could be found using other sites like Google, The Local reported.
"To say that 'so many others also commit the same crime and therefore we shouldn't be convicted' doesn't hold, and that's something to which courts never give any consideration," he said.
The court is also hearing a civil claim from Warner Bros. Entertainment, MGM Pictures, Columbia Pictures Industries, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Sony BMG, Universal, and EMI.
A verdict is expected to be announced within a few weeks, according to news reports.