Missing Pirate Bay Founder Arrested In Cambodia

He's been on the run since last year, but cops finally caught up with him by a river in Cambodia. Sources say he's been seriously ill, but now faces extradition to Sweden to face justice for copyright crimes.

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The founder of filesharing site The Pirate Bay has been arrested in the Cambodian capital of Phnom after spending months on the run.

Gottfrid Svartholm had been found guilty of copyright crimes, and was supposed to start a one-year jail sentence on January 2, 2012 alongside three other co-founders of the controversial website.

His arrest was made at the request of the Swedish government for a crime related to information technology, confirmed a police spokesperson.

There is no extradition treaty between Cambodia and Sweden, though it is presumed that he will eventually be transferred to his home country to face justice.

He was arrested in an apartment above a bar on the riverfront, according to Torrent Freak. Svartholm had been battling poor health during his trial which made him absent from at least one early hearing, but failed to show up to another which prompted the court to finalize his fine of $1.1 million and one-year jail sentence. He had an opportunity to return before January 2 and serve his jail time, but failed to appear.

Now he must wait to see if and how he is returned - though he might be longing for a Swedish prison now he's seen behind bars in Cambodia.

136 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Johnny_Ibanez
    If everyone that regularly used TPB chipped in 10cents, he'd have enough to pay his fine and then some.
    shredder3386
    Thats actually a really great idea. If someone started that, I'd pay. I always download my music legally but TPB is where I get shows and movies.
    vinnym86
    I don't steal music, but i do steal the more expensive stuff! I'm OK!
    captainsnazz
    I'd pay too. I found quite a few of my favourite bands through TPB. Well deserved medal, Mr. Ibanez.
    brokndwn06
    how do I do it? and make sure its going to the right place? would currency be an issue? ill give 10$ ..would we beheld as an accomplice for helping him lol..
    FiddleJohnny
    Pirates haven't really hurt the music and film industries. Which explains why we have new movies and new songs and albums almost every day of the week. Props to Paulo Coelho (and others if any) who actually embraces this method of sharing his work and other works.
    James_Het_Rules
    I give all my music away too. 3 albums worth so far. No point trying to fight the internet. People view free as "stealing money" as opposed to "giving music to a wider audience that can't always afford $15 a pop for CD's." There's a plus side to everything, people just need to accept it. That's why there's LIVE shows to make money at.
    Alpha_Wolf
    People will never cease to try to justify stealing music. The fact is, the music is being sold on iTunes or whatever else for money. You are taking it from another site without paying for it. That's stealing, my friend.
    JordanDH
    Ummm... no. You're not taking it. You're copying it. Stealing is depriving someone else of property on a continual basis.
    Trowzaa
    "steal/stēl/ Verb: Take (another person's property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it: "thieves stole her bicycle"." The music is the company's property, you're taking it without permission or legal right. It's stealing, none of this "oh it's not stealing, it's copying" bullshit, it is stealing. That said, yes I torrent.
    Glimpsed.AM
    So what if you have like 10-15 friends who want an album you paid for? You just go to their house and put it on their PC, or burn them a copy. Wouldn't that also be depriving them of money as well? The concept seems the same to me, so should they outlaw burning cds or giving the music to your friends as well? I think it's stupid. If someone wants it bad enough, they'll find a way to get it. Torrenting or by other means.
    2jpe2
    To Steal- to appropriate (ideas, credit, words, etc.) without right or acknowledgment
    littleguitar
    A farmer sells milk on a stand beside the road so that he can support his family. Someone comes along, continually steals and copies his milk, opens up a stand beside him, and gives it away for free. The people, obviously, does not buy from the farmer but takes the free milk instead. Eventually the farmer has no money to fund his work and is forced to close and unable to produce any more milk.
    FERAL1975
    Yes but what if the farmer sells his milk in a really nice bottle that's useful and looks good. While the copycat just pours it into whatever container the customers have with them. Then you'll still get a percentage of customers who'll opt for the farmer's milk first time round, and others who'll choose it after trying the copycat's milk because they want it in a nice convieniant bottle. Then the farmer still has a functioning albeit smaller business, and can increase upon it by offering the milk in diffent types of attractive containers, or maybe selling flavoured milk.
    noodles_wazaman
    Milk is different to a music torrent. Online music is a public good - one person's enjoyment of it does not diminish another's. It also makes no difference whether 10 or 10,000,000 people download it. So thats why I say, download as much shit as possible!!! Lets spend our money on shows and giving bands money that way. I'd happily pay over $100 to see bands in my town, but stuff paying for something I can get for free.
    rocker222
    What happens if I buy an album on eBay, choppy it to iTunes, then resell the album on eBay?
    littleguitar
    Illegal. Owning the CD gives you the right of ownership of the music files on your computer. Selling the CD effectively sells your right of ownership as well.
    sacredsanity08
    It's also been proven that most people that illegally download music are just testing. If they like it they will go out and buy it. People like having "things." I download music, but Over the years I replace all of my downloads with the real thing. I like having the art, being able to display it. I cant take my pirated music everywhere. I can take a binder of cds in my car. I own over five hundred albums on cd and two hundred vinyl albums. It's a small amount of pirates who dont use it to test. There are plenty of albums I wouldnt have bought if it werent for TPB. There's a small handful of albums that I didnt buy. If i had paid money for those I wouldve been PI**ED. Most recently Push and Shove by No Doubt. I love all of their other music, but i was appalled at how that album sounds.
    sacredsanity08
    The thing is I'm not ripping hardly any money from a band if i pirate their album. I'm taking away corporate profits. Labels only exist these days to profit off of musicians. Back before the internet they were basically a necessity. Now with youtube, Facebook, Myspace, and the like you dont need a label to get your music out there. Also when you buy a 16 dollar cd only 25 cents at the most makes it to the band members. If the cd sells 16 million copies then only 250,000 dollars goes to the band. that sounds like alot of money. but with a 5 member act that's only 50000 a piece. They still have to pay thier managment fees and anyother business related fees out of that (not to mention income tax). When you break down the price of a cd half of the money goes to the RIAA. When I was a kid a cd cost 10 bucks at the most. Now the price is doubled just because Metallica threw a fit and shut down Napster in the late nineties and piracy was suddenly under the radar, Mind you I do agree with their reasons. They didnt care about people pirating the black album or ride the lightening. They found unfinished work leaked off of one of their studio computers. It wasnt finished and they didnt want their fans to hear it that way. Basically my point is we're not "stealing" money from the artists, just the greedy bastards who jack up the prices of their cd's. If you want to support the musicians go to their concerts. get a t shirt, get a poster, a wristband, something from their booth. Buying their cd barely helps them.
    dudebud
    Pirating hasn't hurt film and music creation but it has definitely harmed the industries. There's truly no argument there.
    shortylem407
    Am I the only one that still buys album CD's..?
    DethDefiler
    I buy them as well, although not of recently since I play a relatively expensive hobby.
    brokndwn06
    every since I got out on my own I haven't bought but maybe 5 cds in 7 years..before that I probably bought atleast 4-5 a month as a kid (even with napster, cause it took like a week and a half to make a cd with 56k. LOL). i still love music listen to it all day so it has nothing to do with that its just a money thing.
    beau05
    I'd like to thank this guy for his work with TPB, and the wonderful times I've had reliving my youth by watching Justice League the series, and multiple Batman feature length animations. Thanks pal!
    thenewguy_
    No man, this guy is our leader **** that shit. Giving us free content since 2003 I think. Fuck shitty 900 dollars program Pirate Bay FTW damnit
    JuteJute
    I have something like 100 cd's at the moment. Without piratebay. I would have ONE( 1 ). Thanks to piratebay i found so many good bands to listen to. It also made me a person who just needs the physical copy of it.
    FlyingPirahna
    I could understand running if he was getting huge time, but a year? That's only making things worse for yourself.
    Tylern1
    Downloading music doesn't really hurt the bands as much as the record labels. Bands will make more money by people buying shirts and concert tickets, and the more people that hear their music the more people there will be to buy shirts/tickets. I play in a band, I say people can have my music for free if they want because that's the reason I play/write music, for the passion. I prefer cd's myself, but when I walk into an HMV store and see Opeth's Blackwater Park for $27, I don;t blame anyone for going straight to the Pirate Bay
    FirstMateJepeto
    Pirate bay is what made me, and probably a lot more people, discover so much music and pushed me to buy dozens of CDs... Music industry should be grateful to them!
    Twofly
    Because of this guy, so many people have access to things they otherwise couldn't really afford. I take my hat off to him...
    stonedhippos
    you kill (figuratively) him, 2 more will take his place. you kill those 2, there will be 4. ffs just give it up and make better alternatives to pirating.
    jannick
    yeah... free music for all! screw the artists
    brokndwn06
    love the artist hate the Exec's people who would wipe there ass with music but still make millions off it.
    sacredsanity08
    That is by far the most idiotic ignorant comment i've ever read. For an explanation see my two posts further up the page. Although if your comment was sarcastic, my sincerest apologies.
    death4077
    I think I might be the only person on the internet that wants to see the end of pirating...
    link no1
    Notice the downratings on these comments? I don't think UG users like paying for music...I bet it would be a different story for them if it was their music being illegally downloaded when they are trying to use it to pay the bills.
    JMV12
    Not really justifying us (I include myself because I download albums every now and then, although I do eventually buy the majority of what I DL), but I think the main reason why people are pirating is because they got tired of getting screwed out of $15-$20 for a CD that only has a couple good songs in it, while the rest is fluff. I know I did. If record companies had had some concern for the art (in the sense that they actually looked for artists that actually make good music as oppposed to manufacturing one hit wonders), I think piracy would have been less of a problem. Instead, they decided to f*ck over the customers and take their hard earned money, and now that they are the ones taking it up the a$$, they act like little biatches. In my case, I have discovered many new bands that I have begun to like and buy merch from because of the Internet. The kind of stuff I listen to is NEVER on the radio, again, thanks to stupid record co. execs who dictate what gets played and what doesn't. I'm not even talking about obscure bands, I mean bands that are somewhat well known like Megadeth, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, etc. Of course, you're always gonna have people who believe they are entitled to getting everything for free regardless, but I stand by my opinion. Apologies, that concludes my rant. Have a nice day
    Kueller917
    I know this is a music site, but TPB was a general torrent site. I've managed to try out software that would've cost me $1000, or download series, games (and music actually) that aren't available in the US. I'd also like to say I never buy an album unless I hear it first. Not every band has a myspace or other streaming service and stuff like Spotify pays so little to the artist it's like pirating but with lower quality and ads. Yes there's a lot of entitlement, but going after the people doing this isn't really going to help. Pirating markets have existed before any of us have even been born.
    brokndwn06
    they seem to be doing just fine with there 300,000$ cars big houses and planes, partying first class everynight.. we didn't tell them to have millions of dollars in bills.
    link no1
    What about newer or lesser known artists, or are you under the assumption that every musician receives the same pay-check as Metallica?
    sacredsanity08
    The newer lesser known artists you speak of are much more weary of signing to the major labels and you can get a lot of their music free (a lot of the time direct from the band). Many of them release independently and enjoy more than a $0.25 profit off of a $16.00 album. It's a new generation and we ARE aware of the real piracy. We know how much money we can make without the help of a label. We know how much money they are taking from us while we're left with the slim-pickens of the profits. Not to mention that artists have to pay back the advance to record an album most of the time (I will admit it does depend on the contract) and end up in the hole $20,000+.
    sacredsanity08
    No it wouldnt because any artist signed to a major label hardly sees any money from the cd sales. The real money is in touring and merchandise (until the labels find a way of taking that away from the artists)
    codyjt5150
    "Oh, don't still music, it hurts the artist". *Lil' Wayne sitting on a pile of cash.
    FooCards
    So I take it it wasn't a "Holiday in Cambodia" for this guy? Eh??? Eh??? Sorry couldn't pass it up.
    MarkoakaNiggaK
    Fuck the music industry. The internet gives a way for bands to distribute their music for free and what do bigass companies do when they don't get their cut of the cake? They put poeple in jail. Fuck you music industry, i'm staying a proud pirate!!!
    EyesWideOpen
    I buy CDs when I can and have a good collection. However I'm not made of money and with the absolutely obscene prices of proper metal cds nowadays in places like HMV, like hell am I paying for some of that stuff. It's easy to download. So I'm gonna download.
    SGplayer1991
    Well it's official we live in a world where a mother can kill her baby and get away with it but a guy starts a company to share their porn and music and goes to jail for year and a $1.1 Million fine.
    Battery Chicken
    I don't have a problem paying for music, providing the publisher isn't trying to price gouge with ridiculous prices.
    sacredsanity08
    Thank the RIAA for that. Half of the price of a cd these days are their fee for letting us have it.
    Horsedick.MPEG
    God forbid a musician wants to get paid after spending tons of money recording in a professional studio. Some have rates between $300 to $500 an hour. I'm sure someone will mention how they're being greedy for thinking they "deserve" to record in a studio and should just use Garageband or pirate their recording software like a majority of this site, but that's basically like saying you're all being greedy for wanting an American Fender and you should just stick to having a Starcaster strat and you shouldn't bother upgrading since you should be "doing it for the art"
    EyesWideOpen
    That's all well and good but if I can get something for free with no effort involved then that's what I'm gonna do. As are a vast majority of people. You ones just need to deal with this.
    flame843
    so you're saying you'd steal from somebody if they left the door to their house open? just because it's easy to torrent things doesn't make it okay. you're still stealing things. and don't give me that "it's not the same as stealing" argument, because the bottom line is you're depriving payment to everyone involved the process of creating what you've torrented.
    JuteJute
    Well piracy is stealing yes. But its not the kind of "robbing a house" stealing. If i could download cars from the internet, i so would. But i still wont steal one from other person
    flame843
    would it be right to download a car if you could?
    ha_asgag
    I guess I would but it so happens that cars don't multiply like mp3s and loaves of bread.
    flame843
    but it doesn't matter if what you stole multiplies, it's the act of theft itself that you should consider immoral
    ha_asgag
    I think people nowadays are just being conditioned to call it 'theft' instead of 'file sharing'. From what I've seen, a lot of the free files like audio files and e-books I download from torrent sites and the internet are sometimes substandard files and often the original studio mix and volumes are altered by the uploaders. Scanned sheet music pdfs on the other hand sometimes have missing pages and often require plenty of work and editing before you can print them.
    UniformRecon
    The only way to stop piracy is to remove the concept of digital music completely, and that's practically impossible.
    James_Het_Rules
    Kind of. Except, piracy was happening even in the 80's when cassette copying machines came out lol. It's unstoppable. Too much technology for it.
    Veronique Vega
    Only now, one person posts the music and within hours it's exploded into every city from that one source. Cassette dubbing was a 'scourge of piracy' according to the RIAA in the 80s. I wonder what word they use for torrents?
    Psycho Pigeon
    What a joke. Pirate Bay is still up and running, what's the point in sending this guy to prison? I swear the Communists(globalists) are just using this piracy nonsense as a way to regulate the internet. Too lazy to actually think of real security measures to protect their IP.
    sacredsanity08
    The killer is that TPB doesnt host any files. They've even completely moved away from hosting the actual .torrent files and use magnet links. You can download the entire website and put it on a flash drive. If the site gets taken down every one of their employees and thousands of users have a copy of it and can launch it from any computer and just like that it's back.
    zomgguitarz1234
    I don't get why you need to jack songs off pirate bay to find bands when they're on youtube to...
    Dynamight
    He should accept doing time. A Swedish prison is like being locked in a one-star hotel.
    JuteJute
    One reason could be if you wanna give the album some time. Like me, when i buy album i dont really listen it once from the cd. I put it up on my mp3 player and listen it to like million times while im working
    MemaG
    ive found half a map that i think might lead to a vast torrent booty, i just need a ship
    Ibeanez
    What a coward, running to Cambodia. It was only a 1 year sentence.
    brokndwn06
    jail sucks even just overnight.. 1 year for music? not like he was selling shit and making money.
    purplexing
    ... he was making money out of it, ever heard of ads?
    brokndwn06
    well I mean like putting music or softwear on cds and settin up a tent at the flea market selling copyrighted shit. every site probably makes money of ads now every website u go to now bombards you with ads..not just PB.
    Brad_Bassist
    Has piracy really done any good for society? I mean, look as us; we're defending doing the wrong thing. We're defending stealing over paying for something. That's not a good sign.
    Dynamight
    You're mistaken. The industry is the "wrong" thing, not piracy. And it's not stealing; stealing removes the originalpiracy is a much less serious offense than stealing, and according to some research it does more good than harm to many authors.
    flame843
    but there are a ton of bands trying to make it in the industry who get stuck with one foot in the door because no one buys their albums. Mutiny Within, for one, were a band who worked their asses off and went though a revolving door of members for years until they finally got together a sound and lineup that put them on a major label. But then they couldn't sell a record because tens of thousands of people just torrented their stuff instead, and they got cut from the label and had to break up as a band. maybe it's not viable to be a musician for a living nowadays, but that doesn't make it any more right to use technology in immoral ways to deprive artists of the money they're asking for a product you're using.
    Dynamight
    How exactly did you, or they, determine how many people torrented their material, and do you have any proof? Furthermore, assuming the number you gave is somehow accurate, what proof do you have that it's the cause of their low records sales? I really need this information, because everything you said sounds made up to support your point.
    flame843
    you can look on torrent sites to see the statistics regarding how many people have seeded and are leeching the torrent. mutiny within sold about 10,000 copies of their album but it was torrented over 60,000 times. these are statistics provided by the band themselves, and i haven't double-checked, but i'd imagine the number of torrents has gone up since the time this article was written by a much larger factor than their record sales have. http://www.metalsucks.net/2011/06/20/mut... lose-vocalist-keyboardist/ i'm not making things up; if you're trying to make it in a cutthroat music industry, it is borderline crippling when fans are not providing you with the money you ask for your product.
    Dynamight
    Just because they're claiming that many downloads, doesn't make it true eitherthey could be blaming piracy out of confirmation bias to avoid admitting their music isn't good enough. Besides, anecdotal evidence shows most pirated music is downloaded for trial purposes, so out of that alleged 60000 illegal downloads figure, most could and probably would belong to one of the following categories: 1. tried it out, didn't like, deleted shortly after; 2. tried it out, liked it, went buying it afterwards; 3. liked it, but wouldn't have bought it either way. So, once again, there's not a shred of proof that indicates torrents are responsible for their lack of record sales. It could well be that they weren't marketing themselves properly, or that people just don't like their music enough. Also, bear in mind that bands make most of their revenue performing gigs, so failing that, there's just no excuse.
    flame843
    the record sales they lost from illegal downloads, while maybe not so substantive as to have been the difference between living a wealthy life and being broke, certainly would have given their record label less of a reason to cut them because labels want bands that can move products. In an age when the consumer feels no guilt about taking music for free that the artist expects money to be paid for, it is increasingly difficult for bands to move products at all. until promotion through private enterprise on the part of musicians can equal the resources available from a label when signed, which is stil far-off, it is still crippling for a bunch of musicians who've worked their butts off for years to release an album to big fanfare and strong reviews and then see it fall on its face for lack of sales. whether the band's music is good or not is subjective and irrelevant to the point i'm making. i don't like their music too much, but it was well-received and touted by respected figures in metal and the record industry. Ultimately, the dollar figure dictates what bands have staying power and what bands evaporate. Illegal downloads hurt everyone in the music biz, not just bigwigs in boardrooms.
    Dynamight
    You keep repeating the same drivel based on your assumption that piracy is accountable for the band's lack of sales, without providing any valid proof to support this. Until you do, I'm considering your subsequent points worthless to this discussion.
    flame843
    Are you a member of the recording industry? I am, as a musician with a modest online following, and this is an issue that affects me insofar as my own ability to promote myself and get supplemental income from my music endeavors. I don't understand why you consider me giving you the case of an actual band who was undercut by piracy to be "drivel." It would be impossible to prove causation unless you polled the people who downloaded the album, but given the overall decline of album sales in general over the past decade or so, it seems like it's not sensible to assume that the mass quantities of people torrenting albums would not have been purchasing them if not for sites like the pirate bay. where else would the sales have gone? CDs were always overpriced, but they sold during the nineties anyway. I'm not defending record companies for their refusal to adapt to a new business climate. Luckily, there are plenty of labels moving toward the cutting edge and implementing things like digital distribution and streaming through spotify that at least put a little money in the artists' pockets. But if we are to move to a business model where the music itself does not sell, what will sell? I'm not privy to any statistics regarding merch revenue over the past decade or so, but I don't think there's any reason to assume that it's gone up in any way to make up for lost album sales. where do you expect artists to make money if their primary product is worthless in the marketplace? do you think that's how it should be?
    JuteJute
    IF something is a fact. Its that if a new band comes around. Like the one you said, no one will ever buy their record before getting to lsiten it. I mean how often you buy a record from a band you have never heard or seen. And your friends bands dont count
    brokndwn06
    damn this sucks..DL and save as much shit as you can there getting closer to shutting the doors every year, save it on 3 TB hard drives that probably company's who don't want us downloading make...no need for big hard drives if they take away it away for me. anyone else?
    sacredsanity08
    Check out my comment several comments up. They technically dont do anything wrong. Just have links to a place where the stuff is. They operate the same way isohunt.com does and isohunt is being regulated by the canadian government. Their servers are also being converted over to LOS's (or low orbit satellites) Even if there is pirated material on their servers, their servers aren't under any one countries jurisdiction.
    Glimpsed.AM
    Didn't I also hear somewhere that a large percentage of albums that are sold come from people who pirate. I know I'll download an album. If I really love it, I'll spend 15 dollars and buy it, because if it's a band I like I'm gonna try and support them.
    Prawler
    Anyone who doesnt want shitty quality music does. Goddamn you're an idiot.
    vaca11
    Wanna download free music ? Type youtube converter to google and see the magic... no one uses torrent sites for music i think
    Kueller917
    So instead of using a torrent (or DDL) I can download from YouTube where a standard video's audio is a 128kbps AAC compressed file.
    electricblue2
    I think the industries need to find a way to adapt and work around piracy, cause stopping it just isn't happening.
    Dannystrumpop
    I don't get why people keep saying they won't buy an album because there's only a few good songs and the rest is all filler. Fair enough, but it's not like you can't buy the individual tracks on Amazon and iTunes etc and have that all important listen first. The distributors have done all the work the pirate lot have been asking for so it's down to them now really.
    sacredsanity08
    It's a small percantage of us that download for that reason. And even if it was a large percentage it still shows that the labels aren't signing quality acts and are also pushing the true talents to push out a sub-par album when they could release something better if their contract didnt require three albums in 2.5 years. You have to be in the business for years to get the freedom to write and record when the time is right.
    BigDrK
    So, who do we blame? Ourselves for 'sharing',or the facilitators of all the 'sharing'?
    crackjosh
    saw the name of the article, holiday in Cambodia came straight into my head!