ThePirateBay.org leader Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, speaking to Swedish newspaper The Local, told recording industry lawyers to ???go screw themselves??? in response to the IFPI??™s Monday demands for $2.5 million in compensatory damages.
The damage figure comes as part of the latest round in the ongoing legal saga surrounding The Pirate Bay and its leadership, which includes Svartholm, as well as co-founder Peter ???Brokep??? Sunde and administrators Fredrik Neij, among others. The four were indicted late last January on conspiracy charges, for the site??™s role in facilitating piracy for 24 music albums, nine films, and four computer games.
Svartholm says he and his colleagues laughed at the claimed amount of damages, which he thinks were calculated by multiplying the number of the number of properties in the indictment times the number of times they were downloaded. This is wildly unrealistic, says Svartholm, because most downloaders would not have paid full price for an album in the first place.
According to Swedish IFPI chapter head Lars Gustaffson, the $2.5 million claim is ???based on the albums which the prosecutor has included in his indictment. The injury to the record companies, the artists, and the copyright holders caused by The Pirate Bay??™s illegal activity is many times greater.???
???As usual, we??™re not too concerned,??? said Svartholm. ???[The IFPI??™s] numbers are pure fantasy.???
Despite continually finding itself under fire for digital piracy, The Pirate Bay has seen an increasing amount of use as a legitimate channel for artists and producers looking to experiment with legal BitTorrent distribution: Trent Reznor famously uploaded part of his Creative Commons-licensed Ghosts I-IV to The Pirate Bay earlier this month ??“ earning back $1.6 million in the first week ??“ and The League of Noble Peers likely earned back all its production costs after experimenting with a novel donation model for its freely-available Steal This Film II.