After years of litigation, appeals, and prison sentences, the Swedish Supreme Court has finally forced—sort of—BitTorrent tracker site The Pirate Bay to pay reparations for millions of dollars of media revenue lost to file sharing.
Of course, the decision is not without its stipulations. Perhaps the most disheartening is that the artists whose work was actually stolen will not receive any money whatsoever. Instead, the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry will receive the entire $675,000 payout. IFPI claims it will use this money to prevent piracy in the future.
Still, even IFPI will face major roadblocks in actually receiving any money, since the four founders of The Pirate Bay have no monetary assets in Sweden, and Swedish courts have no claim to money outside of Swedish borders. A document leaked to TorrentFreak shows IFPI claiming “little realistic prospect of recovering funds” from The Pirate Bay.
However, there is some good news on the intellectual property sharing front, as some forward-thinking artists are now looking into working with torrent clients. As Rolling Stone reports, DJ Shadow recently made a deal with BitTorrent, in which Shadow will be paid every time his music is downloaded for free. The catch: The payout comes only after BitTorrent users install some bundled software from an advertising partner on their computers (which no one who uses BitTorrent would likely ever do).