In a decision of 13 March 2013, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rejected, as inadmissible, an appeal from the two founders of Pirate Bay. Pirate Bay is one of the word’s largest file sharing web platforms.
The two Pirate Bay cofounders, after having been convicted in criminal proceedings in 2010 by the Court of Appeal of Svea (Sweden) for having facilitated copyright infringement, lodged a claim before ECHR under Article 10 of the Convection for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, complaining the violation of the right to “receive and impart information”.
The Court found that Article 10 ensured the right to receive and disseminate information on the Internet, notwithstanding the profit-making purpose of the service, but considered that the Swedish Court has correctly balanced this right with the rights of the copyright-holders.
The Court also stated that the prison sentence and award of damages handed out by the Court in Sweden could not be regarded as disproportionate, as the applicants had not taken any action to remove the files in question, despite having been urged to do so.