The Pirate Bay Plugs Defense Fund for Former ISP

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File-sharing site The Pirate Bay is urging its users to support Open Internet, a newly formed defense fund that is collecting money for its former ISP Black Internet.

"Help them to appeal the judgment towards Black Internet and to prevent and deter future harassments of other ISPs," reads a Pirate Bay blog post.

At the end of August Black Internet complied with a Stockholm district court ruling that called for the ISP to shut down The Pirate Bay's connection. As a result, the file-sharing site became temporarily unavailable.

Legal costs initially deterred Black Internet from appealing the verdict, but the company has now changed its mind and filed an appeal.

"Principally, it's very important to find out if ISPs are liable for the traffic in their networks," said Victor Möller, CEO at Black Internet.

But the effort entails funding, and that led to the formation of Open Internet, which is fronted by Möller.

The site went live on Wednesday, and has so far collected about 5,000 Swedish kronor (US$700), according to Möller. The appeal will cost between 1 million and 2 million Swedish kronor, he said.

On Wednesday the site attracted 2,000 visitors, and on Thursday that number increased to 20,000 visitors. The Open Internet Facebook group currently has 744 members.

Though Open Internet is collecting money for Black Internet's appeal, the long-term goals are loftier. The plan is to turn it into a foundation and a Swedish version of the Electronic Frontier Foundation civil liberties advocacy group in the U.S., said Möller.

"It shouldn't stand and fall with me," he said.

The battle between ISPs and the entertainment industry is raging in several Nordic countries. In Norway a district court trial between ISP Telenor and the entertainment industry will get under way on Oct. 12. Also, The Pirate Bay remains blocked by some operators in Denmark. Currently, the case is waiting to be heard in the Danish High Court.

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