Google Puts The Pirate Bay Back in Its Search Index

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Google has restored The Pirate Bay to its search engine index after briefly removing it last week following a copyright infringement complaint.

The complaint, dated Aug. 22, came from Destined Enterprises, which specializes in adult entertainment, according to a copy of the complaint posted on It cites the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which exempts service providers from liability if infringing content is removed.

The complaint lists Web pages with infringing content, most of which appear at least by name to be adult oriented. Google has removed at least some of them from its index, including direct links to bit torrents indexed by The Pirate Bay. However, the main home page for the site is back in the index.

Google officials in London could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Pirate Bay is a search engine that finds torrents, or small information files used to download digital content via the peer-to-peer BitTorrent filing-sharing network. It also is a tracker, which coordinates the download of material with the torrents.

Although by no means the only torrent search engine, it is among the most popular and loathed by the entertainment industry for facilitating the download of material under copyright without permission.

The Pirate Bay has had an eventful year. Swedish authorities charged four of its operators with being accessories to crimes against copyright law. The operators were each sentenced in April to one year in prison and ordered to pay around 30 million Swedish kronor (US$3.6 million) in damages. They appealed, and a hearing is scheduled to start Nov. 13 in Stockholm.

In another twist in the site's saga, one of the lay judges who was supposed to hear the appear was dismissed last week after it was revealed he works as a product developer for the streaming music service Spotify. In Sweden, lay judges serve alongside professional judges in most Swedish courts, and The Pirate Bay appeal will be heard by three professional and two lay judges.

The appeal comes as a Swedish company is still working out issues related to its proposed acquisition of The Pirate Bay. Global Gaming Factory X (GGF) has offered to pay 60 million Swedish kronor (US$8.64 million) in cash for the site.

But GGF was delisted from the Sweden's AkieTorget stock exchange on Sept. 9 due to irregularities in the way it informed the market about the transaction, which has been approved by GGF shareholders. Its stock will start trading again on Wednesday on Mangoldlistan, a Swedish exchange run by a securities brokerage company.

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