NEW YORK (Hypebot) –-
When the prison sentences were made against The Pirate Bay defendants earlier this year, it was ordered that they would also have to pay €550,000 (approx $677,000) to several major labels including EMI, Universal Music, Sony Music and others. While the Swedish court had originally awarded the damages in order to compensate both artists and rightsholders, it has now been reported that artists will not be on the receiving end of any of that money. The reason? Labels are looking to have it allocated towards IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) in order to fund campaigns against piracy.
As TorrentFreak first reported, that €550,000 in damages came from basing the amount of money The Pirate Bay would have paid had they purchased licenses for the content. This came after labels brought in all the individual albums into court as evidence. While they were initially satisfied with this decision, they’ve had some trouble collecting their money, as The Pirate Bay has no assets in Sweden.
In an unpublished document from the legal department of IFPI (spotted by TorrentFreak):
“We have filed applications with Sweden’s Enforcement Agency to secure assets to satisfy these funds. So far, very little has been recovered as the individuals have no traceable assets in Sweden and the Enforcement Agency has no powers to investigate outside Sweden. There seems little realistic prospect of recovering funds. There is an agreement that any recovered funds will be paid to IFPI Sweden and IFPI London for use in future anti-piracy activities,” the IFPI document read.
Basically this means that whatever money was supposed to go to artists and rightsholders will instead be transferred to the IFPI for ongoing anti-piracy campaigns. Former Pirate Bay spokesman and co-defendant Peter Sunde believes that this shows who the real “thieves” are, as the labels claim the money is “recovered”, but won’t reward any of it to the content creators after it’s been “paid for.”
Sadly enough, leaving artists out in the cold is what IFPA and RIAA typically do with money from lawsuits. The RIAA has stated before that any damages accrued from piracy-related lawsuits will not go to any of the artists, but towards “re-investing into ongoing education and anti-piracy programs.”