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Man fined over $650k for sharing content via Swebits

There’s the saying that crime doesn’t pay, and then there are situations like these.

A 28-year-old unidentified Swedish man has been sentenced to pay a hefty fine of 4.3 million Swedish Kronor for sharing one movie in particular using Swebits, a file sharing service that no longer exists. The movie in question is called “Beck, Levande begravd,” (“Beck, Buried Alive”). So what does the fine work out to in U.S. bucks? Try $658,000.

Ouch, huh? The file sharer’s identify was purposefully withheld from the public by the authorities, which is common in Sweden. Unlike sites like The Pirate Bay, which can be tapped into by just about anyone, Swebits was a closed site whose membership numbered roughly 40,000. 

Initially, Nordisk Film, which develops, produces and distributes films in Sweden, sought 5.5 million Kronor in damages because that’s how much it would cost to acquire a license that would have allowed the defendant to legally share the movie in the manner that he did. 

Addtionally, the man was found to be guilty of sharing 517 movies in total, which includes “Beck, Levande begravd,” (“Beck, Buried Alive”). On top of the monetary penalties, he was also sentenced to serve 160 hours of community service and will be put on probation.

Thinking of getting into file sharing? Perhaps this story will scare you straight. What are your thoughts on torrent sites and file sharing? Sound off in the comments below.