The Pirate Bay (sometimes abbreviated to TPB) is an online index of digital content of entertainment media and software. Founded in 2003 by Swedish think tank Piratbyrån, The Pirate Bay allows visitors to search, download, and contribute magnet links and torrent files, which facilitate peer-to-peer file sharing among users of the BitTorrent protocol. In April 2009, the website's founders (Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm) were found guilty in The Pirate Bay trial in Sweden for assisting in copyright infringement, and were sentenced to serve one year in prison and pay a fine. In some countries, Internet service providers have been ordered to block access to the website. Subsequently, proxy websites have been providing access to it. Founders Svartholm, Neij, and Sunde were all released by 2015 after having served shortened sentences. The Pirate Bay has sparked controversies and discussion about legal aspects of file sharing, copyright, civil liberties and has become a platform for political initiatives against established intellectual property laws and a central figure in an anti-copyright movement. The website faced several shutdowns and domain seizures, switching to a series of new web addresses to continue operating.
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