Google's founders could find themselves being sent to jail based on the same ideology used in the Pirate Bay verdict.
Why? Well because the Google search engine does virtually the same job as Pirate Bay by giving you access to illegal files allowing you to download the latest Hollywood or the music industry has to offer.
Want to see "X-Men Origins - Wolverine" before it hits the cinemas this week? Not a problem, jump over to Google type in your request and don't forget to add a simple tag "filetype:torrent" as doing so allows you to narrow the search results down to just the those that include a torrent link to the film.
The result, although a Google search page, is virtually identical to what Pirate Bay have been doing for some time, the only difference is that Google is Google and Pirate Bay is an easy target unable to defend itself against the power and the might of the music and film industry combined.
Now I am not one for pirating music or movies, however I am one for being lazy, and I am one for feeling angst over being asked to pay for the same content over and over again just so those makers can make a bit of extra money.
Take Wolverine for example, if I see it at the cinema this weekend that's £10 for my ticket, then I rent the movie when it comes out - that's another £4.50 to Blockbuster and then if I have finally decided that I like it so much that I buy it on Blu-ray - another £20 to Play or Amazon. So for all that I've paid almost £35. The alternative and more lazy option is that I could download it from a torrent site and pay nothing. A torrent site that even though the founders have been charged with breaking the law is still open for business.
So why have the music and film industries not gone after Google for doing a similar job? Is it the fear that Google has enough money to fight a claim, or merely that the RIAA, BPI, IFPI, and MPAA haven't worked out you don't have to go to a dedicated file sharing site to copy files but just a search engine?
But whether or not Google are taken to court for being a purveyor of illegal files, or people find another source for illegal files, the reason peer2peer sharing is so prevalent is down to two reasons: one people are lazy and two, people feel entertainment is priced too high.
The music industry has shown us that. Look at iTunes, Amazon's MP3 store or services like Last.fm and Spotify - make it easy and people are happy to pay for what they consume. it might seem strange to an industry that has been able to grab money off us in such a way for so long, but if you make content easy to get and cheap people keep coming back for more. They will I promise.
So will Sergy and Larry end up in jail like the Pirate Bay founders? I very much doubt it, but either way until those looking after the content should worry less about the illegal file sharers and worry more about making it easier for us to consume their content.
A movie on day of release at the cinema downloadable to my TV to watch in high-def for a £10 - I would pay for that - and pay on a recurring basis.