Pirate Ordered To Pay Record Sum
Protestors wearing Guy Fawkes masks participate in a demonstration against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in BerlinReuters

A Swedish man has been ordered to cough up £403,000 in damages for sharing a single film on a torrent website.

The unnamed 28-year-old man uploaded the pre-release film "Beck: Buried Alive" to Sweden's oldest BitTorrent site Swebits landing him with a record 4.5m Swedish Krona repayment.

The fine handed down by a Swedish court is more than twice the U.S. limit of $150,000 damages per pirated title.

"The high damages show what damage creators and rights holders suffer through illegal file sharing of a movie. Going forward, we have a number of processes which we can use to seek compensation for piracy of one or more films," said Henrik Pontén, a lawyer for Legal Alliance.

The Swedish man was reportedly the "worst ever" individual movie pirate in Sweden, acting as both a moderator and uploader for Swebits until it closed in 2011.

He distributed 517 other films and television shows on the site but only received a suspended prison sentence and 160 hours of community service for the piracy of these products.

Gustav Nipe, the chairman of the Pirate Party's Young Pirate youth organisation, condemned the singling-out of the Swedish man for the pirating of one movie when the practice is widespread.

"To receive such a harsh penalty for doing something that millions of other Swedes do displays how outdated current legislation is. The only way forward is a radical reform of copyright law that allows the sharing of culture," he said.

File-sharing is so widespread in Sweden there is even a recognised religious group that promotes it, the Church of Kopimism. It is also the birthplace of the largest file-sharing website in the world, The Pirate Bay.