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Swedes Protest Police Shutdown of Web Site

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Hundreds of people waving signs and skull-and-crossbones pirate flags demonstrated in Stockholm on Saturday against a police crackdown on a popular file-sharing Web site with millions of users worldwide.

Dozens of police officers conducted raids in 10 locations Wednesday, seizing servers and other computer equipment in their crackdown on The Pirate Bay site.

But the site was back up Saturday, and spokesman Tobias Andersson said it would be “bigger and better than ever.”

“We want an apology from the police and from the Justice Ministry, and we want our servers back,” Andersson said. He said the site is now mirrored on other sites around the world.

“It will be much stronger now. If police shut down a site, these other sites will be there to keep Pirate Bay working.”

The Pirate Bay, started in early 2004, has 10 million to 15 million users each day, Andersson said.

He said the people running The Pirate Bay were not responsible for a hacker attack that shut down the Web site of Sweden’s national police on Thursday, but added there many Swedish file sharers probably were angry about the crackdown. Police spokesman Lars Lindahl said Friday it was not clear who attacked the police site, which was running again Saturday.

The music, movie and software industries say pirated works cost them hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales each year.

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