Four men from The Pirate Bay were sentenced to a year jail and ordered to pay 2.5 million pounds in a landmark case.

Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, 24, Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, 30, Fredrik Neij, 30, and Carl Lundstrom, 49 were found guilty of breaching copyright law in Sweden where The Pirate Bay site was found.

The court ordered a payment of 900,000 pounds in compensation for 21st Century Fox and 500,000 pounds each for MGM and Columbia Pictures. Despite the verdicts, the four men announced that the Pirate Bay would continue to operate from computers based in various countries around the world.

The Pirate Bay was set up in 2003 by the Swedish anti-copyright organization Piratbyran and the defendants have run the site since 2004.

The four men alleged that they will not begin their sentences or have to pay compensation until the end of the legal process. They began to appeal to supper court.

According to the information provided by Pirate Bay, there were 3.3 million users in China, 1.6 million in the U.S. and 824,000 in Britain this year.

It is a big victory for entertainment industries as concerns have grown over the level of illegal file sharing.

Lawyers for the four men had argued that no copyrighted material was actually stored on Pirate Bay's servers and no swapping of files took place there.

The site's legal adviser, Mikael Viborg, stated that because Torrent files and trackers merely pointed to content and the site's activities were legal under Swedish law.