The Motion Picture Association of America referred to the site as one of the world's largest and most well known facilitators of online piracy.
"The operators of The Pirate Bay have publicly ridiculed copyright holders and taunted law enforcement for years claiming immunity to copyright laws," the group said through a news release issued this week. "Since filing a criminal complaint in Sweden in November 2004, the film industry has worked vigorously with Swedish and U.S. government officials in Sweden to shut this illegal site down."
The site directs people to more than 157,000 movies, including newly-released blockbusters, according to the association, which claims the film industry lost about $6.1 billion to piracy in 2005. More than 50 Swedish police officers executed search warrants and raids at 10 locations, arresting three people and stopping millions of users' trading.
Though the Motion Picture Association of America CEO Dan Glickman said the operation showed "there are no safe harbors for Internet copyright thieves," the group issued a statement on its site saying the shutdown should not last more than two days.