In May 2019, seven backers set up the illegal file sharing service Asgaard. Together, these backers had several years of activities behind them in the illegal Danish file sharing market, where they acted as backers and users of services such as DanishBits, NordicBits and ShareUniversity.
Asgaard closed in the winter of 2020. While it operated from May 2019 to December 2020, Asgaard had a total of 23,000 users. The first of the seven masterminds was placed in custody in connection with the shutdown and sentenced in June 2021. In February 2022, the second mastermind was sentenced, while two more were sentenced in March 2022.
The men behind it were aged 35-55, several of whom are fathers of families and employees in ordinary jobs. Each of the seven had specific roles in the creation and operation of the illegal service, and functioned as an organized and criminal network.
During the autumn and winter of 2020, NSK, the Section for Rights Protection, carried out a series of actions against the illegal Danish file-sharing environment, which resulted, among other things, in the closure of Asgaard. At the time, five of the seven backers were still active administrators on the service.
This case is further proof that the illegal file sharing market in Denmark was built around organized networks, operated by masterminds and serial infringers who moved from service to service as these were shut down by NSK (Danish: National enhed for Særlig Kriminalitet), or Special Crime Unit
Read the original announcement, Fifth mastermind behind the pirate service Asgaard convicted (Auto-translated from Danish to English by Google Translate)
Why it matters
“We have worked hard to bring the illegal file-sharing services rooted in Denmark to life. It is enormously satisfying to note that the masterminds are now – one by one – convicted for their criminal enterprise. We are dealing with a number of backers who were not only systematic in their violations of the rights of the members of the Rights Alliance, but also well organized,” said Maria Fredenslund, Director of the Rights Alliance.
They were dynamic, in the sense that if one service was shut down, they continued their illegal activities on another. Each sentence in this extensive case is an underlining that, despite the organization and dynamic methods of the masterminds, they will be caught and held accountable for their violations,” she said.