The Pirate Bay co-founders, convicted of copyright infringement earlier this year, look set to have their appeal overturned with the Stockholm District Court.

The court says that there is no evidence of bias by the judge who presided over the original trial, despite his affiliation with intellectual property organisations including the Swedish Copyright Association and the Swedish Association for the Protection of Industrial Property.

The defendants had argued that they should be entitled a retrial, calling the judge's neutrality into question. The Stockholm District Court however ruled that the judges "...memberships are simply a means to gain increased knowledge of copyright legislation issues and are not therefore grounds to establish bias".

Pirate Bay founders Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Carl Lundström and Peter Sunde who were found guilty of funding the five-year-old operation of the Pirate Bay website. Stand to face up to a year in prison and US$3.8 million in fines.

The comments come a day after Sweden's Pirate Party won a seat in the European Parliament, a win which many believe was driven largely from a backlash against the convictions of the four Pirate Bay founders by Swedish youth.

Party membership has more than doubled in size to 40,000-plus members.

Further inflaming public sentiment in Sweden, the government also announced in April that it would implement an Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED), which would greatly simplify processes for copyright holders to identifying people infringing copyright via file sharing.

Whilst the immediate outlook for the Pirate Bay founders looks bleak in the face of the Stockholm court's comments, the intellectual property and personal privacy stoush within the EU looks set to only intensify as the Pirate Party makes it an issue within the European Union Parliament .

At present, the Pirate Bay continues to operate, although many speculate that the failed appeal could soon see it shut down.