The calm of Stockholm's streets was interrupted at the weekend as protesters carrying the skull and crossbones campaigned against the closure of Pirate Bay, one of the world's most popular sites for downloading free movies on the internet.
In a seemingly related move, hackers deliberately overloaded the websites of the government and the police, forcing them to shut down temporarily.
The protests followed a raid by Swedish police last week on the offices of the file-sharing site, which is similar to the more famous Napster, the US music site closed down by US authorities for breaching copyright laws.
Pirate Bay, whose logo is a pirate ship firing cannon balls at the famous "Hollywood" sign, has about 1m registered users able to download 157,000 files including movies such as The Da Vinci Code and Mission Impossible 3.
The raids have also sent ripples across Sweden's political world after it was alleged in local media that the government conducted the raid only after being told to do so by the US authorities. The government denied these claims.
The furore appeared to have little impact on Pirate Bay, which was up and running again yesterday and whose political arm, the Pirate party, reported a surge in new members.