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It's the end of The Pirate Bay as you know it. The site's grizzled admins sold the site with nary an "argh" to a Swedish internet company that plans to turn it legit. The company claims the site will not change substantially when ownership transfers in August.  (Source: Wired)
Will people stick with the new Pirate Bay, or has it lost what they loved -- piracy?

Strange news broke today that Sweden's Global Gaming Factory X AB had purchased The Pirate Bay, the world's largest torrent site.  Among the internet's top 100 most visited properties, The Pirate Bay reportedly fetched a bounty of 60 million Swedish Krona or roughly $7.8 million.  The site will be handed over to its new captain on August 2009.

Global Gaming Factory (GGF), owner of internet cafes and gaming centers in Sweden, plans to compensate copyright holders for the first time in the site's history. “We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site," said  Hans Pandeya, CEO of GGF.

He elaborates, "The Pirate Bay is a site that is among the top 100 most visited Internet sites in the world. However, in order to live on, The Pirate Bay requires a new business model, which satisfies the requirements and needs of all parties, content providers, broadband operators, end users, and the judiciary. Content creators and providers need to control their content and get paid for it. File sharers 'need faster downloads and better quality.'"

In a related move, GGF also purchased a stake in Peerialism AB, a peer-to-peer technology firm.  GGF plans to deploy Peerialism's data distribution and distributed storage based P2P solutions on the Pirate Bay in what some are dubbing "P2P 2.0".  Reportedly the technology will allow for faster download speeds and more efficient content hosting.

The Pirate Bay's former owners, a group of Swedes, remain mostly enthusiastic about the move, viewing it as a necessity.  Faced with mounting legal expenses from their fight in Swedish courts and potential lofty fines, they risked bringing down the site if they held on to it.  Writes an admin in the site's blog, "We've been working on this project for many years. It's time to invite more people into the project, in a way that is secure and safe for everybody. We need that, or the site will die. And letting TPB die is the last thing that is allowed to happen!"

They warn, though, "If the new owners will screw around with the site, nobody will keep using it. That's the biggest insurance one can have that the site will be run in the way that we all want to. And - you can now not only share files but shares with people. Everybody can indeed be the owner of The Pirate Bay now. That's awesome and will take the heat of us."

That comment cuts to the heart of the issue.  The Pirate Bay's new ownership and keep-everyone-happy scheme certainly sounds nice.  However, details of how it exactly will work are scarce.  Other P2P-turned-legit services in the past have floundered, as evidenced by early poster-child of the P2P movement, Napster.  If the legit TBP can't make up for its content with advertising, who will it charge?  And if it starts charging customers will people keep visiting the site that has lost the thing they loved -- piracy?

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let me think about this one.
By invidious on 6/30/2009 8:52:27 AM , Rating: 5
And if it starts charging customers will people keep visiting the site that has lost the thing they loved -- piracy?


RE: let me think about this one.
By Bender 123 on 6/30/2009 9:10:13 AM , Rating: 4
I won't go there, but...

It wouldnt be so bad if they would do a free model for consumers, with advertising. As long as they dont do DRM on the music and videos, I would go there.

I loved the concept of Spiral Frog and the others like it, but hated that it was DRMed and unusable on my iPod or Zune. If somebody would just go the DRM free route, they would have a winner and start to chip away at Piracy.

RE: let me think about this one.
By Earthmonger on 6/30/2009 9:24:45 AM , Rating: 3
I've never been a fan of public trackers. I prefer the private communities. However, TPB had one thing that warranted my involvement; Coast To Coast AM broadcasts.

As long as those broadcasts remain, I will still use the site. But, if they start doing DRM and encryption, I'm out too. I won't ever own an iPud or Zoon. I also won't install DRM software on my machine to decode that crap.

By Silver2k7 on 7/1/2009 5:43:34 AM , Rating: 2
The thing is its unmoderated.. and accepts lots of unnececary dupes.. try to find for example Kung Fu (1970's tv-show) and you will find 200 versions of Kung Fu Panda..

RE: let me think about this one.
By mindless1 on 6/30/2009 6:21:18 PM , Rating: 2
It's not likely you would be able to download non-DRM'd full audio or music videos paid for by seeing a small enough number of ads. I mean for a single audio track or video, let alone the full length movies or apps people are pirating.

The only way I see that model working is with OTA TV broadcasts, if the ads are there as they were in the original broadcast then the content producers still have the same advertising penetration, anyone who watches the show online instead of OTA.

RE: let me think about this one.
By Sulphademus on 6/30/2009 9:10:16 AM , Rating: 5
So The Pirate Bay without the pirates... that would just make it The Bay . Sounds like the name of a crappy easy listening radio station. You're listening to WUSS 107.9 "The Bay." Priate free since August 2009.

By reevesracing on 6/30/2009 12:18:57 PM , Rating: 1
Better yet....They could just rename it The Carribbean....

RE: let me think about this one.
By monomer on 6/30/2009 1:42:22 PM , Rating: 1
Interesting historical footnote, The Bay is the name of a Canadian department store, short for The Hudson's Bay Company, which owned major portions of North America before the colonies started to form nations, and was basically one of the main forms of government.

RE: let me think about this one.
By acase on 6/30/2009 3:25:02 PM , Rating: 5
Another interesting historical footnote, I ate toast for breakfast this morning.

RE: let me think about this one.
By Indianapolis on 7/1/2009 12:18:36 AM , Rating: 2
I think I've got a plantar wart growing on the bottom of my right foot. What should I do?

RE: let me think about this one.
By Pirks on 7/1/2009 2:26:04 AM , Rating: 1
Ask Richard Stallman

By foolsgambit11 on 6/30/2009 3:54:31 PM , Rating: 2
Or a hit new series on the WB. '7 Seniors, Summer Break, A Time They'll Never Forget...."

RE: let me think about this one.
By Screwballl on 6/30/2009 9:16:29 AM , Rating: 5
Like Napster and some of the other major players from their day, TPB will disappear into some footnote on "history of the internet" pages.
Looks like will take over as the leading tracker...

Sorry but The "Pirate" Bay without the Pirate part is like determining the "risk" assessment of walking across an empty room.

RE: let me think about this one.
By 67STANG on 6/30/2009 11:49:46 AM , Rating: 2
Demonoid FTW!

RE: let me think about this one.
By Screwballl on 6/30/2009 12:36:40 PM , Rating: 2
mininova includes demonoid trackers...

By mikeyD95125 on 7/1/2009 4:58:33 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. Plus there server is located in Ukraine now. So I wouldn't to much about Demonoid going away :)

RE: let me think about this one.
By HrilL on 6/30/2009 11:52:01 AM , Rating: 2
I don't believe mininova host trackers. They are more like google in this aspect. While people can at torrents to the site mininova does not do the tracking for those torrents.

RE: let me think about this one.
By xRyanCat on 6/30/2009 2:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
Not only does Mininova not host their own tracker. (The large percentage of torrents on Mininova are still tracked by TPB.) But they recently put in a content filtration system and they are working their way through the courts just like The Pirate Bay did.

The future lies in a site that's yet to be created. Eventually someone will create a new tracker to be favored by the public, but until that happens we have private trackers. And even when TBP successor does arrive, chances are it won't be as big as TPB ever was.

RE: let me think about this one.
By mindless1 on 6/30/2009 6:25:35 PM , Rating: 3
The future lies in de-centralized trackers, where the seeders are the ones hosting the tracker and the torrent site just indexes content associated with seeders' IP #s.

RE: let me think about this one.
By DPigs on 6/30/2009 1:09:34 PM , Rating: 2
It is a dark dark day for the interwebs.....

By descendency on 6/30/2009 1:25:43 PM , Rating: 5
Not really. One dies, ten come to life.

All of this anger against sites like TPB only leads to the original owners looking more martyr-like saints to young "rebel against The Man" teens and 20s.

By astralsolace on 6/30/2009 10:27:37 AM , Rating: 5
Now they get to restart the site in a more friendly legal environment with a much lower profile, with several million dollars in their pockets.

What a terrible investment on GGF's part; the reason TPB became popular is because it appealed to the sense-of-entitlement pirate kiddies (Hey. I'm not judging. You don't want to pay the IP owner for their creative work? That has nothing to do with me.)

Take away the "something for nothing" and the vast majority of that userbase no longer sees TPB as having what they want, game over, investment wasted.

Genius on PiratByran's part, though.

By Shig on 6/30/2009 10:31:22 AM , Rating: 2
Totally agree. He's going to use that money to start another site lol

By Tsuwamono on 6/30/2009 10:39:16 AM , Rating: 2
Hopefully. The pirate bay was a pretty good site although I always preferred

By MatthiasF on 6/30/2009 11:57:32 AM , Rating: 2
Half of the money will most likely go to paying off the fines against them.

The other half will probably go to civil lawsuits that are on the way.

By Tsuwamono on 6/30/2009 10:37:43 AM , Rating: 2
Just to straighten things out, a large percentage of us who Pirate do not just get something for nothing. I, like many others, download something like a movie and if its good I buy it. Same for software and Music especially. If its a good album I ALWAYS buy it after wards.

The only thing that I've ever downloaded but never purchased in the end that I found any use for at all is Windows. I download that and never end up buying a copy because its a crap product. I run linux for everything except for gaming, and for that I use XP. But I'm not paying 300$ for a piece of software that I MAY use for a few hours a week because the only thing its good for is running games.

If they made a better product I would pay for it, and the history of my downloads and purchases proves it.

By Entropy42 on 6/30/2009 10:44:23 AM , Rating: 2
Its so crappy that you have to use it to do things you like, like gaming...

I'd buy an Xbox 360 too, but I MAY only use it for a few hours a week, so I just stole one from Best Buy instead. Damn you Microsoft, forcing me to steal your worthless hardware!

By MatthiasF on 6/30/2009 12:10:59 PM , Rating: 1
Why not rent a movie before buying? Why not sample an album online (, in the store or from a friend who already bought it? Why risk copyright infringement?

Also, it's not $300 for Windows XP, more like $120 (for system builders). And why not pay for it? You seem to need it enough to play your games, which I'm sure you play more than a few hours a week. Shouldn't Windows get the same respect as the games you run on it. I'm assuming you bought the games as well, but that's probably a giant leap of faith at this point. Which, again, is risking copyright infringement for no reason.

Seems like the 21st century's version of counter-culture hippies are these wanna-be robin hoods. What you believe makes no sense and the sooner you realize this the better we all are off.

By Bender 123 on 6/30/2009 11:05:56 AM , Rating: 2
No, for me it is not something for nothing...

I just feel that I should be able to do what I want with the media I buy. Why is it wrong to download a TV show from TPB when I could get the same effect from recording on a DVR, but TPB lets me put this video on any TV or on my PMP?

I "would" use TPB in place of a DVR, because it just works better and allows for greater flex in the manner I watch.

By Keeir on 6/30/2009 12:22:33 PM , Rating: 3
There were other good uses besides "piracy":

Many times, I have downloaded a movie or game because the original disc becomes scratched or damaged.

Some form of Media that is not (currently) for sale at all. I guess this is still piracy, but if you can't legally purchase something from the original IP owner... is it really piracy to obtain it through torrent? Best you could do is buy it used (which doesn't pay back the original IP owner)

Patchs, Beta Software, etc (Intentionally free items that download quicker and easier through TPB than their normal sites)

By dark matter on 7/5/2009 7:19:32 AM , Rating: 1
Way to miss a major point he made.

What about the products they are not / do not sell?

I see no issue with that one bit. The demand is there why are they not providing it? It's not like they can class it as a lost sale because you cannot buy it. How can they claim it is the same as stealing a purse, a handbag, a car when those items do not exist in the shops for people to buy?

By MatthiasF on 6/30/2009 6:34:26 PM , Rating: 2
You think there's no difference between P2P theft and DVR?

You're recording to DVR from a legitimate source that has paid the royalties for the content. Most likely a channel on your cable company's provided service. There's nothing wrong with this since it's okay to record under Fair Use.

Taking a recording and sharing it is not Fair Use. The person distributing has to pay a royalty.

By Keeir on 7/2/2009 1:24:27 AM , Rating: 2

Using a DVR system I record from OTA TV to watch at a later time. I then skip all the commericals.

Have I committed theft?

By your views, I have already committed theft since I (the viewer) have not participated in "paying back" the original content producer, true?

In this sense, there is no difference between P2P and DVR, both cases I am using expensive technology to "steal" TV programs.

But I can legally buy a DVR and perform the above operations. Seems a bit contradictory.

(That said, when sources like Hulu exist, I rarely would consider the need to download from P2P)

By astralsolace on 6/30/2009 11:42:28 AM , Rating: 2
is viewing the battle as a matter of the sites enticing normal people into casual theft. "If we could just get this site down, piracy would disappear!"

It's like popping zits--individual web sites--rather than treating the disease, which are the people who do it. Services and sites allow the disease to congregate, and even if you pop them--like SuprNova, TPB, Napster--other ones come back. Why?

Because Hollywood still hasn't found a way to successfully extract money out of that part of the consumer base. Simple as that.

Please don't try with the whole "try before you buy" argument. You're sampling something you have no right to, before you pay for it. Then, afterwards, if you ended up liking it, you might pay for an actual copy.

Admittedly a flawed analogy since the creator's copy isn't being destroyed, but that's somewhat like going into a grocery, opening up boxes and sampling random foods and, having liked one, decide to buy two or three boxes of crackers.

You're justifying your actions by essentially claiming a right to sample everything "because it exists and is (possibly) for sale," and paying after-the-fact, if the whim strikes you.

A rather stark contrast to the traditional concept, where the consumer makes a calculated risk: "Do past factors like previous enjoyment of the creator's works, general liking of the genre, outweigh the possibility of it being a dud? Does this risk justify my purchase?"

In the end, to cater to the casual entitlement kiddies.. content providors will probably capitulate and offer a free, easy-to-access, possibly watered-down version of their products to sample to entice you to buy the real thing. It might be futile, but I don't think they'll ever stop trying to solve their issues using the judicial system while at the same time trying to tap into the new, conceptual marketplace.

In the end, people have always been able to obtain things for free; the only difference is that it's now easier and the holder doesn't necessarily lose anything except a potential sale. Most people wouldn't call that "the same as theft," but would still admit it's wrong. I did it myself, quite a lot, until I got out of college and got a job.

But I can tell you I met completely unrepentant IP thieves that had stolen thousands upon thousands of movies, games and albums. There's no stopping people like that, and they're in such (comparatively) small numbers, it's not worth trying, really. Hollywood does, though, have a large interest in stopping the -casual- infringer.

By descendency on 6/30/2009 1:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
Tell me where all of the anger was when the scanner was introduced into the public marketplace?

I mean, you could do things with a scanner that basically killed a photographers main income (selling LOTS of prints.... 8x10, 5x7, 4x6, wallet-sized... etc.). I mean, what's the difference between scanning a picture, printing it, and sending it to your mom and copying a dvd and giving it to a friend?

Oh wait... they changed their business model. When companies act like dinosaurs...

By Chocobollz on 7/1/2009 12:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
They extinct ;-)

By bighairycamel on 6/30/2009 4:25:50 PM , Rating: 2
Please don't try with the whole "try before you buy" argument. You're sampling something you have no right to, before you pay for it. Then, afterwards, if you ended up liking it, you might pay for an actual copy.
I couldn't agree more, the "sampling" argument is totally ridiculous. I challenge anyone to name a single piece of media entertainment that can't be "sampled", more-or-less, before a purchase. Let's see...

Video games - you have professional reviews, user reviews, gameplay footage, demos, rentals
Movies - trailers, rentals, word of mouth, critic reviews, public reviews, many PPV channels let you watch 10 minutes free
Music - (so many choices here) thousands of sample websites or even websites that give 25 free listens per month like Rhapsody, borrow from a friend, Barnes & Noble or Borders music stations, music on demand

By dark matter on 7/5/2009 7:27:43 AM , Rating: 2
I couldn't agree more, the "sampling" argument is totally ridiculous. I challenge anyone to name a single piece of media entertainment that can't be "sampled", more-or-less, before a purchase. Let's see...

I can do better than name a single piece of media, I can name thousands. You should see my friends music/dvd/game collections. I get on the phone and I say "hey, do you mind if borrow that game/dvd/cd off you for a while?", their reply is "sure, as long as you give it back".

Is this wrong of me? Have you never borrowed a DVD/CD/Game from any of your friends? Of course you have. And there is your answer. I can name thousands of media entertainment, whatever is in my friends collection I can sample.

You don't seem to get this do you? Neither do the big corps.

Are these lost sales? Mmmmm... Wan't to know something, my friends are breaking some "contract" when they borrow me these items. If you read the print it says "no unauthorized borrowing, lending, blah, blah, blah". My friends are such criminals. We have to exchange them in the dead of night in a public place after trying to shake off any covert operations that may be spying on is. We wouldn't steal a handbag, we wouldn't steal a purse, but you can bet your boots we are dirty, dirty pirates sharing our warez like this.

By teohhanhui on 7/1/2009 7:31:16 AM , Rating: 2
Is it the people's fault for changing their behaviours, or is it the industry's fault for their unwillingness to change?

per month charge?
By gfredsen on 6/30/2009 9:49:46 AM , Rating: 2
I might consider something such as five or even ten dolla per month for legitimacy, but it would have to be DRM free. Question is, would that amount be sufficient to the greedy powers-that-be?

RE: per month charge?
By dhalilahma on 6/30/2009 10:07:35 AM , Rating: 2
I'm going too Demonoid, I think a lot of uploaders are taking down their torrents as fast as they can. I predict a slowing of torrents as the uploaders find different trackers, that will be all that changes though, maybe we lose a few of the more obscure uploads but thats it.

RE: per month charge?
By Sazar on 6/30/2009 11:59:54 AM , Rating: 2
If the model is good and there are some GOOD options, I have no issues.

I love Free Pandora but I love Pandora One even more and I am happy to pay the $36 or so a year for it. Something similar for Piratebay for a paid option with higher speeds/better options and stuff along with the SAME options on an ad-based system (a la Pandora) would not be a bad idea.

Imagine being able to manage torrents directly from your iphone :D There's an App for that.

Bye bye TPB, hello Napster II
By dxf2891 on 6/30/2009 9:09:24 AM , Rating: 4
One of the most inticing things about TPB was the freedom to upload and download virtually any and all types of media for free. For the most part, if I downloaded a movie, a book or a song and I liked it, I would purchase it. I contend that TPB will drop from the top 100 visited sites to an obscur, forgotten footnote on wikipedia.

Rolls right off the tongue...
By SlipSlideBazoom on 6/30/2009 9:23:26 AM , Rating: 2
Global Gaming Factory X AB? Sounds like an energy drink. That is maybe the worst company name I've ever heard.

RE: Rolls right off the tongue...
By TheDoc9 on 6/30/2009 11:21:57 AM , Rating: 2
It's probably a shill corporation owned by other bigger interests.

By eddieroolz on 7/1/2009 2:59:42 AM , Rating: 2
It's the beginning of the end...

RE: Its..
By initialised on 7/1/2009 6:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
No, Napster was great until it got shutdown, The Pirate Bay was great for a while, whatever comes next will be great until it gets shut down.

The Digital Revolution will continue.

Will it go the same way as Napster?
By lycium on 6/30/2009 9:01:52 AM , Rating: 2

The problem
By maverick85wd on 6/30/2009 9:04:44 AM , Rating: 2
Paying content owners for their property is wonderful. The problem here is how much they will demand for the content being downloaded vs. how much can be made using advertisements. Will they demand $10 for each person that downloads an album? Will they try to charge similarly to what they charge companies like Apple for each download through iTunes?

It also brings up other questions, like will content owners be able to decide which content is available and what isn't.

I guess in the end it doesn't matter terribly because there are a lot of other sites you can get torrents from, so if people can no longer get what they want from TPB they'll just go elsewhere. And in that case the current owners not only got off the hook legally, they also made off with $7.8M. Well played, sirs, well played!

DT needs an editor
By lycium on 6/30/2009 9:06:57 AM , Rating: 2
The Pirate Bay's former owners,
a group of Swedes remain mostly enthusiastic about the move,
viewing it as a necessity.

Try saying it out loud as it's written :)

By EricMartello on 6/30/2009 9:12:32 AM , Rating: 2
This sucks. I can't think of any "piracy turned legit" sites that actually didn't suck after the transition so it probably would have been better for them to let it die and then start something new. The TBP was my one-stop for getting software! It will be missed, but there are always other options.

They fought the law and the law won
By Beenthere on 6/30/09, Rating: 0
By Helbore on 6/30/2009 2:10:34 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't aware that being paid nearly $8 million was the same as going to prison.

Here I was all these years thinking prison was a bad thing!

By Staples on 6/30/09, Rating: -1
RE: Hilarious
By descendency on 6/30/2009 1:22:13 PM , Rating: 1
I know this is pointless because you are obviously not very smart, but you do realize that "the pirate bay" is practically a brand name?

When you search for pirating, it comes up. The Advert revenue could make a large amount of money. I'm not saying that it will support a free for all, semi-altruistic downloading and sharing menage a trois but I promise you that it will make money.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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