Print 8 comment(s) - last by Darkskypoet.. on Feb 20 at 3:22 AM

Network center fire puts world pirating temporarily on hold

Call it what you want: God, Mother Nature, chance, poor maintenance – whatever the source, an electrical fire at Swedish webhost PRQ dealt a huge, if short, blow to the BitTorrent world last Saturday.

While The Pirate Bay was unaffected – its administrators plainly state that The Pirate Bay’s servers are distributed throughout the world, in secret – a number of lesser sites hosted at PRQ’s datacenter were knocked offline, some of which have yet to recover. According to Torrentfreak, affected sites include, The Pirate Bay forums at SuprBay, and a number of other private trackers – many of which are now back online.

Owned by two of The Pirate Bay’s cofounders, PRQ became famous for hosting a number of different web sites that serve the controversial BitTorrent scene in different ways. Housed in copyright-liberal Sweden, PRQ maintains a policy of offering hosting for anyone, regardless of how controversial they may be.

Later on Saturday, The Pirate Bay’s/PRQ’s Gottfrid Svartholm posted a message on the PRQ web site that attributed the fire to “a serious electrical problem,” noting that “one of the UPS feeds literally caught fire!” In an interview with TorrentFreak, Svartholm added that no servers were damaged, even though he had to shut down power at the entire facility to make repairs.

Administrators charged with maintaining some of the affected sites blasted PRQ for the downtime: “[This is] ridiculous. Second time this month we’ve had more than six hours downtime,” said an admin for, speaking to TorrentFreak.

“We noticed the downtime seven hours ago, and only found out via someone else outside of PRQ,” said another, unnamed admin.

Meanwhile, spectators on Digg had a field day with news, offering their own tongue-in-cheek commentary: “First they cut the tubes, then they burn some servers. It’s a war against the Internet!” said one user.  “Terrorists don’t want me to download music!” said another.

The entertainment industry has, thus far, offered no response to the happenings at PRQ.

One could surmise, however, that news of the fire brought a smile to Hollywood’s collective face, even if only for a short while – but that smile might switch to a frown of envy when it realizes that a single fire did more to disrupt piracy than the entertainment industry’s long-running, expensive litigation campaign.

It appears that PRQ has nearly recovered, as a majority of the sites affected are once again responding to requests. As of the time of this writing, the only sites not online are and Suprbay.

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I'm willing to be
By InternetGeek on 2/18/2008 8:55:04 PM , Rating: 0
on this not being an accident caused by natural causes. There are no true coincidences, or even sets of infortunate events. My Proof: Someone stands to win from this.

RE: I'm willing to be
By InternetGeek on 2/18/2008 8:57:41 PM , Rating: 2
Should read "I'm willing to bet"

RE: I'm willing to be
By oab on 2/18/2008 10:30:51 PM , Rating: 2
Well, considering how someone stands to win something from just about everything. except nuclear war, pretty hard to win that, or life-sucking aliens bent on feeding on everyone on the planet, or a vogon constructor fleet.

RE: I'm willing to be
By Shawn5961 on 2/19/2008 3:16:33 PM , Rating: 2
life-sucking aliens bent on feeding on everyone on the planet.

The life-sucking aliens win.

RE: I'm willing to be
By DASQ on 2/19/2008 3:22:49 PM , Rating: 2
Cockroaches win.

RE: I'm willing to be
By Darkskypoet on 2/20/2008 3:22:22 AM , Rating: 2
Ditto the Vogons...

RE: I'm willing to be
By eye smite on 2/18/2008 11:27:23 PM , Rating: 5
Well, looking at what happened and looking at how short the downtime was, I'd say they did pretty good. I'm betting major corporations would be hard pressed to return to service in 7 hours from a fire. Who knows...........

RE: I'm willing to be
By InternetGeek on 2/18/2008 11:57:45 PM , Rating: 2
Check this out:

It's gotta be the same ISP in Sweden...

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

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