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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.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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