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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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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.

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