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Peter Sunde, co-founder of The Pirate Bay  (Source: Wikipedia.org)
Peter Sunde isn't letting international charges against him get him down

Peter Sunde (alias brokep), the co-founder of the troubled torrent giant The Pirate Bay, is a divisive figure in the tech community.  Worldwide he has been found guilty of multiple criminal charges for giving people the ability to find torrents, both illegal and legal.  While Sunde never forced anyone to choose to pirate material or post illegal torrents to TPB, his critics say he was aiding and abetting violations.  His advocates say that such charges are ludicrous and a sign of a broken copyright system worldwide.

Sunde is currently facing a one year prison sentence in his native Sweden and millions in fines for "
assisting [others in] copyright infringement".  The guilty verdict is being appealed, after it was revealed that the judge in the case was affiliated with several copyright protection organizations.

Undeterred by his sticky legal predicament, Sunde made an appearance via Skype at the South by South West Interactive conference in Austin, Texas.  Sunde could not make a personal trip to the U.S., as he currently has an arrest warrant over piracy charges in the U.S.

In the conference Sunde says that he understands that piracy is a forbidden fruit of sorts.  He states, "This idea has been discussed for hundreds of years. Not everything people do is good – people make Coca Cola and some people want it and some people don't, but we don't outlaw it."

When asked if piracy was like a cold Coke, he replies, "No, the Pirate Bay is more like sugar – it's bad for you but you can't stop using it. Bad because you get sued for it."

He also jokes about courting Google cofounder Sergey Brin to try to get him to change his policies.  He states, "I would tell [Brin] he needs to change. I would make him somehow. I can be very persuasive – I don't mean that in a bad way, I can be very funny and make him like me, and want to marry me and then I will write it in a pre-nup and then divorce him."

As to the pending three strikes proposals in the UK and other countries, Sunde comments, "Of course people have to have a system in place to be able to share and every country will have to do what they want surrounding that, as long as they don't infringe on freedom of speech and access to knowledge, which kind of sets the barrier quite high."



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Anti-Piracy Plan: Reasonable Prices
By Rictorhell on 3/15/2010 7:47:48 PM , Rating: 4
First and foremost if the music and movie industries really want to curb piracy they need to set fair and reasonable prices at the retail level of sales. If a person can go and purchase a dvd at an affordable rate at SEVERAL stores, not just Wal-Mart and not just for 2 or 3 year old movies, then that erases half of the temptation to pirate. "Reasonable" means, dvd manufacturers and movie studios not charging $17, $18, OR $19 USD for a new dvd movie release when they can still make a fair amount of profit by selling it for $8.99 or $9.99 USD.

Is it more profitable to sell 3 legitimate copies of a dvd for $18.99 and have 20 people pirate the movie online or is it more profitable to sell 13 legal copies at $8.99 and have 10 people pirate the movie? There are a lot of people that are pressed for cash these days and if they feel like they're being overcharged they're going to take shortcuts. There are some people that just want everything for free and don't want to pay for anything, but there are also good, honest, hard-working people that don't want to be helped to the poor-house simply for wanting to buy a movie to take home to the kids.

That's why a lot of these music stores that sold overpriced compact discs have gone out of business. Why pay near $20.00 for a compact disc of 12 songs, with maybe 4 or 5 of the songs actually being decent, when you can go online and download those 1 or 2 songs that you like for 1$ or 2$ or for nothing? How many more cd's would have been sold over the last couple of years if the music industry had just restructured their pricing tiers and did a little more improvising?

Artists do deserve to get paid for making music and for making movies. Everyone deserves their cut of the pie, but just like you have some people in society that make a ton of money and can afford to go out and splurge on high priced cd's, dvd's, and blu-ray discs, you have many more people out there that are struggling and can't afford non-essentials, and if they can get something for free, or for a discounted price, they're gonna do it, and I can't fault them for that.

Some of us are poor and the music industry and the movie industry don't want to take that into account. Instead of just looking at sales and profits they need to consider the demographic of their customers and think about the times that we are living in.

If they want to sell their wares at affordable prices many of us want to purchase those wares legally, because we know it's the right thing to do.




RE: Anti-Piracy Plan: Reasonable Prices
By stirfry213 on 3/16/2010 9:33:18 AM , Rating: 2
While I agree with some of what you are saying, I think you are missing a very important point.

It's just WAY to easy to pirate a movie. Whether you do it by P2P or by paid file hosting sites. Why would I go pay $15-$20 for a movie I might not like? You may say to rent the movie. Reasonable request, but that still costs $5 and I have to return it. You might suggest Netflix, but I still have to wait for my movie and I still have to return it.

Instant gratification. I can go set a movie to download, put a pizza in the oven and it'll be ready before my pizza is done cooking. Then I either keep the movie if I liked it or just delete it. Call me lazy, but its just too easy.


RE: Anti-Piracy Plan: Reasonable Prices
By MojoMan on 3/16/2010 10:53:06 AM , Rating: 2
Here's an example of a reasonable alternative...

I'm a huge Netflix fan. If you're a digital consumer, you can't beat how they distribute content, especially streaming content. I have virtually no desire for pirated movies now, and I used to. Somebody made it a reasonable price, and they made it easily available (many times instantly available). I love our Netflix account. $14 per month gets me unlimited two at a time rentals with no over-due charges.

Now THAT is how you do business! :-) To the recording industry, learn your lesson. Give up and change the way you do business! Learn from how Netflix is doing things, and change. If you don't change, you WILL continue to suffer.


By jimhsu on 3/16/2010 5:24:59 PM , Rating: 2
It should be clear that such "all you can eat" models (Netflix, Pandora, etc) are the future. People like to pay for entertainment, not content -- there's a perceptual difference between "Wow! I can get my money's worth!" and "Why does this stupid movie cost so much?!" even if the amount of bits watched remains the same. Why don't the industries get it?


By MojoMan on 3/16/2010 10:55:23 AM , Rating: 1
Oh, have you used Netflix lately? I have a NINETY titles I can watch instantly on my queue. I have two DVD's ready to go at almost all times. I have more hours of entertainment at my fingertips than I can possibly consume, even if I took a week off.


By jimhsu on 3/16/2010 5:32:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not a big movie watcher, but Netflix streaming redefines "easy". Instead of worrying about whether the audio is in French or Swedish, or if TS is better than CAM, or if you have a compatible audio codec, load up Netflix and hit "play" on a movie title.

It's not just music and movie industries that don't get it. (Almost all) Game developers have the uncanny ability of making the legal versions of their products even more frustrating to use than the pirated version. Online activation, lost key codes, incompatible and buggy copy protection, etc etc. Why do this when the PAK-ed version of the game *just works*?


"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis














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