BayFiles will comply with all takedown requests and copyright rules

The Pirate Bay has had a rocky past couple of years, but its creators are hoping to turn things around by releasing a new file-sharing site called BayFiles, which will comply with all takedown requests and copyright rules.

The Pirate Bay, which is a Swedish BitTorrent site that launched in November 2003, was created by Gottfrid Svartholm, Fredrik Neij and Peter Sunde. In April 2009, the three founders, along with the site's financier Carl Lundström, were found guilty of assistance to copyright infringement and sentenced to one year in prison as well as a fine of over $4 million USD. Shortly after the guilty verdict, it was discovered that Judge Tomas Norstrom, the judge presiding over the trial, was a member of two Swedish copyright protection groups. The judge was accused of bias.

The Pirate Bay founders appealed, but in November 2010, received another guilty verdict that decreased the prison time for two admins and Lundström, yet increased the fines. Neij's prison time was cut to 10 months, Sunde's was cut to 8 months and Lundström's was cut to four months. The fines were raised to $6.57 million USD.

Through the mess of lawsuits with music and film companies like Sony BMG, Universal Music, EMI and Warner Brothers as well as the parent of America's RIAA, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the Pirate Bay was taken offline many times.

Now, the Pirate Bay founders have "gone legit" with a new site called BayFiles. BayFiles is not BitTorrent-powered, and it will adhere to takedown requests and copyright rules.

BayFiles will act much like Megaupload, where a user chooses a file and uploads it to the site through a Web browser, and it becomes available to anyone. BayFiles offers no central index of uploaded files, but gives a user an address instead when an upload is completed. The address is then shared for others to download.

BayFiles hopes to make its money through premium account sales, but the service can be used for free on a restricted basis. Free users will have a waiting period to download each file, and can only download one file per hour. Also, they can only have a maximum file size of 250MB or 500MB.

Paid users, on the other hand, can bypass all of the above-mentioned restrictions. The fee is €5 per month ($7.21 USD), or €25 for six months ($36.05 USD) and €45 for one year ($64.89 USD).

The Pirate Bay founders are stepping up the terms of service as well, warning users that "files whose possession and/or distribution is illegal are excluded [including] works the download of which violates third-party copyrights." Files that violate this will be subjected to a 14-day inspection period, and if they are indeed infringing, they will be deleted along with all other uploads of the file.

In addition, Neij said BayFiles has registered Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) officers to monitor any incoming accusations of abuse.

The new BayFiles site can be found here.

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