The Pirate Bay Abandons Sweden, Sets up New Strongholds in Norway, Spain
February 26, 2013 2:05 PM
Home nation of Sweden is no longer a hospitable environment for the controversial torrent site
Established in 2001 in Sweden by pro-piracy group
(The Piracy Bureau),
The Pirate Bay
has established itself as the world's top torrent site, and a huge headache for big media worldwide. But following a
against the site's top administrators, which
saw them sentenced to a year in prison
and $3.6M USD in damages (to be split among the four defendants), things started to get uncomfortable for the site in its once fertile homeland.
I. Top Torrent Site Flees Sweden
, which holds seats in the European Parliament, has been providing bandwidth to the site. But facing the threat of a lawsuit from anti-piracy attack dog Rights Alliance, The Pirate Bay has abandoned ship, moving on to new Pirate Party strongholds in
Copyright groups have struggled to officially charge
The Pirate Bay
since the site
switched to magnet links
. Thus they've largely resorted to threats of civil lawsuits, where there's a lower burden of proof and higher probability for punitive damages against administrators or affiliated hosters.
not the first major shift
in hosting for
The Pirate Bay
, but it marks another painful exodus from the site's homeland due to legal troubles. But users should not expect any disruption in service.
Describes Pirate Bay admin Winona in a
, "TPB did of course have lots of backup transit lined up for ages. This is however the first time we are going to show two at the same time. It will be interesting to see who is now blamed for hosting TPB. In the end, maybe the anti-interneterians will understand that they can’t win a fight when they have the people against them."
II. New Destination: Spain and Norway
Norway is a pretty friendly new homeport for the pirates. Top Norwegian ISP Telenor (
) has adamantly refused to block
The Pirate Bay
. And Norwegian courts have supported that stance, smacking down lawsuits and appeals by top international anti-piracy group
(International Federation of the Phonographic Industry).
Others in the EU,
like the Netherlands
, block the site, although it's still reasonably easy to reach via proxies.
Spain is another Mos Eisley of the pirate world, where not-for-profit infringement is often overlooked. The nation's Comisión de Propiedad Intelectual (Copyright Commission) is supposedly tasked with enforcing the Sinde Law (a provision similar to the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998
in the U.S.), however the
Intellectual Property Alliance
accuses Spain of not following up on complaints (unlike the U.S. where DMCA takedowns are serious stuff). In fact, the U.S. has threatened to blacklist Spain due to its seemingly pro-piracy stance.
The Pirate Bay is headed to Spain -- ¡Olé!
The IIAA bellyache to the
U.S. Trade Representative
(USTR), "To date, only two websites have closed in response to complaints submitted to the IP Commission by IIPA’s member affiliates, and those websites closed voluntarily. As of yet the IP Commission has not once made use of its authority to request a judicial writ from the Administrative Court to order the closure of a single infringing website or service. Meanwhile, IIPA is aware of at least 80 complaints that remain outstanding. More than ever, websites providing or linking to illegal content can be secure in the knowledge that takedown measures are nonexistent and result in no consequences."
III. Pirate Party Prepares Police Complaint Against Copyright Group
The Pirate Party of Sweden is optimistic that the move will help them focus on continuing to gain political momentum, both within the Scandinavian nation, and within the EU. Comments Party Leader Anna Troberg, "It is wonderful to be able to pass on the baton to two sister parties. It is testament to the pirate movement’s maturity and strength. We help each other and work with our sight set firmly on the future.... You always have to choose your battles wisely... The Pirate Party’s mission is not to produce martyrs for the copyright industry."
Anna Troberg, Swedish Pirate Party chief [Image Source: DagensArena]
And while the party may be setting sail for friendlier waters, it's also looking to counterattack in Sweden with a police complaint. Comments Ms. Troberg, "The Pirate Party has a board meeting in a few days. I will recommend the board to file a police report against the Rights Alliance for unlawful coercion. It is important to determine precisely how forgiving the system is to those who try to abuse the judicial system to silence others."
Things could get interesting if the pirates follow through on their threat to file a police report against the Rights Alliance, a top anti-piracy group. However, don't expect much action in Sweden, a nation where top courts are
stacked with former copyright enforcement employees
"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il
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