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The micronation of Sealand
PirateBay's plans threatened as Sealand's sovereignty is called into question

Earlier this month, the people who run PirateBay.org announced plans to purchase the man-made island called Sealand. Michael Bates, Prince and heir to Sealand, said in a CBC interview that he has no intention of selling his micronation to any cause that violates international treaties. Oddly enough, Sealand was once home to nation founder Paddy Roy Bates’ pirate radio broadcasting operation.

When the interviewer asked Prince Michael about his awareness of PirateBay.org’s intentions, he spoke quite clearly on how he was against file sharing. “It’s theft of proprietary rights, it doesn’t suit us at all,” he said. “In fact, I’ve written a book and Hollywood is making a movie out of it, so it would go right against the grain to go into the file sharing thing.”

The estate agent hired to handle the sale of Sealand has also gone on record to say that PirateBay.org would not be a suitable buyer. “We might not be able to sell to them, since one of the conditions imposed by the actual occupants of Sealand is that none of the activities to be carried out on Sealand should be an action against the UK, and potentially this group does not comply with this condition,” Sealand said a statement issued to InmoNaranja. “The final decision lies with the current representatives of Sealand at the time of seeing the purchaser's proposal.”

Legal online publication Out-Law consulted a Dundee University lecturer in constitutional and international law, who thinks that Sealand isn’t its own sovereign nation after all. “It is within 12 miles of the coast of Britain and in 1987 the UK extended its territorial waters to 12 miles. That means that UK law applies, including the law of copyright, which could be extended to Sealand without any legal problems whatsoever,” said Professor Robin Churchill.

The final nail in the coffin for independent operations such as PirateBay is the asking price for rights to Sealand. According to Prince Michael, his micronation is valued at €750 million ($971 million), putting it out of reach to all small time buyers. At the time of writing, a total of $19,941 has been raised at PirateBay.org’s BuySealand.com.



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Not really suitable anyway
By Azsen on 1/22/2007 9:27:24 PM , Rating: 1
How was Sealand going to be suitable for the Pirate Bay anyway? Where were they going to get their high bandwidth data connections from? Run their own fibre to Sealand maybe at a cost of only a few million?

Also half the idea of running a pirate network is the secrecy of your whereabouts so the authorities can't find out where your base is. With it being in Sealand, -everyone- is going to know where they are. What's to stop the U.S. from firing a cruise missile at it, or sending a single jet to bomb it back to the stone ages? Even a small Navy Seals team would do the job fine. No-ones going to cry over the loss of a few pirates. Lawyers and the U.N. won't help you, you'll need some serious military hardware to defend your little pirate nation.




RE: Not really suitable anyway
By Lifted on 1/22/2007 10:02:15 PM , Rating: 4
Navy Seals? Seriously, we're talking about nerd pirates here. A few highschool football players could seize control of their entire nation/island/platform. Perhaps even pee wee leaguers.


RE: Not really suitable anyway
By angryhippy on 1/23/07, Rating: -1
RE: Not really suitable anyway
By Oregonian2 on 1/23/2007 6:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
Don't know. If just one "native" is bumped overboard and dies, that would be pretty close to genocide in that "country".


RE: Not really suitable anyway
By akugami on 1/22/2007 10:06:00 PM , Rating: 3
Only the fact that every single nation on earth would be opposed to such actions. Now, they can call for sanctions against a nation that is doing illegal activities but you can't just blow them into the stone age.


RE: Not really suitable anyway
By l3ored on 1/22/2007 10:22:36 PM , Rating: 2
Now, you can suggest democracy as a form of government, but if a country is a dictatorship, you can't just blow them into the stone age.


RE: Not really suitable anyway
By Mels on 1/23/2007 9:33:47 PM , Rating: 1
Sure you can, the US is doing it right now.


RE: Not really suitable anyway
By BBeltrami on 1/24/2007 11:50:27 AM , Rating: 2
Navy Seals?! Heck just send Chuck Norris.

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