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Darren Waters

Pirate Bay waters get choppy

  • Darren Waters
  • 31 Jan 08, 12:32 GMT

For years The Pirate Bay has been THE destination for people looking to download films, TV shows, albums and software without paying for the privilege.
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And for years the multi-national companies behind many of the fims, music and TV programmes we enjoy have been looking for a way to shut down the website.

But it's been a game of cat and mouse, made more difficult because The Pirate Bay does not keep its servers in the same country its founders are based in, and because the website itself does not store any copyrighted files - it points in the direction of copied material that are "out there" on the internet.

In effect, The Pirate Bay is a global address book for copied and copyrighted material. It takes advantage of a program called BitTorrent, which makes it easy to share files among large groups of people. Each BitTorrent file comes with an addresss, a tracker, and it's the location of that address that The Pirate Bay publishes on its site.

If you're outside the US and want the latest episode of Heroes, but don't want to wait until your own country's network buys it and shows it? No problem - you'll be able to find a copy on the Pirate Bay.

Want a movie? Or an album? Or a copy of Photoshop? All are available just a few clicks away.

The founders have never denied that what they are doing is facilitating the copying of material.

Co-founder Peter Sunde, told Dan Simmons at the BBC's Click show last year: "If I want it, I take it, 'cause I can. It might be moral to some people but I think it's up to me to decide.

"Why should they [take action against me]? I still go to the movies, I still spend money on the movies. Everybody does it so everybody wants to download movies. The public opinion is it should be legal."

Even today, The Pirate Bay is poking fun at the legal action - with a graphic which says "The grave of MPAA" - the Motion Picture Association of America.

The Pirate Bay is being targeted because it so popular, so high-profile, and so flagrant in its actions.

So what will happen to The Pirate Bay? The reality is that even if the the site is shut down, it is not difficult at all for someone to create a new website which takes on the role. In fact, there are plenty of others out there already.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 02:40 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Daniel Davies wrote:

It's pointless taking legal action against the Pirate Bay. Someone else will buy the domain and link it to more servers doing the same thing.
Aside from this, for every site the Powers That Be attempt to shut, ten new sites take their place. The Copyright holders are fighting a losing battle.
For that reason, I say if you can't beat them, join them. Downloads ahoy!

  • 2.
  • At 02:51 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • LustyBoy wrote:

I get the feeling this legal action will be yet another pointless waste of money in order to make an 'example' of the four men in question.

The smart ones among us have already moved onto different sites and trackers anyway.

The mpaa are never going to win the battle against the pirates. Even if they managed to strangle bittorrent, the kids are still using filehosts, usenet etc.

  • 3.
  • At 03:19 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Paul Hunter wrote:

Yet more pointless actions by the DRM Lobby in general, and specifically the MPAA in this case.

They fight a futile battle to stop copyright theft.

At this time, one can use Mininova.org or Pirate Bay for all your torrent needs........use one of the many Rapidshare forums (such as rapidfind.org) to dl from Rapidshare, or go down the Binary Newsgroup route via newzbin.com or a similar site.

Each of the websites mentioned provides the same service as Pirate Bay, they all index the locations of material for dl.

  • 4.
  • At 03:45 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Anon. E. Mouse wrote:

The sheer scale of filesharing over the internet means that whatever legal action is taken to 'protect' copyright will be like King Canute trying to hold back the tide. The MPAA, RIAA, and all the others have already been 'owned' by the filesharers many times over.

Time to stop trying to shut the stable door. The horse has not only gone it has been gone so long it has died.

  • 5.
  • At 03:47 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Russell Preece wrote:

Hahahahahahahahah the outcome of this should be interesting. As Daniel Davies wrote they'll just bounce back even stronger.

The MPAA et al should focus their time and money on finding a business model that will see them surviving this dominating method of new media distribution.

  • 6.
  • At 03:48 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Michael Rodent wrote:

The sheer scale of filesharing over the internet means that whatever legal action is taken to 'protect' copyright will be like King Canute trying to hold back the tide. The MPAA, RIAA, and all the others have already been 'owned' by the filesharers many times over.

Time to stop trying to shut the stable door. The horse has not only gone it has been gone so long it has died.

  • 7.
  • At 03:51 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Ollie wrote:

"The Pirate Bay is a global address book for copied and copyrighted material."

So are Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and anyone else who runs a search engine and makes a profit from advertising.

Are they going to be sued? No, because The Pirate Bay is an easier target with less well paid lawyers. Their apparently illegal raid on TPB's servers a few years ago shows that they can get away with putting on this much pressure.

It's understandable that what TPB and other similar websites do could be counted as morally wrong and should be stopped, but the actions of the MPAA et al are also culpable.

  • 8.
  • At 03:53 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Adam Kinniburgh wrote:

Daniel is completely right. Closing down Pirate Bay wont stop people sharing files. The Pirate Bay dont host and share the files themselves, they're one site out of thousands that provide a way for individuals to share files between each other.

The torrents that they provide are simple directories of computers that are sharing a specific file. Once you've downloaded a torrent file, your own PC does the work.

On top of that, its the users that make the torrents and then upload them, not the Pirate Bay. Closing Pirate Bay wont solve any problems or make it harder for people to download copyrighted content. It just means we'll all have to find a new favourite.

  • 9.
  • At 04:07 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Stephen Goodfellow wrote:

Even if this legal action succeeds it won’t accomplish anything; the Pirate Bay won’t shut down and filesharing won’t be stunted. These media industries desperately want to turn back the clock and return things to the way they were; movies delivered to different formats over a timescale calculated to max the most profit, and sell CDs with the highest markup in retail for 15p worth of plastic.

But you can’t close pandoras box. Two full generations have grown up now with piracy as part of their everyday lives and even criminalising a massive proportion of British youth (as some businessmen would like) won’t dissuade them from it.

Any proposed ‘solution’, whether technological or social will fail. The more pressure that’s put on pirates the faster they innovate; just look at the pirate channels in China for proof of this.

Back in the 1960’s piracy redefined music radio, and 40 years later BBC radio celebrate this change from what it was to what it is now. This too is a form of social change; subversive of the establishment and with no legal justification, but just as unstoppable.

Piracy will change the world, and change the world for the better. Legal fights like this are merely postponing the inevitable.

  • 10.
  • At 04:16 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Anders H wrote:

Pirate bay wont even go down for a second. It is designed to stand a nuclear war! Nobody even has control over the entire infrastructure - which resides in many countries (thanks to the raid in Sweden - spurred by the US government). We know technology in this country..

We will prevail :-) . The court session announced today produced a very low grade charge (lower than expected). Almost nothing can be used against the pirate bay - or for that matter my political party (with a similar name).

The logic is simple - shut down the pirate bay and cripple what we know as the Internet. You cant have both military grade censorship/control and privacy. If TPB goes down others like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo must be punished even further. Then of course we have to value copyright higher than freedom of speech to get rid of file sharing - small price? Try Google with: filetype:torrent bbc

  • 11.
  • At 04:17 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Krister wrote:

The Pirate Bay is doing nothing wrong in Swedish law. They have tried and failed many times to take them down and the pirate bay will always win. Seeing as they are in Sweden, and not in other European countries or the US only Swedish law applies. In Sweden the .torrent files (which contain absolutely NO copyrighted data) are completely legal. The pirate bay hosts only these files and no data itself, only the user seeds the data. Therefore unless the Swedish law changes, which I doubt it will seeing as they have sane copyright laws over there, and would in itself take a number of years to do so.. Trying to prosecute these men is going to do absolutely nothing.. except be another victory for the pirate bay.

  • 12.
  • At 04:17 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Raj wrote:

The record/software/movie companies once again are shooting themselves in the foot. The publicity will likely double the number of people using the site and, as others have mentioned, even if they are prosecuted, others will come to fill their shoes. And making an example of these lads will only serve to encourage more tech-obsessed whiz kids to come up with better ways to share. In the end, they will be viewed as defiant martyrs.

  • 13.
  • At 04:22 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Raj wrote:

The record/software/movie companies once again are shooting themselves in the foot. The publicity will likely double the number of people using the site and, as others have mentioned, even if they are prosecuted, others will come to fill their shoes. And making an example of these lads will only serve to encourage more tech-obsessed whiz kids to come up with better ways to share. In the end, they will be viewed as defiant martyrs.

  • 14.
  • At 04:36 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Kenny Watt wrote:

I download movies and music. Basically I will download things that I would never buy or go to the cinema to watch because I did not want to risk wasting money on something bad.

The direct consequence of this is I have gone to the cinema to see movies I would not have bothered with before as I wanted the cinematic experience and I have purchased CDs I would never have considered buying.

The industry could try to embrace downloading a bit more by going down the shareware route and letting movie, TV and music lovers try before they buy.

  • 15.
  • At 04:41 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Nigel Havering wrote:

Welcome to the age of the freeloader.

Depressing, isn't it?

  • 16.
  • At 04:46 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Randy Dean wrote:

Why go after the people who hold search data? Go after the rippers and uploaders. The ones who actually violate the copyright laws. Why make a search engine a scapegoat? Actually if you go to google and type in the right keywords it will also pull up the same stuff as the pirate bay, how about sue google? Just because The Powers That Be cannot find the real people or they are beyond their reach they are just making people who have less than 1% share in piracy the scapegoat. How about sue newsgroups? They HOST the files on their servers. Even better just follow the policy of an international supermarket chain, "Profit by volume" and lower the cost and set up your own legal torrents.

  • 17.
  • At 04:47 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • KH wrote:

Interesting, they are not charged with copyright violation but with conspiracy to break copyright law.

This pretty much means that any link list or search engine can be charged since they allow access to copyright content even if they do not violate the copyright themselves...

  • 18.
  • At 04:52 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Jessica wrote:

There's one crucial point which the content producers (particularly the music industry) fail to appreciate when they attack the downloading "scene" - if you make something worth buying, and charge a reasonable price for it, people are more than happy to pay. But if you produce mediocre films and music albums, and/or charge over the odds for them, then the downloading culture will continue to thrive. They really have no one to blame but themselves!

  • 19.
  • At 04:55 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Nick wrote:

Nothing against the writers, but these kinds of articles never mention what happens to the end users of these sites - the people actually downloading files. I've only ever heard of one case of successful prosecution under copyright laws in the USA, where a woman was fined something ridiculous like $20,000 for copying a CD for a friend (there may have been more to it, not sure).

It would be interesting to get some facts and figures for arrests/convictions, and a look at the technology used by the police etc in tracking file sharers. So far it all seems to involve 'pirates' such as the founders of these kinds of sites, and the big production companies, but rarely the individual user.

Just a thought.

  • 20.
  • At 05:11 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Nabarun Roy wrote:

The big companies are making more than enough money in millions of ways. Why should people pay to watch a terribly disgusting movie or to hear a below-standard, horrible noice tagged as music? We gotta know what we are paying for. Don't you demand a refund for rotten canned food? Don't they offer free pizza for being late? But these big music/film/software companies don't offer refund if users/customers don't like their stuff. THIS is cheating and is against humanity...because not many can afford to buy. In third world countries people hardly can afford the latest hardware. How can one expect them to buy all those software which in many cases are costlier than the hardware itself? If such people download any movie/music/software etc for their personal use, then those big companies will not lose anything anyway. Remember what Linus Torvalds said? Bottom line: Long live TPB!

  • 21.
  • At 05:13 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Giles Jones wrote:

It's all a futile fight. Piracy was not invented on the Internet. It's just more visible now than it used to be. Most people are just downloading as it is easier, others are impatient or trying before they buy.

Sending people to prison for decades for copying discs is wrong, it's copyright infringement and fraud. It's not theft as serious as robbing a bank or beating up a pensioner for their money.

Prison in these cases is wrong, the people should just be prevented from using the Internet and should be fined. Maybe they should meet the people making the music and the films to see how much hard work is involved.

  • 22.
  • At 05:16 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Joseph wrote:

I think as long as the film and music companies keep forcing us to change the equipment we need to watch films or listen to music every few years they deserve to get hit by sites like the piratebay where you can get their work for free. How many people have got every video they used to own on dvd as well? Likewise with records, tapes, CDs and MP3s and it will be the same in a few years with Bluray or HD-DVD. does anybody really feel that the film or piece of music is that much better to justify needing a new form of technology to watch/listen to it?

  • 23.
  • At 05:19 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • les wrote:

they'll be back stronger than ever I am confused however with the subject of copyright, sky+ lets you copy onto a harddrive, sony is selling you dvd recorders to copy, etc etc, if its illegal to download or copy copyrighted material, why are they selling the hardware to the public in the first place?

would you buy a car without testdriving it, or buy a house before viewing it??

  • 24.
  • At 05:44 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Lindsey Brown wrote:

Regardless of the legality and ethical perspective of file sharing trackers like The Pirates' Bay, those wishing to protect their copyrighted material are quickly running out of fingers in their attempt to plug the dike. MPAA and others need to be more imaginative look at other means of increasing the revenues they derive from their product, not go after those who them feel do them harm. In this rapidly evolving, technology driven world we find ourselves in, their current efforts can only end in failure.

The big companies are making more than enough money in millions of ways. Why should people pay to watch a terribly disgusting movie or to hear a below-standard, horrible noice tagged as music? We gotta know what we are paying for. Don't you demand a refund for rotten canned food? Don't they offer free pizza for being late? But these big music/film/software companies don't offer refund if users/customers don't like their stuff. THIS is cheating and is against humanity...because not many can afford to buy. In third world countries people hardly can afford the latest hardware. How can one expect them to buy all those software which in many cases are costlier than the hardware itself? If such people download any movie/music/software etc for their personal use, then those big companies will not lose anything anyway. Remember what Linus Torvalds said? Bottom line: Long live TPB!

  • 26.
  • At 05:53 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • int wrote:

I am against stealing people’s creations w/o pay. But I am wondering as when subprime investment portfolio crashed, rating agencies defended themselves using “free speech” defense. Same tactics was used by “pornographers” in defending open to everyone dirty internet sites. I am wondering if these guys can use the same method.

  • 27.
  • At 06:04 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Legal Eyes wrote:

I have to laugh at those people that seek to destroy the means of production of what they want to use themselves - some one else can pay, not me! Okay, bit of an overstatement but logically that is what all this copyright evasion is all about. Ultimately it will change the business model of the industry - but stealing intellectual property has to be wrong, right?

Puts me in mind of not paying the blind newspaper seller. Sad really.

I don't know who is worse - the recording industry gougers or the self-righteous cheapskates they're up against.

  • 28.
  • At 06:05 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • captain crunch wrote:

i have about 2000 movies recorded from the tv - i didnt pay for any of them. I've got more films than the local video shop. So how come my ability to do that isn't illegal? I still got the films, and still didnt pay for them.
and it's funny how they neveer arrest google or youtube directors who's sites actualy DO host illegal copyright material!! This is just the global police protecting large corporate interests and working as a free private police force for corps, as usual eh? pick on the small non-corporate people and let the corp filesite owners carry on hosting illegal content. It's just another case of one-law for the rich and one for the ordinary people.

  • 29.
  • At 06:28 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Joce wrote:

What the pirate bay does is legal in most other countries as well. Painting Sweden as some kind of haven for pirates is disingenuous (as are most of the letters TPB receives - DMCA ... in Sweden???)

If linking to files ever becomes illegal then Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. are in deep trouble.

I mostly use TPB for stuff where I have no legal alternative eg. watching the BBC outside of the UK.

Maybe the media companies should try listening to their customers instead of suing them.

  • 30.
  • At 07:13 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • David wrote:

What the record companies fail to understand is that the business model has changed but they have not. They still profit at the expense of the consumer and the artist.
CD sales have fallen off because we have got our old vinyl on CD now. No amount of "Tour Special Additions", "With Bonus Demo Tracks" etc are going to get me to fork out another £10-15 (and how many times do you listen to unreleased tracks and it comes across as no surprise that these dirges were never released?).
Also look at all the other things that compete for our money - DVDs games, Sky, computers.

Good luck TPB
Bye Bye RIAA

  • 31.
  • At 07:22 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

With film stars and musicians being paid obscene amounts of money, and then spending it on drugs, are you suprised that the average Joe, who earns less in one year than some 'stars' earn in one minute balk at the cost of music and video tapes.

I'd like to be able to build a house then get paid for the next twenty years for it or have that work support my family when I'm dead but I don't think that will ever happen.

  • 32.
  • At 09:29 PM on 31 Jan 2008,
  • chima wrote:

the piratebay should be left alone,and if the copyright law ever changes,TPB can come over to my country Nigeria. Her e we can even build them a house to work in.TPB always!

The thing is, no one is really prepared to pay for things they don't have too, piracy was around before the internet age, it hasn't got worse, its just got more widespread.

  • 34.
  • At 12:30 AM on 01 Feb 2008,
  • George Genesis wrote:

I fully support the Pirate Bay! Not because of what the site offers to me, but because of the way that EMI and Warner bully websites that are completely legit just because they can afford high prestige lawyers. One of these websites was TVlinks. A website that only used deeplinking to provide users with series and movies. Google hotlinks copyrighted material, youtube even HOSTS IT!! I don't see google being shut down any time soon.. That's why i'm angry but unfortunately I can't do much from my side, other than post in this blog and give a small donation to the people who still fight for our rights to download...

  • 35.
  • At 12:59 AM on 01 Feb 2008,
  • Dan wrote:

I don't thing the majority of people want to pirate or download. I do some justifying myself:
- I don't want to pay for a program that may be crap and may not meet my needs or that I just want to use ONCE.
- I don't want to pay for a movie when I already paid a princely sum to see it at the theatre.
- I rent a movie and copy it. I'm getting my money's worth considering the vast sum paid for the home equipment.
From what I read it seems that artists want the business model reviewed too.

  • 36.
  • At 01:25 AM on 01 Feb 2008,
  • Nelson wrote:

BitTorrent is an amazing piece if technology, with huge potential in the area of media distribution. The media companies will tell us that distribution is a problem for media downloads, but BitTorrent shows it isn't.

I would love to see a BBC article fully educating people on what an innovation it is and leaving all of the mpaa's propaganda out of it.

  • 37.
  • At 01:44 AM on 01 Feb 2008,
  • dpk wrote:

Joce wrote:

"I mostly use TPB for stuff where I have no legal alternative eg. watching the BBC outside of the UK.

Maybe the media companies should try listening to their customers instead of suing them."

Good point. In the last couple of years I have written to the BBC several times asking for a way of accessing standard BBC material available to UK viewers. I'd be more than happy pay for this. Did they even bother to reply? No.

Could even be a way for reducing the license fee for UK viewer without less resources for programming, you know...

  • 38.
  • At 06:13 AM on 01 Feb 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

The MPAA and the Music Industry need to realize that they are fighting a battle that is impossible to win.

With nearly universal high-bandwidth access to the internet and the ability to turn commodities such as CDs, VHS tapes, etc. into digitalized data, we have essentially shifted this sector of the economy from one of scarcity to one of surplus.

History isn't going to wait for the MPAA or RIAA to catch up. They will throw themselves into the dustbin of history, like every other neo-Luddite group has done before them.

  • 39.
  • At 09:35 AM on 01 Feb 2008,
  • Joe wrote:

It really is pointless to try and take any action against sites like TPB. First of all because what they are doing is not actually illegal and second of all because there is an overwhelming public acceptance of them and shutting one down will do nothing when people can just use another one. There will always be another one !

  • 40.
  • At 01:49 PM on 01 Feb 2008,
  • Laurie wrote:

I agree with the majority of the posts here.

It is the US again trying to force it's will upon other sovereign nations - It's about time they realised they mean nothing to most of us (Unless you are a poor Iraqi).

It's time the RIAA/MPAA moved into the 21st century. I have downloaded a few DVDs and Albums and ended up going out and buying complete DVD box-sets and buying an artists complete back catalogue by discovering artists/TV programs I had never heard or seen before.

An earlier post mentions newsgroups - my ISP's newsgroup (owned by some fellow with a beard who owns a few aircraft and other businesses) has a ton of copyrighted material on it that can be downloaded at any time. Will it be stopped - the answer is probably 'No' because it would mean less use of the Internet by the ISP's users and no requirement for the more lucrative high bandwidths. The same could be said about PirateBay and the other bittorrent sites - why have 20Mbit Internet if there is nothing to download!

  • 41.
  • At 02:45 PM on 01 Feb 2008,
  • yeti wrote:

the record & movie industry need a reality check if they think they can shutdown file sharing.

Hollywood can't outlaw social change, actors getting paid $20 million dollars per movie is completely absurd, file sharing will change the face of entertainment forever. The greedy suits in the record & movie industry have had their golden age (CD & DVD). Its interesting that before records & cassettes were invented musicians main source of income was from live performances and they viewed records & cassetes as a threat to their livelyhood. Musicians now need to get their head round the fact the golden age of the record industry is over and live performances will be their main source of income. The days of selling plastic disks for inflated amounts are over!

  • 42.
  • At 02:49 PM on 01 Feb 2008,
  • les wrote:

I understand TPB has links to episodes of Dr Who.....you can also download these from the BBC iPlayer without paying......whats the difference??

when are they going to sue google or microsoft,or any search engine as that is all TPB is.

  • 43.
  • At 05:19 PM on 01 Feb 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

There is a simple solution to all this, I'm surprised the music and film distributors haven't figured it out;

MAKE MUSIC AND FILMS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD AT THEIR TRUE VALUE.

Sell music albums for $2/£1 and films for $4/£2 at the very most. Make them available immediately, don't wait six months from the cinema release.

  • 44.
  • At 08:27 PM on 01 Feb 2008,
  • Jim wrote:

If the media industry has been playing dog-in-the-manger over its out-of-date business model to the point where it's easier to pirate its products than pay for them, they have only themselves to blame.

They have largely ignored the potential of the internet, with an arrogance as destructive to themselves as it has been breathtaking to everyone else. As has been pointed out, now that a generation of net users is accustomed to getting stuff for free, it will be an uphill struggle to re-educate the next generation into paying for content.

Had the film and music industries thrown their considerable weight behind the new media right from the start, and made it easy for people to download content paid for by micro-payments, and maybe even (shock, horror) made a point of *investing* in the development of a secure micro-transaction architecture, they would now undoubtedly be giants in this space as end-to-end content providers, instead of the whining, dwindling hasbeens they are rapidly becoming.

  • 45.
  • At 09:27 PM on 01 Feb 2008,
  • les wrote:

just read that the big music companies are doing a deal with Qtrax offering free downloading, no cost or subscritions, revenue coming from advertising.......hey wait a minute, this is what TPB is doing..!!

  • 46.
  • At 12:47 AM on 02 Feb 2008,
  • Fionn wrote:

There is a critical equivocation in the way internet file-sharing is treated by the entertainment corporations.

Internet piracy so called is not piracy. While its legal status is blatantly copyright infringement, in the (very, very) vast majority of cases, nobody is making concerted profits.

It's just the sharing of data. Now, if that infringes copyright, the copyright holders have a right to call it copyright infringement. (Whether or not that should matter is another thing...)

But it's NOT piracy. Piracy was the phenomenon whereby illegal vendors profited from the sale of copied hard media. Piracy died out when the internet became a viable medium for filesharing. The pirate's monopoly on copied content was broken. Now, data is shared and passed on freely.

Bodies like FACT and the MPAA are blatantly poisoning the well by deploying corrupt rhetorical equivocations.

If you look at the history of piracy, you'd find reason for a similar equivocation, with the opposite consequences. The history of piracy seems to describe a community of people who made their profits by forcefully, and by whatever means, seizing goods between source and destination, and reaping the profits bequeathed by absolute control of the seas. If we wanted to play as dirty as the MPAA, we might claim that these days, the pirates are legitimized. They are the entertainment industries, and the massive corporations that sit on the suspect edifice of copyright law. Nobody needs the massive infrastructural empires of the old entertainment industry. The industry could afford to be a lot smaller these days. The artist and the fans have been brought closer together then ever by the internet. The seas are smaller, and there's no longer anywhere to hide suspect moral justifications. The people are speaking with their mouse button fingers. The true pirates are dying out, and these are their death throes.

At the risk of messing with moral equivocity to a silly degree, MPAA, let's have some honesty, and some exactitude in our language use, please.

  • 47.
  • At 09:56 AM on 02 Feb 2008,
  • john wrote:

Wow, the multi-national companies behind many of the films and music are too cheap to pay the SCREENWRITERS who are on STRIKE!
Yet spend bundles of cash on lawyers fighting four guys who have a website?
It takes criminals to know criminals, I think Warner, MGM, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox Films, Sony BMG, Universal and EMI should look in the mirror and start paying the creative writers properly. They are just greedy and have been exploiting everyone, the artists who work for them and the consumers who buy from them. I just can't believe they take the Pirate Bay to court and also the screenwriters who make the stuff? No respect!

  • 48.
  • At 11:32 AM on 02 Feb 2008,
  • Boose wrote:

A pointless gesture by corporate moneysniffers. Legally Pirate Bay has done nothing wrong, a fact they have stated time and time again. This lawsuit is simply trying to scare them into conceeding or break them financially. It simply won't happen because they're not likely to lose. In order to lose they have to be shown to be breaking a swedish law in which the servers are based. Sweden doesn't have any anti copyright laws.

  • 49.
  • At 05:44 PM on 02 Feb 2008,
  • Ashley wrote:

The record industry can point fingers all it likes, but the real reason it doesn't get my money anymore is because the 'music' it releases these days is rubbish.
Whos fault is that?
Pirate Bay? or theirs?

  • 50.
  • At 01:06 AM on 03 Feb 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

If you're going to go after Pirate Bay for allowing searching of copyrighted content then you should also go after the BBC...

The BBC websearch at the top of this page returns exactly the same links as The Pirate Bay if you search for torrents. i.e. "golden compass torrent"

I'm not advocating piracy - I'm just making the point that banning it effectivley will be so much more effort for media companies that perhaps they should try and exploit it instead.

This legal action is miss-directed, pointless and futile.

Just Google "LOST s04 e01" and you'll see exactly what I mean. At the end of the day there is no difference between Pirate Bay and Google, or any other site or search engine.

The Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) business model is the real problem here. It is no longer serving artists, writers or producers in the way it was intended years ago. Now the only ones who gain from it are the lawyers themselves who must be considering the prospect of much work coming their way with a great deal of anticipation.

I fear we've all been conned. IPR is artificial. IPR is also killing music (to almost coin the phrase), especially of the honest working class kind. IPR over some years is responsible for a whole breed of greedy media aristocracy.

This can be fixed.

1) Get the lawyers off the case. They are not business people; they have very narrow mind-sets and will just keep reminding you of IPR, paralysing all progress. (Might need a bit of government intervention here, sorry)

2) ISPs should launch their own premium download service linked to an independent artist/producer registration service of copywrited materials. (Oh ok, done that almost)

3) Every ISP guarantees that portion* of service revenue is distributed according to the number of downloads for each artist from its own download service site. It could be differential for music artists and movie makers, but non-negotiable (no lawyers!). Artists: I’m proposing what they make is what you get (consider your current arrangement!)
* Via an ISP download-licence scheme where governments (not lawyers) determine a fixed percentage of revenue.

4) ISPs must not charge per download, but charge a flat subscription (proportional to bandwidth option) to their site. Customers must agree to a mandatory subscription or else not be allowed to use P2P and have all P2P traffic blocked anyway (ISPs already know how to do that). Charging per download will not work – this will only encourage people to bypass the system.

5) Pirate Bay et al remain free to operate and will even list downloads from ISP premium sites. It shouldn’t matter where people download from so long as ISPs are passing back the revenues.

6) We the punters, will use ISPs own download sources (but using our own P2P software) in preference to other sources because we want the best quality official stuff, as the artist intended, "add-values" and all.

7) The whole media industry wakes up and finally smells some coffee!!!

Before some of you start pointing out the problems and issues of government intervention in the above, please be reminded that IPR is totally artificial and has to be sanctioned by governments anyway.

Most of us get paid by the hour. Artists are largely in a different category because they don’t tend to keep regular hours and their patrons are usually incapable of assessing artists’ worth until long after their work has gone to market. In its current implementation IPR is paying lawyers more than it is paying artists. That has to change. Legal-action against so-called illegal downloading only serves as a smoke-screen diverting the attention of governments away from what really needs to be done.

  • 52.
  • At 01:46 PM on 04 Feb 2008,
  • Frank Vernor wrote:

This is the same as the debate about Steroid abuse.

YOU WILL NEVER WIN THE BATTLE, so be big enough to cut your losses(Or rather the losses of your customers who fund your anti-piracy attempts and make me even less likelt to buy your product)and find a way to profit through innovation and service rather than owenership rights.

These people actually go to business school!

  • 53.
  • At 11:07 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Seer wrote:

To be honest, I download everything save for good games I know the developers put time into, like Oblivion or Assassin's Creed.

And out of curiousity, just how much HAVE their profits been affected? I assume they still make a decent amount of cash from movie theaters, and disc sales, so why exactly are they whining to this degree?

I agree in most repects with Steve Farr.

Piracy is bad, but it is unstoppable. It has always been around in one form or another and like a shop, there is always a certain amount of markup on goods to cover theft. Not many people go and steal a loaf of bread from a shop, so it wasn't going to shut the shop down.

What p2p has done, is effectively allow everybody to steal bread, and nearly anonymously. The shop can't survive when so much of the stock is stolen, so they have to shut down. Just like the software/music/film producers will have to shut down.... or hike up their prices for all the ones who pay, to cover the ones who steal.

There is a real human cost to the stealing of content. It costs money and keeps people in jobs to create content. A music cd may cost 15c, but the music that goes on it involved probably up to 100 people in many capacities who got paid to work on that product. My wife is a musician, she is just about to release her debut album tomorrow. We have two baby girls and a third baby on the way. We are broke, but hey that's life... we wanted to put everything into the music. You can have three free downloads from friday at her site, but would it be fair to download all of her music and not pay for it?

The music will die, because no-one will be able to afford to create it. It wouldn't be worth all the time and money just to have it stolen. Film budgets will be alot less, which result in poorer films... you get the idea.

with p2p and not buying anything we like after we download it, we are actually sowing the seeds of our own destruction, as decent content to steal will become rarer and rarer.

I hope isp's fess up and start working with industries to protect content, otherwise there will be no content.

The funny thing is, I use Google to search for copyrighted material!

They aren't going to take them down are they?

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