Pirate Bay Bought Out, Suddenly Respects Copyrights

Illustration for article titled Pirate Bay Bought Out, Suddenly Respects Copyrights

The Pirate Bay has been (effectively) acquired by a gaming company called Global Gaming Factory X, who is plunking down nearly $8 million for the privilege. Their grand, surprising plan for the Pirate Bay is to pay content providers. Seriously.


Global Gaming Factory X is, in their words, the "biggest network of internet cafés and gaming centers in the world," making this story even more bizarre than it appears. This is sort of like GameFrog buying Demonoid, or, I don't know, Laser Quest buying Empornium. Odd, is the point. For the supreme WTF aspect of this whole thing, here's their plan:

We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site

Yes, you read that correctly: the Pirate Bay wants to pay content providers, or in other words, cease to be the Pirate Bay. This is alarming to fans of the site, obviously, because any conceivable system by which content owners could be paid would drastically change the nature of the whole thing, from a "Pirate Bay" to an, I don't know, iTunes? Unbox? Napster? This, and the future-tense wording of the announcement (the deal is set to close in August) is enough to make you think the whole thing is a hoax, but then you see TPB's semi-defensive, semi-groveling, generally defeated statement on the matter. All this trial, retrial, grandstanding and election business seems a little silly now:

Yes, it's true.

News reached the press today in Sweden - The Pirate Bay might get aquired by Global Gaming Factory X AB.

A lot of people are worried. We're not and you shouldn't be either!

TPB is being sold for a great bit underneath it's value if the money would be the interesting part. It's not. The interesting thing is that the right people with the right attitude and possibilities keep running the site.
As all of you know, there's not been much news on the site for the past two-three years. It's the same site essentially. On the internets, stuff dies if it doesn't evolve. We don't want that to happen.

We've been working on this project for many years. It's time to invite more people into the project, in a way that is secure and safe for everybody. We need that, or the site will die. And letting TPB die is the last thing that is allowed to happen!

If the new owners will screw around with the site, nobody will keep using it. That's the biggest insurance one can have that the site will be run in the way that we all want to. And - you can now not only share files but shares with people. Everybody can indeed be the owner of The Pirate Bay now. That's awesome and will take the heat of us.

The old crew is still around in different ways. We will also not stop being active in the politics of the internets - quite the opposite. Now we're fueling up for going into the next gear. TPB will have economical muscles to let people evolve it. It will team up with great technicians to evolve the protocols. And we, the people interested in more than just technology, will have the time to focus on that. It's win-win-win.

The profits from the sale will go into a foundation that is going to help with projects about freedom of speech, freedom of information and the openess of the nets. I hope everybody will help out in that and realize that this is the best option for all. Don't worry - be happy!

I fully expect more clarifying information about this deal to come out soon, since TPB's interests are actually quite wide, the owners are still smarting from their recent court defeat and the whole thing just feels so strange. [GGFX—Thanks, everyone!]




In a way I think this is briliant but probably not in the way the buyers think.

With the loss they suffered at trial its quite possible the industry would then work at finding a way to shutdown the site entirely. Even if not users are more likely to be wary of a pirating site that is visibly in the crosshairs and being made an example of.

Now they've suckered a company into paying them for a site that, in being sold and made into a 'legitimate business', loses most of its actual worth and potential.

Perhaps, if they really are this cagey and not just sell-outs, there is then nothing to stop them from starting a new site - relocated, low-key, and rebuilding while the industry finds there next 'example'.

But maybe i give them too much credit - we'll have to wait and see.