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Confirmed: Pirate Bay to Charge Users

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Confirmed: Pirate Bay to Charge Users

Postby Syphon » Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:12 pm

When the Pirate Bay announced late last month that the popular BitTorrent portal would be purchased, the new owners raised eyebrows by announcing they'd like to "introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site." That's well, uh -- interesting for a website that has spent the last few years laughing at legal threats with their Swedish middle finger securely raised to the entire content industry and their lawyers.

This week new owner Wayne Rosso (of Grokster fame) tells CNET his plans for the Pirate Bay involve customers paying the website a small fee in order to trade content, with the Pirate Bay striking distribution deals with both the entertainment industry and individual ISPs.
Rosso said The Pirate Bay will offer users all the music they can download for a small monthly fee. Eventually, users can whittle that fee down to nothing by tying their computers to The Pirate Bay's "cloud" network. For example, a person may dedicate a gig of hardware space to the network and the fee may go from $9 to $5. (Rosso declined to discuss pricing yet so the numbers are made up just for the example).
Rosso hopes to capitalize on the site's large fan base, telling CNET he wants to "harness all that computing power and sell it, becoming a competitor of Akamai." The problem of course is that those fans, most of whom inhabit an anti-establishment mindset, will simply flock to the slew of Pirate Bay copies that will offer the same content for free. Meanwhile, the music industry is trying to seize the money paid to acquire the website.

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