In response to the temporary shut down of The Pirate Bay on May 31, nearly 1,000 people came out in protest. "Pirates, file sharers, culture interested people, integrity advocates and freedom advocates" joined The Pirate Party and The Pirate Bureau in Stockholm and Gothenberg.
The protest also had a wider scope than the events of May 31. The raid against The Pirate Bay caused over 200-300 other domains to shut down. During the raids, the Swedish National Criminal Police seized every server at PRQ’s (TPB's web host) data centers. Unlike The Pirate Bay which has the means to relocate within a days notice, the confiscation of dozens of servers continues to plague PRQ’s business customers.
Many protesters also expressed their dissatisfaction with the reported pressure on Justice Minister Thomas Bodstrom from the US government. It was reported by Swedish Public TV and The Local
that police and prosecutors were not sure if there was any grounds for a raid, due to ambiguity in the copyright law. The raids came in any case, and the political fallout has been surprising. Two members of the opposition party have called for an investigation to probe Mister Bodstrom’s handling of the raids; while little sympathy from the media has reversed the early public relations initiative held by the entertainment industry.
While the entertainment industry tries to regroup, protesters demanded the return of PRQ’s servers and end the prosecution against The Pirate Bay.
“We demand every confiscated server to be returned, that all preliminary investigations ends, and the DNA-tests to forfeit. We also demand answers from the people responsible for the raid, in long term Thomas Bodström.”
According to The Pirate Bureau, over 300 protested in Gothenberg, while closer to 600 participated in Stockholm. The highlight of the day’s events culminated during a speech
given by the charismatic Pirate Bay programmer Fredrik Neij
. True to The Pirate Bay’s defiant nature, Fredrik explained the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker is here to stay.
“So what about the future? What will happen now, when the Swedish state and Hollywood are making out like a newly wed couple? We will keep on mocking their threats and ridiculous attempts at stopping us! The Pirate Bay will be even more international, decentralized and unstoppable!”
Decentralizing tracking and indexing responsibilities has remained a high priority of many BitTorrent developers. DHT (Distributed Hash Tables) has been a major step, as the technology maintains the distribution of files regardless of the tracker’s status. The Antipiratbyrån and MPA crackdown may provide the impetus necessary to deliver this progress forward – much like Napster’s demise ushered a new genre of file-sharing networks.
Seemingly unconcerned by the MPA, Antipiratbyrån or the IFPI, Frederick concluded his speech with a message for the motion picture industry.
“I am happy to announce today that The Pirate Bay is back up! After not much hard work everything that was up before the incident last Wednesday is back up again. This time we're firing with the big cannons and say ‘IN YOUR FACE, HOLLYWOOD!’”