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The Pirate Bay Returns to Sweden
June 15, 2006
Thomas Mennecke
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One day after The Pirate Bay was forced offline, the BitTorrent tracker declared it would return within two days. This promise was kept, as on June 3, 2006, The Pirate Bay was again online and functioning in the Netherlands. Although its tracking and indexing ability was spotty, it was a public relations triumph over the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) and perhaps even more so, Antipiratbyrån (Swedish Anti-piracy Bureau.)

The temporary shut down of The Pirate Bay resulted in a public relations backlash for the Swedish government, the police and Antipiratbyrån. Media attention focused less on the purported losses due to piracy and more on the aftereffects of the raid. Of particular consequence was the economic effect the raids had on websites hosted by PRQ. PRQ not only hosts The Pirate Bay, but also 200-300 other websites and online businesses as well.

Swedish Police confiscated every server in PRQ’s data centers, which not only forced The Pirate Bay offline, but every non-related website. Media attention also shifted towards Swedish Justice Minister Thomas Bodström, who reportedly succumbed to pressure from the United States government to force The Pirate Bay offline. Although Mr. Bodström denied these reports, he now appears flexible in changing Sweden’s 2005 copyright law that made downloading illegal.

Public support of The Pirate Bay culminated into two large protests in Gothenberg and Stockholm, which reported over 300 and 600 attendants respectively. Organized by Piratbyrån (Pirate Bureau), demonstrators expressed their disapproval of the collateral damage caused by the police, the Swedish government’s handling of political pressure, and demanded an end to the prosecution of The Pirate Bay. According to a recent poll in Sweden, over 75% of respondents support file-sharing.

With a political climate riper than bag of rotten apples on a hot summer day, The Pirate Bay has maneuvered yet again – this time by moving back to Sweden. The move directly affects The Pirate Bay's web interface, however it appears the trackers are, for now, still hosted in The Netherlands. Additionally, The Pirate Bay’s reverse DNS includes a message for the MPAA and Antipiratbyrån.

“So the site took a trip to the Netherlands, but we got so homesick we just couldn’t take it. We had to go back to beautiful Sweden!” said a blog post published on The Pirate Bay this morning.

“The big plan is to spread the site on different locations all over the world, so it will be…harder to take down. People and companies from various countries have already offered servers, bandwidth and money. It's almost as the site has its own will (skynet anyone?) and it don't want to die!”

With public support behind The Pirate Bay, frustration pointed at the government, and Antipiratbyrån impotent to stop the bleeding, the latest maneuver is the file-sharing equivalent of Lenin returning to pre-revolutionary Russia. It’s a move cleverly designed to force the hand of Swedish government, who is likely not willing to replay the political monstrosity it encountered earlier this month.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
BitTorrent :: Trackers/Indexers

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