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Peace Out: The Pirate Bay Sold - Changes Ownership
June 30, 2009
Thomas Mennecke
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Well it seems that The Pirate Bay in its current form has finally met its end. Surely the most powerful, most confident, most populous file-sharing medium since the days of Napster, FastTrack and eDonkey2000 would have outlived the most aggressive of tactics to shut the site down? Perhaps The Pirate Bay isn't shutting down, but apparently it is switching owners. The latest from The Pirate Bay's website:

"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."

Now according to TorrentFreak, who talked to Peter Sunde, The Pirate Bay will stop running its own trackers and instead use a third party. We find this a bit interesting since this is not consistent with Peter's previous statement about the longevity of The Pirate Bay's trackers. From Slyck's January 2008 interview with Peter:

"Slyck.com: Let’s assume a worst case scenario for a moment. If The Pirate Bay loses the initial trial round, what does that mean to the end user?

"TPB: Nothing. The Pirate Bay is not in Sweden any more. We don't know where ourselves, so it's gonna be hard to prove where the site is."

Although it seems the intention is to make the change transparent and to use third party trackers, the reality could prove much different. The following is part of the press release from the new owners, Global Gaming Factory:

"The listed software company, Global Gaming Factory X AB (publ) (GGF) acquires The Pirate Bay website, http://www.thepiratebay.org, one of the 100 most visited websites in the world and the technology company Peerialism, that has developed next generation file-sharing technology. Following the completion of the acquisitions, GGF intends to launch new business models that allow compensation to the content providers and copyright owners. The responsibility for, and operation of the site will be taken over by GGF in connection with closing of the transaction, which is scheduled for August 2009."

The future is always impossible to predict, no matter what reassurances are given. Will The Pirate Bay continue to operate in a manner that's transparent to its massive userbase? Perhaps, but the game has changed. It's no longer the renegade website we all knew. It's now gone legitimate, and owned by a much larger organization. But these things happen in the file-sharing world. Sites come and go, networks rise and fall. At least in the end, there's always the newsgroups, so who really cares.

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