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Slyck Interviews The Pirate Bay
June 7, 2005
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To the annoyance of many and the amusement of others, The Pirate Bay faked their own closure last week, in a shameless publicity stunt to promote a brand new face to the site.

The stunt worked. So version 2 of the extrovert, but controversial, Swedish BitTorrent site was born.

Today, we have the pleasure of site administrator Anakata facing questions from

Anakata, thank you for joining us.

1) Who or what inspired The Pirate Bay?

TPB started out as a project by Piratbyrån, but it's now independent (although many TPB admins are also active within PB). BitTorrent had just started to get big, and there was an obvious need for a good Swedish tracker. For me, it was mostly because I was interested in the technology.

2) How long has the site been up for now? How does this compare to other BitTorrent sites?

Since about November 2003 - we were quite early in the game (and the first Swedish BT site), but for example Suprnova was up before us.

3) How many torrents does the site currently list?

As of this writing, exactly 66062.

4) How many of these torrents are on your own trackers?

All of them - we are primarily a tracker, not a BT portal, so we require all torrents to use our announce URL. This might change in the future, however, as we have some more plans for the site.

5) Did you ever expect it to become so large?

Absolutely not. When we started up, I was amazed when we reached 2000 peers, and then 20000, and then 50000...

6) Do you hope the site can grow larger with Version 2? Where is the limit?

Yes. There's no hard limit of the number of users or peers we can handle - we just need to add more hardware.

7) The site is currently advertisement free. How is The Pirate Bay funded? Will there be advertisements in the future?

The ads will come back, as they are very necessary for the site's operation. It's basically a matter of the new design with ads not being ready.

8) How will the new copyright laws, which are being ratified on 1st July, affect The Pirate Bay?

Our law-guys tells us it probably won't, but we'll have to wait and see.

9) Do you have a contingency plan to move servers abroad if law enforcement agencies turn up heat on the site after that date?

I'm not revealing any details ... :-).

10) Is The Pirate Bay actively lobbying for fair copyright laws in the flora and fauna world?

This is the job of Piratbyrån (literally "The Pirate Agency"). Although TPB is now a separate project, many admins are also involved with Piratbyrån. Piratbyrån does the political stuff - rallies, petitions, lobbying, etc., but also publishes a lot on the practical, moral and philosophical issues of file sharing.

11) The Pirate Bay is sometimes more famed for the page of legal threats and responses than Torrents. It is nice to see some humor in an environment better known for nasty legal battles, but it also spawns some tough questions.

Why do you flatly refuse to comply with copyright enforcement notices?

Our job is to help people exchange information with each other, not act as the copyright and/or moral police.

12) Do you ever worry the legal page may be damaging to the campaign to keep current flexibility in Swedish copyright laws?

It has never been mentioned by any Swedish politician, so the answer so far is no.

13) The music industry claims lesser-known and non-pop artists would not be able to afford instruments or a living if copyright was not available to protect their investment.

Do you believe that an individual's Intellectual Property rights have no merit?

This is more of a question for the Piratbyrån people to answer – my personal opinion is that yes, some sort of IP laws are probably needed, but that the current ones are well past their due date, and so are the business models of the music/movie/software industry.

14) Should people disrespect individual's Intellectual Property rights, especially those living outside Sweden? Do you feel The Pirate Bay encourages users towards that end?

Personally, I have no sympathy for the IP industry in the current situation - they basically dug their own hole. TPB isn't as much about helping people infringing copyright per se – the only stated goal is to help people exchange information, much of which happens to be copyrighted.

15) Let's turn the tables for a second. How would you feel if The Pirate Bay's logo, database and search technology were copied and re-established elsewhere as torrent site "XYZ"?

TPB is created by it's users and the content they share - not by particular design or code. Our in-house-developed tracker/webserver (hypercube) is open source under a "do whatever you want"-license.

16) You clearly have strong opinions on what the law currently is and how it is being developed. Is this enough to stay online when police across Europe have closed down BitTorrent sites without giving owners a chance to defend themselves beforehand?

Hopefully so - one thing to keep in mind is that the European countries are very different, and that there's a very strong pro-filesharing opinion here.

17) Is the future in large, easy to target, centralized BT sites like your own, or in smaller BitTorrent sites, all indexed by a search engine like TorrentSpy? Or is decentralized BitTorrent (such as decentralized trackers) the logical next step?

Decentralized systems might very well be the next big thing - when they work well and are easy to use. The secret behind BitTorrent's success isn't so much the nifty technical details as the fact that it's very easy to use - you can just start a torrent and forget about it.

18 ) Is Version 2 of The Pirate Bay the final version? What do you hope to add in the future?

We have more plans - first of all, a range of sub-sites (one for only original releases, for example).

19) Are you going to introduce an RSS feed?

There's already a functioning RSS feed - we're just tuning the details.

20) Anything else you would like to add?

Nothing that I can think of right now, actually.

Thank you for your time, it has been a great interview and I wish you the best of luck in the future.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: Interviews
BitTorrent :: Trackers/Indexers

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