Saturday, 25 April 2009

The Unsinkable

So, it appears as if The Pirate Bay has been dealt the death blow. With the main four people running its show sentenced to jail and severely fined, surely this spells the end of The Pirate Bay and surely this deals a severe blow to what certain people dub as internet piracy. After all, The Pirate Bay had been one of the main flag bearers of internet piracy, playing a crafty game with the authorities for a few years now; well, now it appears as if it had lost.

Or did it?
Last time I had a look, which was less than a minute ago, The Pirate Bay's website was still up and running. If anything, they are improving their services, with a new initiative coming up that allows the exchange of peer to peer contents without any records whatsoever being kept of who transferred what and while providing the tools allowing its users to avoid immediate detection.
At the broader level, my opinion is that even if the specific Pirate Bay website is stopped, the trend will continue and the business model that the record companies and the film studios are fighting so hard to preserve will, sooner rather than later, have to change. Remember that company called Napster which was sued and shut down for offering pirated contents? That company is gone, at least in its old shape; but piracy has flourished since. And piracy is here to stay, taking newer forms. Sure, legislation might cut some of its heads off, but it won't cut them all; and innovation is at the side of the so called pirates.
The spirit of The Pirate Bay will linger, and it will win.


Uri said...

You're saying it's here to stay.

Do you think that's good or bad?

Moshe Reuveni said...

I have mixed feelings about this.
On one hand, if I was the brains behind one of those things that are being copied for free, I would be annoyed.
On the other hand, most of these things belong to companies that have been making tons of money - much more than they should (as in, why are DVDs so damn expensive) - and continue to do so. As I have said before, their fight for "their" copyrights is usually just a fight to protect their existing business model.
More importantly, I think freedom of information is of utmost importance, and that includes material that people now download "illegally". I think the current copyrights legislation is severely blocking this freedom, as per my previously discussed patents on human genes.
I therefore side myself on the Pirate Bay side of things; I consider them to be fighting my fight. That said, I think the better way of doing things would be to for new, more appropriate business models to come up. I won't mind watching free contents with some ads, nor would I mind paying a bit - but just a bit - for contents that is delivered to me the way I want it, with no DRM and other strings attached.