Even if you are not the type of person who pirates music, there is a high chance that you have at least heard of The Pirate Bay. The site prides itself on being “the galaxies most resilient BitTorrent site”, and is used almost internationally to pirate a wide variety of content. In 2009, the site sparked media attention when the website’s founders were put on trial in their native Sweden, where they were fined and given prison sentences for “promoting other people’s infringement of copyright laws”. In spite of this, the site continues to run to this day.
However, in 2013, Pirate Bay co-founder Tobias Andersson, who announced his resignation from the site, is finally calling for the site to be shut down. In its current form, at least. This is not due to a change in his views on piracy. Instead, Andersson claims that he wants the site to evolve with emerging technologies and remain relevant. At the 14th International Forum on Free Software in Porto Alegre, Brazil, he claimed that “The world needs something that’s impossible to take down, no matter what raids, laws and scare tactics they throw at you.”
Amongst the “emerging technologies” previously alluded to is 3D printers. Although they are in their infancy at the present moment, it is very likely that their will become better and used more widely. When this happens, it will not only be record labels that have to worry about piracy: pro-audio equipment companies may have to become involved in the debate. Naturally, this would lead to an increase in pressures from various companies to stop piracy, intensifying the war between pirates and organisations such as the RIAA. Andersson joked that The Pirate Bay had suffered more downtime “due to drunken admins” rather than raids from the RIAA, however, he warned that once more companies interests are involved, pirates will need something “that is independent and that holds ground, regardless of raids and oppression”. Whilst this technology may seem too obscure to worry about right now, Andersson raises an interesting point that very few people within the music industry have seemed to have raised before.
Of course, this is just the latest development in the seemingly never ending piracy saga that has dominated music industry dialogue since the printing press was invented, and people feared it would be used to print unlicensed scores. In the past few weeks alone, BitTorrent’s Vice President of Marketing Matt Mason came out to claim that BitTorrent doesn’t support piracy, and Kanye West claimed that he didn’t care if his latest album, ‘Yeezus’, was downloaded before its official release.
Whether this will actually spell the end for The Pirate Bay is uncertain. Although Andersson has called for the site to be replaced, it is not yet confirmed that anyone has any intention of doing so, so it is likely The Pirate Bay will be around until this happens.
Even if you are not the type of person who pirates music, there is a high chance that you have at least heard of The Pirate Bay. The site prides itself on be...