Monday, April 13, 2009

The OTHER Pirates in the News

Forget Somali pirates for just a minute. A verdict will likely be read Friday in the case against torrent mega-site The Pirate Bay, according to The Wall Street Journal. I've been following the trial for some time (check the archives, hopefully all of the posts are there, if not they will be soon--click 'The Pirate Bay' tag below) and I will be anxious to hear how the court rules.

This will obviously set a monumental precedent for how copyright infringement will be handled on a large scale as The Pirate Bay provides access to thousands and thousands of moves and music, through torrent files, all for free. The site claims 22 million users, but for now, eyes are on the four men that Swedish prosecutors targeted last year. They claim that only the index is theirs and that they have no control over what people do with it, according to the Journal, but if you ask me that sounds like a shaky defense. They could face up to a year in jail, but that won't begin to touch the market for this sort of large-scale piracy.

I don't know if this even sends a message of fear to the users, considering they are untouched. The hydra-head problem that these entertainment companies are facing is a daunting one and should The Pirate Bay shut down -- much like with OiNK's Pink Palace, may it rest in peace, the exclusive music torrent site that was closed in 2007 after a raid -- we will see many more copycats before these companies and lawmakers can breath a sign of relief.

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