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Swedish IT company to buy Pirate Bay

AFP/The Local · 30 Jun 2009, 09:44

Published: 30 Jun 2009 09:44 GMT+02:00

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GGF plans to begin paying copyright fees once the deal is completed.

"The listed software company, Global Gaming Factory (GGF), acquires The Pirate Bay website, one of the 100 most visited websites in the world... The purchase (sum) amounts to 60 million kronor, consisting of at least 30 million in cash," it said in a statement.

The remainder will be paid in the form of newly issued shares in GGF.

A Swedish court in April found the four men behind The Pirate Bay guilty of promoting copyright infringement by running the site, sentencing them to a year in prison.

They were also ordered to pay damages of 30 million kronor ($3.56 million) to the movie and recording industry -- the sum agreed upon in cash in Tuesday's sale.

The four have appealed the verdict, though no date has been set for the appeals trial.

GGF said in the statement that it wanted content providers and copyright owners to get paid for content downloaded from The Pirate Bay, which is currently free of charge and does not pay copyright fees.

New technology would require users to pay to download films, games and music, but "they will be able to make money" by sharing their files with other users, GGF chief executive Hans Pandeya said.

"And if you earn money by sharing your files, then maybe it's not that hard to pay for top quality," he told Swedish news agency TT.

One of The Pirate Bay founders, Peter Sunde, said it was time for the site to get fresh impetus from new owners.

"We feel that we can't take The Pirate Bay any further. We're in a bit of a frozen situation where there's not much happening and there are neither people nor money to develop things," Sunde told TT.

The sale "means things will go into a new gear for The Pirate Bay," he added.

Sunde said the 30 million kronor paid in cash for The Pirate bay was not linked to the damages the court ordered the four to pay, and said the money would not reach their pockets.

Story continues below…

Rather, he said, the money would be used to create a fund to develop other internet projects.

The guilty verdict handed down against the three founders of The Pirate Bay and their main financier made headlines around the world, at a time when many countries are trying to hammer out legislation on internet filesharing.

Founded in 2003, The Pirate Bay makes it possible to skirt copyright fees and share music, film and computer game files using bit torrent technology, or peer-to-peer links offered on the site.

None of the material can be found on The Pirate Bay server itself.

The Pirate Bay claims to have some 22 million users worldwide.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:50 June 30, 2009 by Nemesis
An interesting business move.

I wonder if it will work out.
11:29 June 30, 2009 by Nomark
For years we were told that the Pirate Bay owners didn't care about money, had few profits, and were acting the way they did out of idealism - though I question any "ideals" which allow copyright theft and the viewing the autopsy pictures of murdered children.

Now it appears that they aren't quite so high minded at all. However, this really isn't a surprise. The fact is that they are a bunch of immature idiots dangerously messed with complicated concept about which they (and their supporters) have little understanding i.e. freedom.
11:53 June 30, 2009 by Luckystrike

Dont take this the wrong way, but i think you need to get laid...

If someone offered me 1 million for my car that is worth 44k...need i say more..

" The fact is that they are a bunch of immature idiots dangerously messed with complicated concept about which they (and their supporters) have little understanding i.e. freedom. "

Did you pull that out of your rear end ?
12:11 June 30, 2009 by Paulo +fab muscular than Jonnhy
Will they pay in cash with fake money?
12:16 June 30, 2009 by Dazzler
They have to pay thier ultra biased court ordered fines somehow. Good for them I say.
12:26 June 30, 2009 by Nomark
Your comment is rather typical of those who seek to defend Pirate Bay i.e. move to insult rather than logical argument.

Freedom is a very complicated concept: use too much of it and it gets taken away - history shows us that. Or to put it another way, with every right comes a responsibility.

As regards the other point, the Pirate Bay and its supporters had used the money argument consistently. Now it appears to have been a rather empty one. This is worth pointing out, whether you like it or not (and clearly you don't).

Now, if you really are a person of sustance and not just petty internet insults then why don't you write to the mother of the Arboga girls whose autopsy pictures were seen by many in Sweden because of Pirate Bay's "principles". Explain to her why the Pirate Bay's actions were for the greater good.

Finally, if you want to insult me you may wish to avoid cliche. "Get laid", "rear end" etc. are very unoriginal and not particularly effective.
12:29 June 30, 2009 by Miss Kitten
Agreed. They never really made any money with the site, only enough to keep it running. So good for them.

I mean honestly, if someone said to you, "We think your website is worth millions and we'd like to buy it from you for millions." would you say, "Oh no. I'm not interested in money." Seriously.

I remember the autopsy pictures debacle. The PB operators weren't the ones who scanned the photos and uploaded them onto the internet. Other people did that. I mean, come on. You know how search engines work, right? If you found the pictures on Google, you wouldn't blame Google would you?
12:35 June 30, 2009 by GITM
Don't make assumptions like that, many people would.
12:35 June 30, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
Oh no. I'm sooooo considering filing a lawsuit against Google for profane materials. The other day, I was googling for, "c0ck cake" hoping to find a nice rooster design. Lo and behold, the results yielded something akin to what is on Paulo's Facebook page. My virginal eyes felt as if someone had dropped acid on them and I needed to seek immediate treatment for the psychological damage.
12:41 June 30, 2009 by Nomark
Do you have a point HPK or do you just want to talk about c0cks ?
12:45 June 30, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
Roosters are fine creatures, Nomark. From your juvenile snipe, one can only assume that you're working directly with the Mullahs in Iran to rid the world of them.

As for me, I'm very upset that you didn't legitimize my trauma. It was very upsetting to Google for one thing and receive something entirely different in return. That's why I am suing them. And the United States government for allowing them to exist. And which ever higher being created Sergei Brinn and his cohort for establishing such a deviant site.

Once I win (and I will), I'm going to take my proceeds to the whores of PB and buy their site for good measure. Slowly, I will shut down the entire internets and Trowbridge will be forced to leave his house for human interaction.
12:53 June 30, 2009 by Nomark
Yes, my stance is entirely equivalent with hard-line islamic fundamentalism. That's one of your better analogies.

It does seem rather strange that demanding that responsible self-censorship (something we do all of the time in our day-to-day lives) in certain cases seems to have the armchair freedom warriors up in arms. Its also essential since society will curtail a freedom if used to the extremes.

As regards google images, if I see a c*ck I have a certain expectation that the gentleman in question likely posed for the shot. To the best of my knowledge the dead Arboga girls didn't have much of a choice.
12:56 June 30, 2009 by Nomark
I must have misread your earlier post when you commented that one of my remarks was juvinile...
12:59 June 30, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
:sniffles and blows snot into a hanky:

You hurt my feelings by failing to legitimize my trauma. One can only assume that your juvenile outburst was rooted in some rogue agenda to turn all Jewish lasses into blubbering fools and slowly eliminate them from this great world of ours.
13:06 June 30, 2009 by Nomark
You've clearly uncovered my secret plan...
13:08 June 30, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
So...now it's *my* fault that *you're* transparent?

I'm suing you next.

15:09 June 30, 2009 by carterson2
I am very proud of TPB for this. Great card played!
17:23 June 30, 2009 by Bushido
I'm not so sure that this was a good move for any of the concerned parties, aside from the Swedish Government saving face, and GGF buying political and tax breaks from the US and EU..

For TPB, this deal renders the individuals open to pay the 30 Million Kroner immediately to the winners of the lawsuit. It will also open the floodgates for numerous other lawsuits from disgruntled, greedy corporations who feel they've been out done. After tax, lawsuits and possible poor equity return from GGF, TPB's stakeholders are likely to see absolutely nothing from the cash or shares. It seems that they've been told that this is an opportunity for a clean slate and potential future earnings.

For the purchasers, GGF, aside from the political and very long, long term gains, and one wonders what they think their return on investment could possibly be? Was TPB's technical infrastructure that amazing and innovative that they had to spend 60 Million Kroner on purchasing it? Was it impossible for GGF to recreate it using their own expertise for far less?

I do not think for one moment that GGF really believe that they will be able to afford the sort of content rights that Hollywood and Co demand? Who will the customers/end-users be? After all, most of TPB's downloader's were apparently downloading software, games, music and movies. They did so because they wanted the content free. How many of TPB's loyal users will stick around and pay for the new owner's strategic business plan? I suppose TPB's IT structure could be used for gaming, but again, they could have created better for less.

I think that this all has more to do with International politics and Sweden looking to save face, and prevent any potential future embarrassment. It seems far more than coincidence that the US is about to put Obama's choice of Ambassador, Matthew Barzun, in Sweden. The man who just happens to be his Internet Strategy Advisor.

Barzun now has the heaviest connections in the software world, Gates, Ellison, Jobs, Brin etc.

The day after TPB's announced deal, Sweden takes over the European Union six-month presidency, at probably the most difficult time in its history, with companies struggling top save jobs.

I wonder how much of a tax break, and how much of a Government subsidy GGF will get in return? Aside from which, I wonder how much schmoozing from the US Ambassador Matthew Barzun, and so US business, this will get GGF?

This is all political; the US will now see Sweden as a friend. Sweden will not be blamed for any loss of revenues from the EU or US. Sweden has the highest level of political and corporate protection against any embarrassment.

Everyone is now a winner. Everyone except the idealists who supported TPB, and those who sold it, conned into the belief that they would actually make money from this and be seen as clever.

The Pirate Bay is dead! Long live The Pirate Bay!...
21:37 June 30, 2009 by Playmaker
hey nomark i see you do not like PB. and that is ok it is one of those freedoms you are talking about, but i hope you understand it is no PB who uploaded anything. inculding the pictures of the dead girl. it was people like you and me who upload. personaly i never downloaded anything until i came to Sweden now i came to find out how nice it is for me to see some of the shows i would of missed. and as far as i know dead people have no rights and limited laws protecting there corps. so the pics do not matter to her. her as the dead person. they are only a search engine and the judge is corrupt.
04:09 July 2, 2009 by Dagem Hailemariam
Dear all fairweather Pirate Bay supporters,

What could they do? I support there move. All of you b*tching about them selling out are crazy. I don't suppose you offered to help them pay the fine even though you used their site. Plus any profits left over will be used to create a foundation dedicated to the pursuit of freedom of speech issues.

Everyone who b*tched though does have the right if they offered to help pay off their fine, if not, Shut the F**K up. Let's keep it REAL!

I thank them for setting up the Pirate Bay and giving me a chance to use it...it definately was good while it lasted.


"A Pirate For Life :-D"
07:09 July 2, 2009 by Rubbi
Seems they will be paying he sharers now.

Pirate bay to pay sharers
14:35 July 2, 2009 by kaze
If they'd sold it normally months ago then...not so much of a problem.

That they've done it just after the court case and all the support for them and all that though- terrible, terrible decision.
00:03 July 3, 2009 by Yawnalicious
Yes for years we were told that the Pirate Bay owners didn't care about money. They were imo acting the way they did out of idealism. Then a big media frenzy, huge court case and eventual imprisonment perhaps made them think that the guy waving a ridiculous sum of money at them had a bloody interesting proposition.

"no cause is lost if there is but one fool to fight for it" Pirates of the caribbean
18:26 July 3, 2009 by spy
Deep down there is a filthy capitalist inside every Swede no matter what they tell you.
20:15 July 4, 2009 by Luke35711
Well, the Vikings were great traders...
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