Published Jun 30, 2009According to various reports, long-running and controversial torrent site the Pirate Bay has been sold to a Swedish gaming firm for a reported $7.7 million US. The software company known as Global Gaming Factory X AB is looking to transform the way the site works in order to bring it up to a more legal standard of operations.
"We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site," Global Gaming said in a statement. By changing the site's model to charge users for storage space, they hope to transform it's model to a point where content will be paid for.
Still, the consensus seem to be that the site will go the way of Napster, and fade into irrelevance when it tries to make the jump into legitimate business practices.
In an interview with Reuters, researcher Mark Mulligan said, "The bottom line is that most people who use file-sharing networks use it because it's free. They are not likely to start paying just because the owners have a new business model... There has not yet been a single example of a legal file-sharing network which has made a successful transition to a legal business."
Whether or not it pans out, the sale is good news for the Pirate Bay founders, who have recently faced $3.6 million US in legal damages over their site.
The money from the sale will be placed in a business account and used for other, less illegal internet ventures, said Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde.
UPDATE: One of the Pirate Bay's cofounders has put in his two cents on the sale. Here's what he had to say in the Reddit comments section [via the Daily Swarm:
To clarify a bit..
TPB has been owned by a company for the last years since the raid so nothing there will really change except the names of the owners. The talk about TPB are going to be a pay site is wrong, the CEO that said that does not know what he is talking about.
Now, the BIG change is that the tracker is going to be outsourced to a new formed company that wont know what they track, just that they connect peers, and the torrent listings will be handed by an other new company that will have torrents but they will not know either content or who is using the torrents. This setup will be practically impossible to take down or find anyone liable to sue.
The 3d party company services will have APIs, so you can on your blog or whatever have your own small torrent listings just as you now pull in twitter feeds. remember how the twitter design totally havoced the iranian attempts to block it as ppl just used another side that pulled in the feeds and read it there instead? well that goes for torrents and TPB to.
All in all, this is not the end of the world as some are seeing it but a rather interesting technical improvement.
And dont worry, not a dime will go to the media industries spectrial prize money what i know of but a really nice fund for doing cool stuff.
/krs - co.founder of TPB and PB, not involved in TPB anymore and have no stake in any cash.