August 19, 2017

Pirate Bay Partially Returns Online

The “victory” celebrated by the major media companies when Swedish authorities confiscated servers belonging to torrent search engine Pirate Bay has been met with a yawn by the site’s ownership, who have once again deployed their service on new hardware.

Pirate Bay Returns With New Hardware
Pirate Bay Returns With New Hardware

Even a beatdown by the police could not keep The Pirate Bay down for long. The site’s organizers helpfully listed causes for downtime in their blog:

Just some stats…
… here are some reasons why TPB is down sometimes – and how long it usually takes to fix:

Tiamo gets *very* drunk and then something crashes: 4 days

Anakata gets a really bad cold and no one is around: 7 days

The US and Swedish gov. forces the police to steal our servers: 3 days
.. yawn.

The Pirate Bay provides a search engine that points to the tracker files needed to begin a download of content made available in BitTorrent format, which permits large files to be downloaded in sections from multiple sites instead of a single place. This make the download process much faster and has become very popular globally.

Although the site has returned online, its search capabilities have not been fully restored as of press time. Pointers to torrent files still return a 404 message.

BitTorrent’s creator Bram Cohen has long insisted he does not support or encourage piracy in any form, and his company has consistently spoken out against misuse of the technology for doing so.

Big media companies have been trying to go a step further, and blot out the tracking search engines like Pirate Bay. They have had a few successes in the past, but Pirate Bay remained the one big site that responded to various cease-and-desist letters with humorous catcalls and mockery instead of compliance.

Recently, international interests managed to influence the Swedes to raid and seize servers belonging to Pirate Bay and a few hundred other companies with web sites hosted by Rix/Port 80. Supporters have responded by posting a lengthy list of actions that took place during the raid, claiming some were civil rights violations.

That includes the allegation that police forced one person, Mikael Viborg, to give a DNA sample during police questioning, and denying another person, Gottfrid Svartholm, access to a public defender. The reason for that apparently was since Svartholm did not risk a jail term, he was not permitted to have appointed counsel present.

The notion that content should be free has given rise to a political party in Sweden called the Pirate Party. Its leader, Richard Falkvinge, described the raid as “how the politicians up to the highest levels bend backwards to protect the media industry.”

He characterized the raid as being more about control and compared being able to search for content as being like the debut of the printing press, in empowering people to have greater access to information than they had before.

It’s heady stuff, and the raid that was influenced by the IFPI may have some impact in Sweden beyond its intended effect. If the site returns to full functionality, or if the investigation finds that no offending content has been stored on Pirate Bay’s servers, organizations like IFPI and the MPAA may be forced to focus on individual uploaders instead of Pirate Bay.


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About David Utter 902 Articles
David Utter is a business and technology writer for SecurityProNews and WebProNews.