July 18, 2009
Pirate Bay Going Legit?
The Pirate Bay, a prominent filesharing website, is becoming a legitimate site through a series of give-and-take deals that earn its users money.
"The more you give, the more you get," stated Hans Pandeya, chief of software company Global Gaming Factory X, who announced in June that they were purchasing the site and would begin sending payments to both providers and copyright holders.
The shift in ownership was faced with cynicism from the filesharing population who were worried that by legalizing the site, its new owners would charge them for downloads like movies, music and computer games, which were previously free.
In April, four men associated with the site were given one-year prison terms for violating copyright law, and had pay $3.8 million in fines. Three of the men insisted that they have not owned the site for quite a while.
Pandeya stated that his company purchased the site from a foreign company and he does not know who the owners were, but that none of the prosecuted men were caught up in the business deal.
When the deal was made public, Pirate Bay spokesman and a defendant, Peter Sunde, said that he and his acquaintances were happy with GGF's ideas for the site.
Pandeya noted that The Pirate Bay would not become a complete pay site, like the iTunes Store and Napster.
"For the great majority it will be free of charge, for a minority it will actually make them money, and for a small portion it will cost them," he said.
Pandeya added that there are plans to start a monthly fee for use of The Pirate Bay, but said the fee could be paid off by giving downloaded material or loaning storage to others on their PC's.
"We know that unless we're able to create revenues for the filesharers they'll just move on to the next free, site," he said. "Filesharers are our best friends."
Pandeya added that other packages were possible, but did not go into detail.
The site is anticipated to re-launch in one month. GGF added that the site would completely tackle the legal questions that plagued it before and that profits will be dispersed among filesharers, copyright holders and others concerned in the legal matter.
Pandeya noted that even though a deal had not been met yet, his company is at present talking with some of "the world's largest players" in the music industry. "It's been positive."
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