The Pirate Bay Issue - English Translation

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Piratbyrån's press release

Piratbyrån is a think tank which mostly focuses on integrity, patents and copyright. Read more about it on wikipedia. Piratbyrån founded The Pirate Bay, but is not affiliated with it anymore. Their web servers were located at the same host, and Piratbyrån's site is currently unavailable as well. They have set up a temporary blog page here. Their first (and currently only) post is a press release. In swedish. ;)

Original text located here.

*** *** *** Start translation:
To be published immediately
May 31st 2006

Movie industry tricked the police into shutting down Piratbyrån.

Today, the police performed a razzia against The Pirate Bay, the world's largest Bittorrent tracker. The site has been a meeting place for people with an interest in culture for several years. With the help of the Bittorrent technology, everything from school essays to obscure japanese music to videos of the ESC final has been effectively spread.

There has been no illegal content on the servers whatsoever. The torrent files, links used by people to connect to each others and download the material simply contains descriptive text, text which is certainly not copyrighted.

"Antipiratbyrån has obviously misled the police in this case", says Tobias Andersson of Piratbyrån. "They seem to have convinced technologically impaired police men that the servers are filled with copyrighted materials. This is a severe misuse of tax money".

"At the same time, several other pages residing on nearby servers have been shut down. It is here we find their most severe violation. Antipiratbyrån apparently tricked the police into shutting down their antagonists, Piratbyrån."

"For three years, Piratbyrån has worked for an open debate on copyright and patent issues. We are very disappointed in the fact that the movie industry doesn't want to face us in a debate, but instead tries to trick politicians and law enforcement into criminalizing their opponents and a great part of the swedish people."

"In practice, this means nothing to the file sharers of the world. There are thousands of other pages and networks where they can acquire what they want. People will only move on to the next place. File sharing is like a hydra; chop one head of, and two new grow back up in its place."

Piratbyrån was started in the summer of 2003 in order to shine light upon and discuss copyright issues. Piratbyrån suggests that copyright in many cases has played its part, and instead of protecting artists is currently hindering creativity as well as supporting the few. Since its founding, about 60 000 people have registered as members on the site, where they debate in the forums and exchange tips. Piratbyrån has also held speeches in riksdagen, started several campaigns and founded the world's largest bittorrent tracker, The Pirate
*** *** *** End of translation

The part about criminalizing a large part of the swedish population refers to the new copyright law that was taken into effect Juli 1st, 2005. Before that, downloading files was legal due to the way fair use was implemented (a loop hole, you could say). It was, however, illegal to upload copyrighted files even before then. Antipiratbyrån is the swedish version of the MPAA (maybe even the swedish section of the MPA?).

As you've read, not only The Pirate Bay was taken down. Piratbyrån's site was a popular meeting place for swedish pirates, and was of course inconvenient for the industry. There have also been unverified claims that other web sites and servers have disappeared, all of which were hosted at the same place as The Pirate Bay and Piratbyrån.


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