Defiant? That’s an understatement

By: ispeculatornew
Date posted: 04.24.2009 (5:00 am) | Write a Comment  (3 Comments)

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tpbHave you ever heard of The Pirate Bay? No, it’s not related to those Somalian Pirates that are making the news these days. In fact, some would say it’s worse, while others would say it is legal. Basically, the Pirate Bay is one or the most used Torrent website on the internet. What is a torrent website? It is a website that gives links that make it possible for users to share content on the internet. Typically, the content is music and tv/movies of course but it actually goes a lot further. Many of these websites have gone down in recent years as legal complaints forced the users to shut them down. But The Pirate Bay kept going even posting the legal threats they were receiving and putting those complaints to ridicule. The music and movie industries have been fast to call out such websites as being illegal and immoral. But the owners of the website do have one point, a point that I have discussed previously and that is crucial: The internet has no central government.

So who rules the internet? Basically, in theory (and again legally this is debatable), the applicable law is the one where the websites is hosted, in this case Sweden. To many, it is an understatement that downloading a music album without paying for it is illegal but in reality, many countries do not have such laws and Sweden is one place where the laws are not clear on the matter. There has been a lot of media attention lately regarding the recent lawsuit against The Pirate Bay and they actually did lose the first part of the trial, you can read a good article about it here. Now, if you think TPB is going to give in and close its website, you are DEAD wrong. You can read their official response here.

Of course, it is easy to judge, especially for those in the music or movie indutry. But the fact is that losing a lawsuit does not mean much until all appeals are done and indeed, that can happen only a few years later. I’m not of the opinion that Sweden is wrong or even the Pirate Bay owners, and in fact, time will tell who is legally right. But in the meantime, I still maintain that the world needs to start thinking about a way to legislate the internet, including perhaps a more central government, comparable to the united nations. In theory it sounds great, but anyone interested in foreign affairs knows that such an institution is very very far from being created and even when it will, its efficiency will need to be proved.

Judgements and cases like The Pirate Bay do however bring up such questions about how to deal with such cases…It will be interesting to see if international institutions will be able to come up with a solution to this problem.

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3 Comments

  1. Comment by SJ — April 24, 2009 @ 11:51 am

    Do we really want to legislate the Internet =)?

  2. […] ironic isn’t it?? I wrote a post a few weeks ago about The Pirate Bay being defiant in the face of authority both domestically and from abroad. Well one of the advantages of being in […]

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