The Growth Of The Pirate Bay As A Political Movement

from the good-or-bad? dept

Tim Lee points us to an LA Times article on the growing success of The Pirate Bay's political movement, noting that its membership is growing in Sweden and is nearly equal to that of the country's Green Party. This is ironic for a few reasons -- most of all being that the entertainment industry was so proud over the raids on the Pirate Bay's servers last year, insisting that it had killed off the site. Instead, the site was back up in days, and the attention propelled what had been a fairly minor search engine for BitTorrent trackers into the limelight -- helping to get it many more users and to get the political movement some traction. In fact, we've now seen other political parties take on some of the Pirate Bay's platform. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this. I don't support the Pirate Bay's position that unauthorized downloads are defensible. Instead, I think that copyright holders need to come to the realization that they're actually better off by letting people download content -- not that it needs to be forced upon them by users taking matters into their own hands. That said, by taking such an extreme position (and having it get some attention), perhaps it's more likely that content holders will come to this realization. They'll simply be forced to adapt and will start coming up with more successful business models that actually benefit from free downloads rather than trying to block them and sue their best customers.

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  1. identicon
    dislexic, 1 May 2007 @ 12:48am

    Power to them

    After having the pleasure of deleting my DRM system file several times, the inconvience of burning songs to CD then ripping them back into a format my mp3 player can use - after having to sit through anti piracy warnings when I just want to watch the damn movie- I'm all for it. I don't personally pirate, but I'm sick of the copywrite b.s. If I own something I own it. If I want to take my dvd's and change them to tapes or mpegs or whatever format my cell phone uses that is my right as a consumer.
    Pirates provide a better product, one that isn't going to take me a days time to convert into the different formats I'm going to use. I don't want to have to put a game in my PC everytime I want to play it- that's 99% of the reason I prefer PC games to console games.
    People should realize that those songs they buy on itunes and similar sites can suddenly 'vanish' after relatively mild upgrades. I'd love to buy tv shows online but I don't trust my continued access to them like I get waiting for a retail dvd box set.
    Power to the pirates- it's not about getting something for free, it's about getting a better product. Companies should wise up to that fact. Many people would be more than happy to pay the buck or two per song and tv show, it's the added expense of the hassle in our brand new shiny digital lives that we don't want.
    Why should anyone PAY for a song that can't readily port between their cell phone, mp3 player, computer and stereo system? Once upon a time pirated products were worse than the real thing- companies need to catch on that just ain't true anymore. It's the fact the pirated product is better, NOT that it's free, that is costing companies $$.

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