Peter Sunde Explains The History Of The Pirate Bay: A Joke Where Lawyers & Politicians Missed The Punchline
from the the-industry-missed-the-point dept
However, I think what's more interesting is the early history of the site. Many of you are probably familiar with it, but seeing it all in one presentation pulls out a few key points. The whole thing started out, more or less, as a joke. It came from a response to the silliness of the idea of an "Anti-Pirate Bureau," because people began to realize that if there was an Anti-Pirate Bureau, that implies that there is a Pro Pirate Bureau -- so they set one up. Based on that, a lot of their responses to angry threats from Hollywood lawyers was very much in the same spirit, with the lawyers not knowing how to respond, other than to freak out and demand the site get shut down.
But, that totally missed the point: which is that these guys were simply demonstrating what was inevitable. They were taking the very basics of the technology, and showing what it enabled -- and how it allowed many positive benefits. When people talk about how horrible The Pirate Bay was for the music or movie industry, what they're missing is that if it wasn't these random guys doing it, it would have been another random group of guys somewhere else. The technology enabled what it did, because it provided tremendous benefits to many people in terms of sharing culture (some of the biggest success early on was for a Swedish language training program). Of course, he doesn't even point out the difference between acting as (effectively) a search engine, and actually hosting/transmitting files. This is a really key point that people who are against The Pirate Bay still seem to ignore.
Peter also does a nice job putting The Pirate Bay into context with past claims from the entertainment industry that the sky is falling.
Overall, it's a worthwhile presentation and well worth watching even if -- like some industry folks -- you think hearing what Peter has to say will somehow cause you to keel over and die.