Last week, we wrote about how the Hollywood-backed Swedish anti-piracy organization, "Rights Alliance," was threatening
the Swedish Pirate Party with criminal charges for hosting The Pirate Bay. It didn't stop there, however, also going after some of the connectivity firms further up the chain
, moving beyond mere secondary liability (TPB) and tertiary liability (the Pirate Party) to a ridiculous and astounding quaternary liability for a company providing connectivity to the Swedish Pirate Party, which hosted a part of The Pirate Bay, which is used by some individuals to infringe on copyright. Still, getting involved in any such legal fight is difficult, so The Pirate Bay and the Swedish Pirate Party have moved The Pirate Bay's connectivity yet again
, such that it is hosted by the Spanish Pirate Party and the Norwegian Pirate Party. Spain and Norway are two countries that have resisted
attempts to censor sites like The Pirate Bay.
However, even if the Swedish Pirate Party is no longer hosting the site, it is clear that it is not happy about this turn of events, and suggests it is planning legal action for "unlawful coercion" against the Rights Alliance:
"The Pirate Party has a board meeting in a few days. I will recommend the board to file a police report against the Rights Alliance for unlawful coercion," Troberg says. "It is important to determine precisely how forgiving the system is to those who try to abuse the judicial system to silence others."
Given how law enforcement has treated The Pirate Party so far in Sweden, it seems unlikely that much would come from such an action, but that just highlights a big part of the problem.
In the meantime, this continues to show the ridiculous whac-a-mole nature of the entertainment industry's war on TPB. The site isn't actually "hosted" by these other Pirate Parties, but rather it is widely distributed. However, there does need to be a few key places where it connects clearly, so that people can find it. And that, it appears, is the role that these Pirate Parties will take on. And, while that's happening, it would appear that some other Pirate Parties around the globe are gearing up to be able to take on similar duties, should it be needed.
All this for one ancient site that hasn't changed or innovated much in years. It's kind of incredible. Peter Sunde, The Pirate Bay's former spokesperson has insisted, for years, that The Pirate Bay should be dead already, not because of Hollywood's continued attempts to take it down, but because other sites should have innovated far beyond what TPB has offered. Of course, I'd argue that Hollywood itself has had multiple opportunities to do that innovation, but instead has focused on attacking TPB and trying to cut off what consumers want, rather than figuring out ways to help provide the public what they want. It's been a decade long case study in exactly how not to deal with disruptive innovation. And this story shows no signs of changing any time soon.