I want to thank the American entertainment industry for all the media attention and free advertising they have generated for The Pirate Bay. Because the peer-2-peer downloading system works better with more participants, I am always happy when more people become aware of such media sources - an excellent alternative to broadcast TV-with-advertising every 6 minutes. Why wait a year for an episode of House, Battlestar Galactica, Bones, Greys Anatomy, or any TV series, if you can download it 24 hours after the first screening anywhere in the world, and watch it whenever and wherever you want and on the device that suits you best? The time of PCs connecting to your TV is an anachronism. With a Popcorn Hour or AppleTV + XBMC it is as easy and convenient to watch videos as using a DVD.
Past foreign interventions that compelled The Pirate Bay to temporarily move their servers to the Netherlands (thanks XS4ALL and KPN for wide bandwidth!) prompted a political scandal in Sweden. A raid by the Swedish police appeared to be driven by ordered from the US, independent of the Swedish Government. Many Swedes were not happy, regardless of their views on file sharing. A direct consequence was the enormous growth of the "Pirate Party". The Pirate Party is focused on reform of copyright and the free flow of information for citizens. After the most recent wave of publicity, the party now has more than 28,000 members, is the fourth biggest party in the country and the largest political youth organization. That would never have happened without all the recent, free media attention.
Even Tim Kuijk of the Dutch Brein Foundation works hard to make the entertainment industry look ridiculous even in the eyes of conservatives. And how cowardly. Hey Tim, you view the full movie "Saving Private Ryan", in better quality than a VHS tape here. It's been online for 10 months already. Be a man and quickly go sue Google!
Google indexes bittorrent files. Enter a movie or music title followed by ".torrent" as a search term, and you'll find a torrent file in a matter of seconds. I've just given a link to Torrent files. Do I now have to serve a year in prison, Tim? Putting aside the technical feasibility of Brein's wet dream - blocking our country's access to thepiratebay.org - this would also be a form of gross censorship since a lot of valuable information is offered there that is hard to get anywhere else. The movie "Steal this Film” about copyright in the 21st century is a good example. Here are a few other examples.
Over the next ten or twenty years we shall get repeats of this exchange between entertainment industry reps and the descendants of The Pirate Bay. It will resemble the famous statement of U.S. Colonel Summers to his Vietnamese counterpart in 1974: "you know, you never beat us on the battlefield". To which Colonel Tu replied: "that may be so, but it is also irrelevant."
As in any guerrilla war, the 'rebels' are winning here. And for the same reason: they're smarter, more flexible, have wide popular support and all the time in the world. A sensible entertainment executive would do well to read some history books and learn some lessons about the conduct of guerrilla conflicts and the consequences of losing. Hint: the U.S. struggled for 25 years with Vietnam Syndrome and the Soviet Union didn't survive its loss in Afghanistan.
On a lighter note: culture fans who want a taste of the real pirate life, go to Talklikeapirate.com. Aaaarrr maties!