On the Record edited by Annie Harrison

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The Pirate Bay: Here To Stay?

My latest story for Wired News is about a group of Swedish copyright pirates called The Pirate Bay. These pirates have so far resisted every attempt to shut them down and have even formed a political party in Sweden!

--Ann Harrison

Pirate Paradise

Last month, the Motion Picture Association of America announced one of its boldest sorties yet against online piracy: a barrage of seven federal lawsuits against some of the highest-profile BitTorrent sites, Usenet hosts and peer-to-peer services. Among the targets: isoHunt, TorrentSpy and eDonkey.

But, as always, one prominent site is missing from the movie industry's announcement (.pdf), and it happens to be the simplest and best-known source of traded movies -- along with pirated video games, music, software, audio books, television broadcasts and nearly any other form of media imaginable. The site is called The Pirate Bay, and it's operated by a crew of intrepid Swedes who revel in tormenting the content industries.

"All of us who run the TPB are against the copyright laws and want them to change," said "Brokep," a Pirate Bay operator. "We see it as our duty to spread culture and media. Technology is just a means to doing that."

A quick look at The Pirate Bay's lineup suggests which side is winning the piracy wars. Among the site's most popular downloads are recent Oscar nominees and winners like Closer and Brokeback Mountain, Steven Spielberg's Munich, the latest Harry Potter film and even stinkers like Underworld: Evolution and The Pink Panther. Downloading doesn't require users to register or install spyware -- if one has a BitTorrent client installed, anything listed is just a click away.

Read the rest of the story here.

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