Pirates Sail Across Baltic Sea

This may be the only time you’ll ever read this sentence: Politicians have come to the rescue of filesharers.

Sweden’s Pirate Party, which has one elected member in the European Parliament, has become the internet service provider of The Pirate Bay, the site at the center of much legal controversy in recent years.

The deal came about after six major Hollywood studios successfully applied for an injunction against CyberBunker, the German ISP which previously housed the site. The injunction blocked it from connecting any Pirate Bay site to the Internet, noting that it housed links to torrents to at least one recent release from each studios.

Pirate Party leader Rick Falkvinge (pictured) said (in a press release translated via Google Translate): ” We got tired of Hollywood’s cat and mouse game with the Pirate Bay… it is time to take the bull by the horns and stand up for what we believe is a legitimate activity.”

Falkvinge stressed that his party was, in his opinion, acting entirely within the law; he pointed out that the Pirate Bay itself doesn’t contain any illegal material and simply contains links to torrent files.

The relocation follows further bad news for the filesharing world after a US court injunction made it likely LimeWire will be shutting its doors in the near future. Both LimeWire and its founder Mark Gorton are on the hook for as much as $450 million of damages after a copyright case brought by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The big difference between the LimeWire and Pirate Bay cases is that LimeWire was charging for a premium version of its software. It appears that profiting so directly (as opposed to the Pirate Bay, which makes money from advertising on its site) was enough for LimeWire to be held responsible simply because it knew the software was predominantly used for illegal purposes.