Pirate Bay's Peter Sunde

It’s the entertainment industry’s worst nightmare. The website proudly mocks dozens of copyright infringement notices and cease and desist letters, and it’s been raided by the police. So far, every effort to shut it down has been in vain. In fact, three days after the raid, The Pirate Bay bounced back. Now the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker is turning the tables by attempting to sue 10 major entertainment players.

It all started in 2004, when members of the Swedish group Piratbyrn (the bureau of piracy), which supports individuals fighting against current copyrights laws, were looking for a way to promote filesharing. The idea was to launch an all-Swedish portal, where users could download any kind of content. Gottfrid Svartholm, who now runs the site together with fellow pirates Peter Sunde and Fredrik Neij, originally decided to host The Pirate Bay at his workplace in Mexico City, where he worked as a programmer for a security consultant. The internet connection, however, struggled under the popular project and ate up all of the business’s bandwidth, so a year later he moved The Pirate Bay to Sweden to host it on a better connection. Peter, the site’s administrator and main spokesperson, joined soon after because he thought it was a cool technology and a technical challenge. It was something he believed in, so he wanted to help and build a much bigger site. “When we came to Sweden, it was at the same time that all the other torrent sites such as Suprnova [recently resurrected by The Pirate Bay] started to close down because of the pressure from the different copyright holders. We grew and, all of a sudden, we had a Swedish website and 70 per cent of our users couldn’t understand Swedish. It was a bizarre situation, so we decided to upgrade The Pirate Bay, and now it’savailable in 30 languages.”

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