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Pirate Bay Sold To Swedish Company for $8M… Wants To Go Legit… What Does This Mean For the Site?…

Reuters:

Global Gaming Factory X AB, which operates internet cafes and provides software, said on Tuesday that it had agreed to buy Pirate Bay for 60 million Swedish crowns ($7.7 million).

Global Gaming said it believed the website was a viable business with its plans for a new, legal business model.

“We would like to introduce (business) models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site,” the company said in a statement.

Digital Music News:

The acquisition is expected to close in August, though Global Gaming is stepping into a messy pile of legal problems. But Global is planning to introduce a more copyright-friendly model, usually a death-sentence for free-riding users. “The Pirate Bay is a site that is among the top 100 most visited internet sites in the world,” said Hans Pandeya, CEO of GGF. “However, in order to live on, the Pirate Bay requires a new business model, which satisfies the requirements and needs of all parties, content providers, broadband operators, end users, and the judiciary.”

Boing Boing:

Sounds more or less what the VCs who backed the original Napster were hoping for: buy the music industry’s most hated, most successful enemy, then shop around to the industry and see if they’ll give it a license and help it go legit. Ten years ago, the industry figured it would get a better deal by suing Napster into oblivion (they even tried to sue for the assets of the pension funds that backed the VCs that backed Napster!) and then buy it at firesale prices and run it themselves (except they ended up running it into obscurity by larding it with a bunch of junk that reflected wishful thinking about what the market would bear; meanwhile, competing rogue services took off and filled and expanded the niche Napster had occupied).

So here’s the question: will Big Content learn from the Great Stupidity of 1999, or are they so emboldened by their domination of the legislative and judicial arms of the world’s governments that they’ll once again kill the most successful rogue operation and leave yet another niche for yet another group of even-less-cooperative rogues to fill?

Pirate Bay blog:

If the new owners will screw around with the site, nobody will keep using it. That’s the biggest insurance one can have that the site will be run in the way that we all want to. And – you can now not only share files but shares with people. Everybody can indeed be the owner of The Pirate Bay now. That’s awesome and will take the heat of us.