The Pirate Bay

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Posted by sonny 03/25/2009 @ 02:13

Tags : the pirate bay, peer-to-peer, uploading and downloading, internet, technology

News headlines
Pirate Bay Money Squeeze Rejected by Court - Hard OCP
The Swedish District Courts have denied a request from the recording industry to impose fines on The Pirate Bay for every day they continued to provide links to copyrighted material. In the request to the District Court, music industry lawyer Peter...
Pirate Bay: In search of an unbiased judge - CNET News
by Mats Lewan The search for unbiased judges in the high-profile Pirate Bay case in Sweden seems never-ending. Finding legal authorities who are not connected to the people involved in the case is apparently difficult in a country that counts only 9...
Judge Reviewing Pirate Bay Trial Bias Is Removed for Bias - Wired News
Pirate Bay administrators Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde were found guilty in the case, along with Carl Lundström, who was convicted of funding the five-year-old operation. Fredrik Wersall, the appellate court's president,...
Illegal downloads soar as hard times bite - Sydney Morning Herald
Total visits by Australians to BitTorrent websites including Mininova, The Pirate Bay, isoHunt, TorrentReactor and Torrentz grew from 785000 in April last year to 1049000 in April this year, Nielsen says. This is a year-on-year increase of 33.6 per...
Brewers game flashback to 1959, A-Rod perfect in Texas - USA Today
Stinging defeat: Tampa Bay handed a 10-0 lead to rookie phenom David Price but nothing went right for manager Joe Maddon, who earlier in the day agreed to a three-year contract extension. The Indians became the first team to wipe out a 10-run deficit...
Pirate Bay defendant urges DDo$ attack on lawyer - ZDNet
The Pirate Bay cofounder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg (anakata) has devised an ingeniously evil plan to get back at the law firm that helped deliver the verdict again TPB. According to the Blog Pirate: The plan can be called a Distributed Denial of Dollars...
MLB: Cubs lose 8th straight...Cards fall in 10 despite Carpenter's ... - WJBD Online
CHICAGO (AP) - Freddy Sanchez had Pittsburgh's first six-hit game in 19 years, scored four runs, and drove in three to help the Pirates beat the Cubs 10-8 on Monday night, sending Chicago to its eighth straight loss. Despite scoring three more runs...
BitTorrent Spammers Target The Pirate Bay - TorrentFreak
Most recently, The Pirate Bay suffered from a spam flood. Thousands of spam comments posted on the site promised to speed up BitTorrent downloads to unrealistic heights, while installing an aggressive adware bundle. Over the years we've posted many...
Pirate Bay Bias Charge: 'Random' Judge Assignment Wasn't - Wired News
By David Kravets and Kerstin Sjoden New allegations questioning the legitimacy of The Pirate Bay trial surfaced Friday when lawyers for the four file-sharing defendants accused the Swedish courts of secretely streering the case to a hostile judge....
Dejan Kovacevic's Pirates chat transcript - Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Much can happen between now and the time Alvarez reaches Pittsburgh. richie_zisk: With Akinori Iwamura out for the season and Tampa Bay having a contending team, could the Pirates offer Freddy Sanchez for Reid Brignac in a package?...

The Pirate Bay

The Pirate Bay logo.svg

The Pirate Bay is a Swedish website that indexes, stores and tracks BitTorrent (.torrent) files. It bills itself as "the world's largest BitTorrent tracker" and is ranked as the 104th most popular website by Alexa Internet. The website is primarily funded with advertisements shown next to torrent listings. Initially established in November 2003 by the Swedish anti-copyright organization Piratbyrån (The Piracy Bureau), it has been operating as a separate organization since October 2004. The website is currently run by Gottfrid Svartholm (anakata), Fredrik Neij (TiAMO) and Peter Sunde (brokep).

On 31 May 2006, the website's servers, located in Stockholm, were raided by Swedish police, causing it to go offline for three days. The Pirate Bay has also been involved in a number of lawsuits, both as the plaintiff and as the defendant. The website sued several media companies after emails from anti-piracy company MediaDefender were leaked online which revealed that the company engaged in illegal methods to take down The Pirate Bay. According to the Los Angeles Times, The Pirate Bay is "one of the world's largest facilitators of illegal downloading", and "the most visible member of a burgeoning international anti-copyright—or pro-piracy—movement". On 15 November 2008, The Pirate Bay announced that it had reached over 25 million unique peers. The Pirate Bay has about 3,400,000 registered users so far; however, registration is not necessary to download torrents.

The Pirate Bay website allows users to search for and download BitTorrent files (torrents), small files that contain metadata necessary to download the data files from other users. The torrents are organized into categories: "Audio", "Video", "Applications", "Games", "Other" and "Porn". The "Porn" category though is only visible for registered and logged in users and if they explicitly tick the "show porn" radio button in their settings page. Registration requires an email address and is free; registered users may upload their own torrents and comment on torrents. Downloading data files from other users is facilitated by the BitTorrent trackers that also run on The Pirate Bay servers.

The website features a relatively efficient browse function which enables users to see what is available in broad categories like Audio, Video, and Games as well as more specific categories like Audio books, Highres - Movies, and Comics. The contents of a category can then be sorted by file name, number of seeds or leechers, dates posted, etc.

Initially, The Pirate Bay's four Linux servers ran a custom web server called Hypercube. An old version is open source. On 1 June 2005, The Pirate Bay updated its website in an effort to reduce bandwidth usage, which was reported to be at 2,000 HTTP requests per second on each of the four web servers, as well as to create a more user friendly interface for the front-end of the website. The website now runs Lighttpd and PHP on its dynamic front ends, MySQL and MySQL-proxy on the two database back ends, Sphinx on the search system, Memcache for caching SQL queries and PHP-sessions, and Varnish in front of Lighttpd for caching static content. The Pirate Bay consists of 24 dedicated servers including six dynamic web fronts, two databases, and eight BitTorrent trackers.

On 7 December 2007, The Pirate Bay finished the move from Hypercube to Opentracker as its BitTorrent tracking software, also enabling the use of the UDP tracker protocol for which Hypercube lacked support. The Pirate Bay also announced that their servers would support SSL encryption, in response to Sweden's new wiretapping law. Opentracker is free software.

On 19 January 2009 The Pirate Bay launched IPv6 support for their tracker system, using an IPv6 only version of OpenTracker.

Petter Nilsson, a candidate on the Swedish reality show Toppkandidaterna (The Top Candidates), donated 35,000 SEK to The Pirate Bay, which they used to buy new servers. As of June 2006, the website is financed through advertisements on their result pages. According to speculations by Svenska Dagbladet, the advertisements generate about 600,000 SEK (US$65,000, £46,000) per month. In an investigation in 2006, the police concluded that The Pirate Bay brings in 1.2 million SEK ($150,000) per year from advertisements. The lawyers of the site's administrators in the 2009 trial counted the 2006 revenue closer to 725,000 SEK ($100,000).

In April 2007, a rumour was confirmed on the Swedish talk show Bert that The Pirate Bay had received financial support from right-wing entrepreneur Carl Lundström. This caused some furor since Lundström, an heir to the Wasabröd fortune, is known for financing several far-right political parties and movements like Sverigedemokraterna and Bevara Sverige Svenskt (Keep Sweden Swedish). The size of Lundström's contributions is unknown, as are his motives. During the talk show, The Pirate Bay spokesman Tobias Andersson acknowledged that "without Lundström's support, Pirate Bay would not have been able to start" and claimed that most of the money went towards acquiring servers and bandwidth.

It has been suggested that the website is extremely profitable, and that The Pirate Bay is more engaged in making profit than supporting people's rights. The website has insisted that these allegations are not true, stating, "It's not free to operate a Web Site on this scale," and, "If we were making lots of money I wouldn't be working late at the office tonight, I'd be sitting on a beach somewhere, working on my tan." In response to claims of annual revenue exceeding $3 million made by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), Peter Sunde argues that the website's high bandwidth, power, and hardware costs eliminate the potential for profit. The Pirate Bay, he says, may ultimately be operating at a loss. In the 2009 trial, the defence estimated the site's yearly expenses to be 800,000 SEK ($110,000). It is possible to make donations to the Pirate Bay and the site also ran a fund intended to buy Sealand, a platform with micro-nation status.

On 31 May 2006, a raid against The Pirate Bay and people involved with the website took place, prompted by allegations of copyright violations. Police officers shut down the website and confiscated its servers, as well as all other servers hosted by The Pirate Bay's Internet service provider, PRQ. The company is owned by two operators of The Pirate Bay. Three people—Gottfrid Svartholm, Mikael Viborg, and Fredrik Neij—were held by the police for questioning, but were released later in the evening. All servers in the room were seized, including those running the website of Piratbyrån, an independent organization fighting for file sharing rights, as well as servers unrelated to The Pirate Bay or other file sharing activities, including a Russian opposition news agency. In addition, equipment such as hardware routers, switches, blank CDs, and fax machines were also seized.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) wrote in a press release: "Since filing a criminal complaint in Sweden in November 2004, the film industry has worked vigorously with Swedish and U.S. government officials in Sweden to shut this illegal website down." MPAA CEO Dan Glickman also stated, "Intellectual property theft is a problem for film industries all over the world and we are glad that the local government in Sweden has helped stop The Pirate Bay from continuing to enable rampant copyright theft on the Internet." The MPAA press release set forth its justification for the raid and claimed that there were three arrests; however, the individuals were not actually arrested, only held for questioning. The release also reprinted John G. Malcolm's allegation that The Pirate Bay was making money from the distribution of copyrighted material, a criticism denied by the Pirate Bay.

After the raid, The Pirate Bay displayed a message that confirmed that the Swedish police had executed search warrants for breach of copyright law or assisting such a breach. The closure message initially caused some confusion because on 1 April 2005, April Fool's Day, The Pirate Bay had posted a similar message as a prank, stating that they were unavailable due to a raid by the Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau and IFPI. Piratbyrån set up a temporary news blog to inform the public about the incident. On 2 June 2006, The Pirate Bay was available once again, with their logo depicting a pirate ship firing cannon balls at the Hollywood sign.

On 31 January 2008, The Pirate Bay operators Fredrik Neij, Per Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström were charged with "promoting other people's infringements of copyright laws." If convicted on 17 April 2009, the defendants face up to two years in prison and SEK 1.2 million in restitution. The Pirate Bay's legal advisor, Mikael Viborg, has stated that because torrent files and trackers merely point to content, the site's activities are legal under Swedish law. Magnus Martensson, legal adviser for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, says the website is damaging the film industry and is liable for at least contributory copyright infringement.

The Pirate Bay has servers in both Belgium and Russia which may be used in the future in case of another raid. Following the raid, the number of The Pirate Bay registered users grew from one million to 2.7 million. The number of peers grew almost five times, from 2.5 million to 12 million. The Pirate Bay now claims more than twenty-five million active users.

In January 2007, when the micronation of Sealand was put up for "sale", the ACFI and The Pirate Bay tried to buy it. However, they could not buy the man-made platform because the Sealand government did not want to sell to The Pirate Bay. A new plan was formed to buy an island instead, but this too was never implemented, despite the website having raised $20,000 in donations for this cause.

The BitTorrent news blog, TorrentFreak, reported on 12 October 2007 that the Internet domain ifpi.com, which previously belonged to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, an anti-piracy organization, had been acquired by The Pirate Bay. When asked about how they got hold of the domain, Sunde told TorrentFreak, "It's not a hack, someone just gave us the domain name. We have no idea how they got it, but it's ours and we're keeping it." The website was renamed "The International Federation of Pirates Interests." However, the IFPI filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization shortly thereafter, which subsequently ordered The Pirate Bay to return the domain name to the IFPI.

In September 2008, the Swedish media reported that the public preliminary investigation protocols concerning a child murder case known as the Arboga case had been made available through a torrent on The Pirate Bay. In Sweden, preliminary investigations become publicly available the moment a lawsuit is filed and can be ordered from the court by any individual. The document included pictures from the autopsy of the two murdered children, which caused their father Nicklas Jangestig to urge the website to have the pictures removed. The Pirate Bay refused to remove the torrent. The torrent had been downloaded about 30 times before the media attention. The number of downloads increased to about 50,000 a few days later. On 11 September 2008, the website's press contact Peter Sunde participated in the debate programm Debatt on the public broadcaster SVT. Sunde had agreed to participate on the condition that the father Nicklas Jangestig would not take part in the debate. Jangestig did however end up participating in the programme on-the-phone, which made Sunde feel betrayed by SVT. This caused The Pirate Bay to suspend all of its press contacts the following day.

In September 2007, a large number of internal emails were leaked from anti-piracy company MediaDefender by an anonymous hacker. Some of the leaked emails discussed hiring hackers to perform DoS attacks on The Pirate Bay's servers and trackers. In response to the leak, The Pirate Bay filed charges in Sweden against MediaDefender clients Twentieth Century Fox Sweden AB, EMI Sweden AB, Universal Music Group Sweden AB, Universal Pictures Nordic AB, Paramount Home Entertainment (Sweden) AB, Atari Nordic AB, Activision Nordic, Ubisoft Sweden AB, Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Sweden) AB, and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Nordic AB. MediaDefender's stocks fell sharply after this incident, and several media companies withdrew from the service after the company announced the leak had caused $825,000 in losses. Later, The Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde accused police investigator Jim Keyzer of a conflict of interest when he declined to investigate MediaDefender. Keyzer later accepted a job for MPAA member studio Warner Brothers. The leaked emails revealed that other MPAA member studios hired MediaDefender to pollute The Pirate Bay's torrent database, contradicting the MPAA's earlier claim that its member studios were not MediaDefender clients.

The Swedish online business newspaper E24 Näringsliv reported on 15 February 2008 that the British anti-piracy firm Web Sheriff intended to file lawsuits in the United States and Sweden against The Pirate Bay on behalf of Prince, the Village People, Van Morrison and the estate of Chet Baker. Lars Sandberg, Web Sheriff's local counsel in Sweden, told E24 that Web Sheriff had not yet determined whether to sue the individuals or the companies associated with the website. Peter Sunde dismissed the threats as relying on American law inapplicable in Sweden.

In an official letter to the Swedish Minister of Justice, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) asked for assistance from the Swedish government to prevent video clips from the Beijing Olympics from being distributed via The Pirate Bay. The IOC claimed there were more than one million downloads of footage from the Olympics — mostly of the opening ceremony. The Pirate Bay, however, did not take anything down, and temporarily renamed the website to The Beijing Bay.

The trial against the men behind the Pirate Bay started in Sweden on 16 February 2009. They are being accused of breaking Swedish copyright law. The defendants, however, seem to be confident about the outcome. Half the charges against the Pirate Bay were dropped on the second day of the trial.

The proceedings ended on March 03, and the verdict is due on April 17.

In May 2007, The Pirate Bay was attacked by a group of hackers. They copied the user database, which included over 1.5 million users. The Pirate Bay reassured its users that the data was of no value and that passwords and e-mails were encrypted and hashed. Some blogs stated that a group known as the AUH (Arga Unga Hackare, Swedish for "Angry Young Hackers") were suspected of executing the attack; however the AUH stated on the Computer Sweden newspaper that they were not involved and would take revenge on those responsible for the attack.

According to Piratbyrån, The Pirate Bay is a long-running project of performance art. On 22 February 2008, the logo of The Pirate Bay was changed from a pirate ship to a pirate bus to announce the partaking in an art project which Piratbyrån has been commissioned to do for the international art biennial event, Manifesta. This art project includes a bus trip, a party, an installation, and a statement by Piratbyrån.

On 18 February 2009 the Norwegian socialist party Red began a global campaign in support of The Pirate Bay and filesharers worldwide that will last until 1 May. Through the website filesharer.org filesharers are encouraged to upload their photographs, as "mugshots", to "let the music and movie industry know who the file-sharers are." The site encourages participation urging people to "Upload a picture of yourself and show them what a criminal looks like!". Red politician Elin Volder Rutle is the initiator of the campaign and she states to the media that "If the guys behind Pirate Bay are criminals, then so am I, and so are most other Norwegians." The campaign was timed to coincide with the trial against the founders of The Pirate Bay which began on 16 February.

The team behind The Pirate Bay have worked on several websites, including BayImg, an image host similar to TinyPic and a video-sharing website to be called The Video Bay, similar to the video-sharing service YouTube. Another one of their projects is SlopsBox, a disposable e-mail address service. The SlopsBox site was recently re-launched. On 16 April 2008, Baywords was launched as a free blogging service that lets users of the site blog about anything as long as it does not break any Swedish laws. As of 7 August 2008 registration to the site was closed preventing new blogs being created. In mid-2007 The Pirate Bay relaunched the BitTorrent website Suprnova.org, to perform the same functions as The Pirate Bay but using different torrent trackers. As of early 2009 the site has had no news updates for a year.With the success of the pirate bay, the two main server admins/owners are considering making a video streaming site, named the Video Bay. This could well have just legal content on. Also , they're producing a better method of the "old fashioned" p2p method and creating a new safer one. Pastebay, similar to Pastebin, was made available to the public as of March 23rd.

Boink was created by The Pirate Bay in response to the raid on Oink's Pink Palace, a music-oriented BitTorrent website. Sunde announced on 26 October 2007 that the website would launch within a few days. On 24 November 2007, Sunde said that he decided to cancel BOiNK, seeing as many new websites have been created since the downfall of OiNK.

The Video Bay, a website created by the administrators of The Pirate Bay to compete with YouTube, will host copyrighted content for free via an embedded media player similar to the video player on YouTube. On 22 September 2008, a website named ThePirateCity.org launched claiming to be the video streaming website from the makers of The Pirate Bay. This was later denied by Peter Sunde of The Pirate Bay who said that it had nothing to do with them and would not confirm or deny if they were planning a video streaming website.

On 10 August 2008, the front page of The Pirate Bay had a notice informing its visitors that the website and its IP addresses were blocked in Italy after a court ruling. The message was changed to link to the relevant blog article after a few hours. As a countermeasure, The Pirate Bay created a mirror website so users in Italy could still access the website, but shortly afterwards this was also blocked by Italian ISPs. The web page shown to Italians is not hosted at the ISP facilities, but rather on the same servers of pro-music.org, owned by IFPI in the United Kingdom. Italian security expert Matteo Flora suggests that, by having the page redirected this way, IFPI could access Italian users' cookies and impersonate them on the official The Pirate Bay website. The court order that demanded all Italian ISPs filter its various domain names and static IP addresses (and all such names and static addresses that may resolve to the web website in the future) was sent by the GIP (Giudice per le indagini preliminari) Raffaella Mascarino on 1 August 2008 and designated "N.3277/08 PM. N.5329/08 GIP". On 24 September 2008, The Pirate Bay won the riesame (a sort of "appeal" for preemptive seizure) on the basis that, under Italian law, "seizure" cannot be interpreted as forcing somebody to do something (ISP's to filter user's traffic).

On 29 January 2008, the Eastern High Court of Denmark ruled that Danish ISPs should block the access to thepiratebay.org. In a court case initiated by the IFPI, a Danish judge ruled (in Danish) last year that Tele2 had to block its users from accessing The Pirate Bay. IFPI argued that Tele2 was assisting in mass copyright infringement, and that access to the site therefore had to be blocked. The case has been appealed. Following the court's decision, TDC, Denmark’s largest ISP and owner of most of the cables, decided to block access to The Pirate Bay as a preventive measure. On 20 February 2009 the Danish ISP Fullrate blocked access to The Pirate Bay.

On 21 February 2009, the Irish ISP Eircom declared that it would soon block access to the Pirate Bay. However on 24 February 2009, Eircom issued a statement saying that they would not block the Pirate Bay without a court order.

Pirate Bay is featured in Steal This Film (2006), a documentary series about society and filesharing, produced by The League of Noble Peers.

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The Pirate Bay raid

Logo shown on The Pirate Bay homepage after the May 2006 police raid

On 31 May 2006 in Stockholm, The Pirate Bay, a Swedish website that indexes torrent files, was raided by Swedish police, causing it to go offline for three days. Upon reopening, the site's number of visitors more than doubled, the increased popularity attributed to greater exposure through the media coverage. The raid, alleged by Pirate Bay to be politically motivated and under pressure from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), was reported as a success by the MPAA in the immediate aftermath, but with the website being restored within days and the raising of the debate in Swedish culture, The Pirate Bay and other commentators considered the raid "highly unsuccessful". On 31 January 2008, Swedish prosecutors filed charges against four of the individuals behind The Pirate Bay for "promoting other people's infringements of copyright laws".

At roughly 11:00 am UTC on 31 May 2006, a major raid against The Pirate Bay and people involved with the website took place, prompted by allegations of copyright violations. Some 65 police officers participated in the raid, shutting down the website and confiscating its servers, as well as all other servers hosted by The Pirate Bay's Internet service provider, PRQ. The company is owned by two operators of The Pirate Bay. Three people—Gottfrid Svartholm, Mikael Viborg, and Fredrik Neij—were held by the police for questioning, but were released later in the evening. Mikael Viborg, the legal advisor to The Pirate Bay, was arrested at his apartment, brought in for questioning, forced to submit a DNA sample and had his electronic equipment seized.

All servers in the server room were seized, including those running the website of Piratbyrån, an independent organization fighting for file sharing rights, as well as servers unrelated to The Pirate Bay or other file sharing activities, including a Russian opposition news agency. In addition, equipment such as hardware routers, switches, blank CDs, and faxes were also seized. The Danish documentary Good Copy Bad Copy (2007) includes closed-circuit television camera footage of the raid, and interviews with Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij about the raid and its aftermath.

The Swedish public broadcast network, Sveriges Television, cited unnamed sources claiming that the raid was prompted by political pressure from the United States, which the Swedish government denied. Sveriges Television claimed that the Swedish government was threatened by the World Trade Organization with trade sanctions unless action was taken against The Pirate Bay.

There have been claims of politicians pressuring other government agencies to take action in connection with this allegation, which is unconstitutional in Sweden. A letter titled "Re: The Pirate Bay" from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to Dan Eliasson, State Secretary at the Swedish Ministry of Justice, was dated two months before the raid and hinted at trade reprisals ("It is certainly not in Sweden's best interests to earn a reputation as a place where utter lawlessness is tolerated") and urged him to "exercise your influence to urge law enforcement officers in Sweden to take much needed action against The Pirate Bay".

The MPAA wrote in a press release: "Since filing a criminal complaint in Sweden in November 2004, the film industry has worked vigorously with Swedish and U.S. government officials in Sweden to shut this illegal website down." MPAA CEO Dan Glickman also stated, "Intellectual property theft is a problem for film industries all over the world and we are glad that the local government in Sweden has helped stop The Pirate Bay from continuing to enable rampant copyright theft on the Internet." The MPAA press release set forth its justification for the raid and claimed that there were three arrests; however, the individuals were not actually arrested, only held for questioning. The release also reprinted John G. Malcolm's allegation that The Pirate Bay was making money from the distribution of copyrighted material, a criticism denied by the Pirate Bay.

After the raid, The Pirate Bay displayed a "SITE DOWN" message confirming that Swedish police had executed search warrants for breach of copyright law or assisting such a breach. The BitTorrent community quickly spread the announcement across online news sites, blogs, and discussion forums. The closure message initially caused some confusion because on 1 April 2005 The Pirate Bay had posted a similar message, stating that they were permanently down due to a supposed raid by the Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau and IFPI, as a prank. Piratbyrån set up a temporary news blog to inform the public about the incident.

On 1 June 2006, it was reported on The Pirate Bay website that it would be up and fully functional within a day or two. As promised, The Pirate Bay was back up and operational by the end of the next day, their logo now depicting the pirate ship firing cannon balls at the Hollywood sign. The header displayed the name "The Police Bay". The next logo featured the pirate ship as a stylized phoenix, in reference to the servers rising up again after the raid.

Demonstrations against the police action took place on 3 June 2006 in Gothenburg and Stockholm, organized by Piratbyrån and the Pirate Party in collaboration with the Liberal Youth, Young Greens and Young Left parties. There were no reports of violence. Approximately 500–600 people showed up at the Stockholm protest and about 300 at the Gothenburg protest.

The Pirate Bay is considered part of an international anti-copyright — or pro-piracy — movement. The documentary Steal This Film was produced and distributed (via BitTorrent) in the months following the raid. In the words of its speakers, it aimed to present the other side of the debate, until that time dominated by the media industry. The film was made available free, as donationware.

Since the raid, Pirate Bay stated their disaster recovery plan of "a few days" worked correctly, but that they are now moving to redundant servers both in Belgium and Russia, and an aim of a few hours restoration time, should the servers be disrupted again. Following the raid the number of Pirate Bay users grew from 1 million to 2.7 million. The number of peers grew almost 5 times, from 2.5 million to 12 million. It has been reported that the Pirate Bay claims more than 5 million active users. Internet traffic ranker Alexa.com ranks Pirate Bay as the 120th most popular website in the world.

On 31 January 2008, Pirate Bay operators Fredrik Neij, Per Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström were charged with "promoting other people's infringements of copyright laws." If convicted, the defendants face up to two years in prison and SEK 1.2 million in restitution. Pirate Bay's legal advisor, Mikael Viborg, has stated that because torrent files and trackers merely point to content, the site's activities are legal under Swedish law. Magnus Martensson, legal advisor for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), says the website is damaging to industry and liable for at least contributory copyright infringement.

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The Pirate Bay trial

Protestors demonstrating against the trial against The Pirate Bay on the first day of the trial.

On 31 January 2008 Swedish prosecutors filed charges against four individuals they associated with The Pirate Bay, a torrent tracking website, for "promoting other people's infringements of copyright laws". The charges are supported by a consortium of intellectual rights holders led by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), who have filed individual compensation claims against the owners of The Pirate Bay. The trial started on 16 February 2009 in the district court of Stockholm, Sweden. The hearings ended on 3 March 2009 and the verdict will be announced at 11:00 AM on Friday 17 April 2009.

The Pirate Bay refers to the trial as an event they've dubbed 'Spectrial', which is a portmanteau of trial and spectacle, and have set up a blog to inform users on the event. The term has also caught on with some bloggers and supporters.

The Swedish national television broadcaster Sveriges Television considers the trial important and provides a live online feed of the entire trial, which has never been done in Sweden before. The live audio and archive sections done in cooperation with Dagens Eko are part of the 24 Direkt program, which became one of their most viewed online content during the trial, second only to Melodifestivalen. The trial was also broadcast live by Swedish public radio.

The defendants are Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm, Peter Sunde, who run the site; and Carl Lundström, a Swedish businessman who through his businesses has sold services to the site. The prosecutor claims the four worked together to administer, host, and develop the site and thereby facilitated other people's breach of copyright law. 34 cases of copyright infringements were originally listed all told, of which 21 are related to music files, nine to movies, and four to games.If convicted the defendants could be liable for fines up to $188,000 USD and face up to two years in jail. (One case involving music files was later dropped by the copyright holder who made the file available again on the website of The Pirate Bay.) In addition, claim for damages of 117 million kronor (US$13 million) have been filed. The case is decided jointly by a judge and three appointed laymen.

The Pirate Bay is a Swedish website that indexes and tracks BitTorrent files. It bills itself as "the world's largest BitTorrent tracker" and is ranked as the 104th most popular website by Alexa Internet. The website is primarily funded with advertisements shown next to torrent listings. Initially established in November 2003 by the Swedish anti-copyright organization Piratbyrån ("The Piracy Bureau") it has been operating as a separate organisation since October 2004. The website is currently run by Gottfrid Svartholm ("anakata") and Fredrik Neij ("TiAMO"). Peter Sunde ("brokep") is the site spokesperson.

On 31 May 2006 in Stockholm The Pirate Bay was raided by Swedish police, causing it to go offline for three days. Upon reopening, the site's number of visitors more than doubled, the increased popularity attributed to greater exposure through the media coverage. The raid, alleged by The Pirate Bay to be politically motivated and under pressure from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), was reported as a success by the MPAA in the immediate aftermath but with the website being restored within days and file sharing now firmly in focus in the Swedish media, The Pirate Bay considered the raid "highly unsuccessful".

On 31 January 2008 Swedish prosecutors filed charges against four individuals they associated with The Pirate Bay for "promoting other people's infringements of copyright laws". The trial began in February 2009.

On 17 February 2009 (the second day of the trial) half of the charges against The Pirate Bay were dropped. According to defense lawyer Per Samuelson, "this is a sensation. It is very rare to win half the case in just one and a half days and it is clear the prosecutor took strong note of what we said yesterday". Peter Danowsky, legal counsel for the music companies, stated "it's a largely technical issue that changes nothing in terms of our compensation claims and has no bearing whatsoever on the main case against The Pirate Bay. In fact it simplifies the prosecutor’s case by allowing him to focus on the main issue which is the making available of copyrighted works." The prosecutor was unable to prove the .torrent files brought as evidence were actually using The Pirate Bay's tracker. Furthermore, prosecutor Håkan Roswall did not adequately explain the function of DHT which allows for so-called "trackerless" torrents. These shortcomings in the evidence resulted in prosecutor Håkan Roswall having to drop all charges relating to "assisting copyright infringement", leaving "assisting making available" as the remaining charge. Roswall stated that "everything related to reproduction will be removed from the claim". Sanna Wolk, a doctor in law and researcher at Stockholm University observed that "this is not surprising, at least for those who follow the matter. We knew that The Pirate Bay wasn't making any copies directly".

On the third day of The Pirate Bay trial, prosecution witnesses claimed damages on the basis that it should have obtained worldwide licenses for the content it distributed. Where content wasn't officially available, a Beatles song, for example, that should be charged at 10 times the going rate. This calculation underlines the prosecution's demand for 117 million SEK (US$12.9 million, €10.2 million) in compensation and damages.

On 19 February 2009, the fourth day of the trial, Fredrik was questioned several times. It came to the court’s attention that Tobias Andersson, a future witness in the case, was in the court where he was later asked to leave the room. When it was movie industry lawyer Monique Wadsted’s turn, she introduced new evidence which made the defense attorney ask if it was acceptable for the court to be considering evidence that was not already presented pre-trial.

Day five of the proceedings saw conflict as the prosecution again attempted to introduce evidence that had not been shared with both the court and the defense during pre-trial. The defense objected vehemently with defense lawyer Peter Althin equating the tactic to something out of the old Perry Mason TV show. “Suddenly, the door opens and in walks an entirely new witness.” The judge stopped the case to deliberate the matter and found in favor of the defense, instructing the prosecution to hand over all material they planned to use immediately.

The prosecution and the defense spent the remainder of the day delivering conflicting portrayals of the Pirate Bay. The prosecution attempted to show the Pirate Bay as an immensely profitable business that made its money helping others violate copyright law. The defense attempted to show the Pirate Bay as nothing more than a search engine, no different from Google and thus subject to the same protections.

On days seven to nine, the court heard expert witnesses called by the prosecution and the defense. They cited contradicting academic research on the effects of file sharing on sales in the music and film industry globally and regionally in Sweden.

Samuelson is referring to a real Pirate Bay user who posts via the username "King Kong", whom Samuelson hypothesizes could be located in Cambodia. He used this scenario to illustrate that Lundström had no control over the actions undertaken by Pirate Bay users. His main objection was that although the prosecutor had said that the accused would be tried individually, he had not once referred to them individually, but always as "them", "they" or "Pirate Bay". Samuelson said the persons behind The Pirate Bay could not be held collectively responsible for a crime committed by other identifiable individuals, such as King Kong.

The term "King Kong defense" was quickly popularized by blogs, file sharing news feeds, and media reports on the Pirate Bay trial. It has been compared to the Chewbacca defense from the TV series South Park, citing a reference to the "jungles of Cambodia" as "the kind of extraneous detail that makes the Chewbacca defense hilarious".

The verdict in the trial is expected on April 17, 2009. The verdict will be decided in part by the judge and three appointed laymen. The Pirate Bay has stated they intend to appeal the case if they lose. This appeals process could take in excess of six years to be decided.

During the 9th day of the trial, after the testimony of professor emeritus Roger Wallis had been completed, he was asked according to Swedish court procedures if he wanted any compensation for appearing in court. He declined this but commented to the court that they were welcome to send flowers to his wife if they wished. This was rejected by the judge but quickly caught on amongst supporters of The Pirate Bay following the proceedings via live feeds and other Internet services. A channel was started on the EFnet network on IRC and a website followed and by the evening flowers for almost SEK 40.000 (US$4,400, €3,500) had been ordered for the couple through Internet florists such as Interflora and local florists such as Lidingöblommor.

Stop lying Peter Danowsky! You censor us, we censor you. Freedom of speech goes both ways. This is a war you can never win. The people always win one way or another. The people will always have their freedom. Brothers stand behind us and together we will win this fight! // CHHB - In times of darkness we appear once again.

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BitTorrent (protocol)

BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol used for distributing large amounts of data. BitTorrent is one of the most common protocols for transferring large files, and by some estimates it accounts for about 35% of all traffic on the entire Internet.

The protocol works initially when a file provider makes his file (or group of files) available to the network. This is called a seed and allows others, named peers, to connect and download the file. Each peer who downloads a part of the data makes it available to other peers to download. After the file is successfully downloaded by a peer, many continue to make the data available, becoming additional seeds. This distributed nature of BitTorrent leads to a viral spreading of a file throughout peers. As more seeds get added, the likelihood of a successful connection increases exponentially. Relative to standard Internet hosting, this provides a significant reduction in the original distributor's hardware and bandwidth resource costs. It also provides redundancy against system problems and reduces dependence on the original distributor.

Programmer Bram Cohen designed the protocol in April 2001 and released a first implementation on July 2, 2001. It is now maintained by Cohen's company BitTorrent, Inc. There are numerous BitTorrent clients available for a variety of computing platforms. According to isoHunt, the total amount of shared content is currently more than 1.1 petabytes.

A BitTorrent client is any program that implements the BitTorrent protocol. Each client is capable of preparing, requesting, and transmitting any type of computer file over a network, using the protocol. A peer is any computer running an instance of a client.

To share a file or group of files, a peer first creates a small file called a "torrent" (e.g. MyFile.torrent). This file contains metadata about the files to be shared and about the tracker, the computer that coordinates the file distribution. Peers that want to download the file must first obtain a torrent file for it, and connect to the specified tracker, which tells them from which other peers to download the pieces of the file.

Taken together, these differences allow BitTorrent to achieve much lower cost to the content provider, much higher redundancy, and much greater resistance to abuse or to "flash crowds" than a regular HTTP server. However, this protection comes at a cost: downloads can take time to rise to full speed because it may take time for enough peer connections to be established, and it takes time for a node to receive sufficient data to become an effective uploader. As such, a typical BitTorrent download will gradually rise to very high speeds, and then slowly fall back down toward the end of the download. This contrasts with an HTTP server that, while more vulnerable to overload and abuse, rises to full speed very quickly and maintains this speed throughout.

In general, BitTorrent's non-contiguous download methods have prevented it from supporting "progressive downloads" or "streaming playback". But comments made by Bram Cohen in January 2007 suggest that streaming torrent downloads will soon be commonplace and ad supported streaming appears to be the result of those comments.

The peer distributing a data file treats the file as a number of identically sized pieces, typically between 64 KB and 4 MB each. The peer creates a checksum for each piece, using the SHA1 hashing algorithm, and records it in the torrent file. Pieces with sizes greater than 512 KB will reduce the size of a torrent file for a very large payload, but is claimed to reduce the efficiency of the protocol . When another peer later receives a particular piece, the checksum of the piece is compared to the recorded checksum to test that the piece is error-free. Peers that provide a complete file are called seeders, and the peer providing the initial copy is called the initial seeder.

The exact information contained in the torrent file depends on the version of the BitTorrent protocol. By convention, the name of a torrent file has the suffix .torrent. Torrent files have an "announce" section, which specifies the URL of the tracker, and an "info" section, containing (suggested) names for the files, their lengths, the piece length used, and a SHA-1 hash code for each piece, all of which is used by clients to verify the integrity of the data they receive.

Torrent files are typically published on websites or elsewhere, and registered with a tracker. The tracker maintains lists of the clients currently participating in the torrent. Alternatively, in a trackerless system (decentralized tracking) every peer acts as a tracker. This is implemented by the BitTorrent, µTorrent, rTorrent, KTorrent, BitComet, and Deluge clients through the distributed hash table (DHT) method. Vuze also supports a trackerless method that is incompatible (as of April 2007) with the DHT offered by all other supporting clients although it did develop DHT first.

Users browse the web to find a torrent of interest, download it, and open it with a BitTorrent client. The client connects to the tracker(s) specified in the torrent file, from which it receives a list of peers currently transferring pieces of the file(s) specified in the torrent. The client connects to those peers to obtain the various pieces. If the swarm contains only the initial seeder, the client connects directly to it and begins to request pieces.

Clients incorporate mechanisms to optimize their download and upload rates; for example they download pieces in a random order to increase the opportunity to exchange data, which is only possible if two peers have different pieces of the file.

The effectiveness of this data exchange depends largely on the policies that clients use to determine to whom to send data. Clients may prefer to send data to peers who send data back to them (a tit for tat scheme), which encourages fair trading. But strict policies often result in suboptimal situations, such as when newly joined peers are unable to receive any data because they don't have any pieces yet to trade themselves or when two peers with a good connection between them do not exchange data simply because neither of them wants to take the initiative. To counter these effects, the official BitTorrent client program uses a mechanism called “optimistic unchoking”, where the client reserves a portion of its available bandwidth for sending pieces to random peers (not necessarily known-good partners, so called preferred peers), in hopes of discovering even better partners and to ensure that newcomers get a chance to join the swarm.

A growing number of individuals and organizations are using BitTorrent to distribute their own or licensed material. Independent adopters report that without using BitTorrent technology and its dramatically reduced demands on networking hardware and bandwidth, they could not afford to distribute their files.

CableLabs, the research organization of the North American cable industry, estimates that BitTorrent represents 18% of all broadband traffic. In 2004, CacheLogic put that number at roughly 35% of all traffic on the Internet. The discrepancies in these numbers are caused by differences in the method used to measure P2P traffic on the Internet.

Routers that use NAT, Network address translation, must maintain tables of source and destination IP addresses and ports. Typical home routers are limited to about 2000 table entries while some more expensive routers have larger table capacities. BitTorrent frequently contacts 300-500 servers per second rapidly filling the NAT tables. This is a common cause of home routers locking up.

The BitTorrent protocol provides no way to index torrent files. As a result, a comparatively small number of websites have hosted the large majority of torrents linking to (possibly) copyrighted material, rendering those sites especially vulnerable to lawsuits. Several types of websites support the discovery and distribution of data on the BitTorrent network.

Public tracker sites such as The Pirate Bay allow users to search in and download from their collection of torrent files; they also run BitTorrent trackers for those files. Users can typically also upload torrent files for content they wish to distribute.

Private tracker sites such as Demonoid operate like public ones except that they restrict access to registered users and keep track of the amount of data each user uploads and downloads, in an attempt to reduce leeching.

There are specialized tracker sites such as FlixFlux for films, MVGroup for educational content, Metal-Torrents.com for metal music, cheggit.net for pornographic content, and tv torrents for television series. Often these will also be private.

BitTorrent does not offer its users anonymity. It is possible to obtain the IP addresses of all current, and possibly previous, participants in a swarm from the tracker. This may expose users with insecure systems to attacks.

A BitTorrent user may often choose to leave the swarm as soon as they have a complete copy of the file they are downloading, freeing up their outbound bandwidth for other uses. If enough users follow this pattern, torrent swarms gradually die out, meaning a lower possibility of obtaining older torrents. Some BitTorrent websites have attempted to address this by recording each user's download and upload ratio for all or just the user to see, as well as the provision of access to newer torrent files to people with better ratios. Users who have low upload ratios may see slower download speeds until they upload more. This prevents (statistical) leeching, since after a while they become unable to download at even a fraction of the theoretical bandwidth of their connection. Some trackers exempt dial-up users from this policy, because their uploading capabilities are limited.

To combat this leeching problem, some seeders deliberately withhold one final piece from the seed, thus leaving a large number of potential seeders once they receive the withheld piece of data. With clients each awaiting that one final piece, the seeder ensures that there will be many more seeds once the final piece is released.

It is considered good etiquette to utilize the "Share Ratio" data, and equal (1.0 ratio) or double (2.0 ratio) one's leeching. This provides an opportunity for one to compensate for one's own leeching, and support the torrent, and nature of the protocol. This is most easily accomplished with a high-speed connection; those using dial-up will not be able to conform easily to this rule of etiquette. Also, it should be noted that many Internet providers still have restrictions as to the amount of traffic generated over a certain period of time. As such it is likely for users with such Internet connections to minimize their share ratio.

There are "cheating" clients like BitThief which claim to be able to download without uploading. Such exploitation negatively affects the cooperative nature of the BitTorrent protocol, although it might prove useful for people in countries where uploading copyrighted material is illegal, but downloading is not.

The BitTorrent protocol is still under development and therefore may still acquire new features and other enhancements such as improved efficiency.

In June 2005, BitTorrent, Inc. released version 4.2.0 of the Mainline BitTorrent client. This release supported "trackerless" torrents, featuring a DHT implementation which allowed the client to use torrents that do not have a working BitTorrent tracker. Current versions of the official BitTorrent client, µTorrent, BitComet, and BitSpirit all share a compatible DHT implementation that is based on Kademlia. Vuze uses its own incompatible DHT system called the "distributed database", but a plugin is available which allows use of the mainline DHT.

Another idea that has surfaced in Vuze is that of virtual torrents. This idea is based on the distributed tracker approach and is used to describe some web resource. Currently, it is used for instant messaging. It is implemented using a special messaging protocol and requires an appropriate plugin. Anatomic P2P is another approach, which uses a decentralized network of nodes that route traffic to dynamic trackers.

Most BitTorrent clients also use Peer exchange (PEX) to gather peers in addition to trackers and DHT. Peer exchange checks with known peers to see if they know of any other peers. With the 3.0.5.0 release of Azureus, now known as Vuze, all major BitTorrent clients now have compatible peer exchange.

Web seeding was implemented in 2006 as the ability of BitTorrent clients to download torrent pieces from an HTTP source in addition to the swarm. The advantage of this feature is that a site may distribute a torrent for a particular file or batch of files and make those files available for download from that same web server; this can simplify seeding and load balancing greatly once support for this feature is implemented in the various BitTorrent clients. In theory, this would make using BitTorrent almost as easy for a web publisher as simply creating a direct download while allowing some of the upload bandwidth demands to be placed upon the downloaders (who normally use only a very small portion of their upload bandwidth capacity). This feature was created by John "TheSHAD0W" Hoffman, who created BitTornado.. From version 5.0 onward the Mainline BitTorrent client also supports web seeds and the BitTorrent web site has a simple publishing tool that creates web seeded torrents. µTorrent added support for web seeds in version 1.7. The latest version of the popular download manager GetRight supports downloading a file from HTTP, FTP, and BitTorrent protocols.

I want RSS feeds of BitTorrent files. A script would periodically check the feed for new items, and use them to start the download. Then, I could find a trusted publisher of an Alias RSS feed, and 'subscribe' to all new episodes of the show, which would then start downloading automatically — like the 'season pass' feature of the TiVo.

The RSS feed will track the content, while BitTorrent ensures content integrity with cryptographic hashing of all data, so feed subscribers will receive uncorrupted content.

One of the first software clients (free and open source) for broadcatching is Miro. Other free software clients such as PenguinTV and KatchTV are also now supporting broadcatching.

The BitTorrent web-service MoveDigital has the ability to make torrents available to any web application capable of parsing XML through its standard Representational State Transfer (REST) based interface. Additionally, Torrenthut is developing a similar torrent API that will provide the same features, as well as further intuition to help bring the torrent community to Web 2.0 standards. Alongside this release is a first PHP application built using the API called PEP, which will parse any Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0) feed and automatically create and seed a torrent for each enclosure found in that feed.

Since BitTorrent makes up a large proportion of total traffic, some ISPs have chosen to throttle (slow down) BitTorrent transfers to ensure network capacity remains available for other uses. For this reason methods have been developed to disguise BitTorrent traffic in an attempt to thwart these efforts.

Protocol header encrypt (PHE) and Message stream encryption/Protocol encryption (MSE/PE) are features of some BitTorrent clients that attempt to make BitTorrent hard to detect and throttle. At the moment Vuze, Bitcomet, KTorrent, Transmission, Deluge, µTorrent, MooPolice, Halite, rTorrent and the latest official BitTorrent client (v6) support MSE/PE encryption.

In September 2006 it was reported that some software could detect and throttle BitTorrent traffic masquerading as HTTP traffic.

Reports in August 2007 indicated that Comcast was preventing BitTorrent seeding by monitoring and interfering with the communication between peers. Protection against these efforts is provided by proxying the client-tracker traffic through the Tor anonymity network or, via an encrypted tunnel to a point outside of the Comcast network. Comcast has more recently called a 'truce' with BitTorrent, Inc. with the intention of shaping traffic in a protocol-agnostic manner. Questions about the ethics and legality of Comcast's behavior have led to renewed debate about Net neutrality in the United States.

In general, although encryption can make it difficult to determine what is being shared, BitTorrent is vulnerable to traffic analysis. Thus even with MSE/PE, it may be possible for an ISP to recognize BitTorrent and also to determine that a system is no longer downloading, only uploading, information and terminate its connection by injecting TCP RST (reset flag) packets.

Another unofficial feature is an extension to the BitTorrent metadata format proposed by John Hoffman and implemented by several indexing websites. It allows the use of multiple trackers per file, so if one tracker fails, others can continue supporting file transfer. It is implemented in several clients, such as Vuze, BitComet, BitTornado, KTorrent and µTorrent. Trackers are placed in groups, or tiers, with a tracker randomly chosen from the top tier and tried, moving to the next tier if all the trackers in the top tier fail.

Even with distributed trackers, a third party is still required to find a specific torrent. This is usually done in the form of a direct hyperlink from the website of the content owner or through indexing websites like The Pirate Bay or Torrentz.

In May 2007 Cornell University published a paper proposing a new approach to searching a peer-to-peer network for inexact strings which could replace the functionality of a central indexing site. A year later, the same team implemented the system as a plugin for Vuze called Cubit and published a follow-up paper reporting its success.

The GitTorrent Protocol (GTP) is an, as of 2008, alpha-version of a protocol designed for collaborative git repository distribution across the Internet.

The Sandvine traffic shaping hardware / software system is able to (via a man in the middle attack send IP hangup packets to the sender and receiver -- allowing BitTorrent to be completely throttled. It must be pointed out that BitTorrent protocol behavior is easily spotted by this and other traffic shaping packages, as BitTorrent protocol setup is very dependent on a few very predictable signaling behaviors.

Because the BitTorrent specification is free to use and many clients are open source, BitTorrent clients have been created for all common operating systems using a variety of programming languages. The official BitTorrent client, uTorrent, Vuze, and BitComet are some of the most popular clients.

Some clients, like Torrentflux and TorrentVolve, can be run directly from a server, allowing hosting companies to offer speeds unavailable to most users. Services such as TorrentRelay, Instant Torrents, and ImageShack can download files on BitTorrent for the user, allowing them to download the entire file by HTTP once it is finished.

The Opera web browser supports BitTorrent, as does Wyzo. BitLet allows users to download Torrents directly from their browser using a Java applet.

An increasing number of hardware devices are being made to support BitTorrent. These include routers and NAS devices that use BitTorrent-capable firmware like OpenWrt or Openslug.

Proprietary versions of the protocol which implement DRM, encryption, and authentication are found within managed clients such as Pando.

An as-yet (2 February 2008) unimplemented unofficial feature is Similarity Enhanced Transfer (SET), a technique for improving the speed at which peer-to-peer file sharing and content distribution systems can share data. SET, proposed by researchers Pucha, Andersen, and Kaminsky, works by spotting chunks of identical data in files that are an exact or near match to the one needed and transferring these data to the client if the 'exact' data are not present. Their experiments suggested that SET will help greatly with less popular files, but not as much for popular data, where many peers are already downloading it. Andersen believes that this technique could be immediately used by developers with the BitTorrent file sharing system.

The BitTorrent client μTorrent implemented the UDP Torrent Protocol, beginning with version 1.8.2. This protocol is believed to be more resilient against traffic analysis while offering more control over the connection between peers.

December 2008 - BitTorrent, Inc. is working with Oversi on new Policy Discover Protocols that query the ISP for capabilities and network architecture information. Oversi's ISP hosted NetEnhancer box is designed to "improve peer selection" by helping peers find local nodes, improving download speeds while reducing the loads into and out of the ISP's network.

There has been much controversy over the use of BitTorrent trackers. BitTorrent metafiles themselves do not store copyrighted data, hence BitTorrent itself is not illegal—it is the use of it to copy copyrighted material that contravenes laws in some locations.

Various jurisdictions have pursued legal action against websites that host BitTorrent trackers. High-profile examples include the closing of Suprnova.org, Torrentspy, LokiTorrent, Demonoid, OiNK.cd and EliteTorrents.org. The Pirate Bay torrent website, formed by a Swedish group, is noted for the "legal" section of its website in which letters and replies on the subject of alleged copyright infringements are publicly displayed. On 31 May 2006, The Pirate Bay's servers in Sweden were raided by Swedish police on allegations by the MPAA of copyright infringement; however, the tracker was up and running again three days later.

HBO, in an effort to combat the distribution of its programming on BitTorrent networks, has sent cease and desist letters to the Internet Service Providers of BitTorrent users. Many users have reported receiving letters from their ISPs that threatened to cut off their Internet service if the alleged infringement continues. HBO, unlike the RIAA, has not been reported to have filed suit against anyone for sharing files as of April 2007. In 2005 HBO began "poisoning" torrents of its show Rome, by providing bad chunks of data to clients.

On 23 November 2005, the movie industry and BitTorrent Inc. CEO Bram Cohen, signed a deal they hoped would reduce the number of unlicensed copies available through bittorrent.com's search engine, run by BitTorrent, Inc. It meant BitTorrent.com had to remove any links to unlicensed copies of films made by seven of Hollywood's major movie studios.

More recently, the BitTorrent network has been subject to scrutiny by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). There are suggestions that they are using the network to obtain the IP addresses of those currently connected to the tracker. The information is then used to contact the ISP of each downloader so that notifications can be made (this was given sizeable coverage in the UK press with regard to Virgin Media sending letters out to customers suspected of using P2P networks).

There are two major differences between BitTorrent and many other peer-to-peer file-trading systems, which advocates suggest make it less useful to those sharing copyrighted material without authorization. First, BitTorrent itself does not offer a search facility to find files by name. A user must find the initial torrent file by other means, such as a web search. Second, BitTorrent makes no attempt to conceal the host ultimately responsible for facilitating the sharing: a person who wishes to make a file available must run a tracker on a specific host or hosts and distribute the tracker address(es) in the .torrent file. Because it is possible to operate a tracker on a server that is located in a jurisdiction where the copyright holder cannot take legal action, the protocol does offer some vulnerability that other protocols lack. It is far easier to request that the server's ISP shut down the site than it is to find and identify every user sharing a file on a peer-to-peer network. However, with the use of a distributed hash table (DHT), trackers are no longer required, though often used for client software that does not support DHT to connect to the stream.

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Good Copy Bad Copy

GDBC.png

Good Copy Bad Copy, A documentary about the current state of copyright and culture, is a documentary about copyright and culture in the context of Internet, peer-to-peer file sharing and other technological advances. Directed by Andreas Johnsen, Ralf Christensen, and Henrik Moltke.

It features interviews with many people with various perspectives on copyright, including copyright lawyers, producers and artists.

A central point of the documentary is the thesis that "creativity itself is on the line" and that a balance needs to be struck, or that there is a conflict, between protecting the right of those who own intellectual property and the rights of future generations to create.

Artists interviewed include Girl Talk and DJ Danger Mouse. The interviews with artists reveal an emerging understanding of digital works and the obstacle to their authoring copyright presents.

The interviews featured in Good Copy Bad Copy acknowledge a recent shift towards user generated content, mashup music and video culture. The documentary opens with explaining the current legal situation concerning Sampling, licensing and copyright.

Good Copy Bad Copy documents the conflict between current copyright law and recent technological advances that enable the Sampling of music, as well as the distribution of copyrighted material via peer-to-peer file sharing searchengines such as The Pirate Bay. MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) CEO Dan Glickman is interviewed in connection with a raid by the Swedish police against The Pirate Bay in May 2006. Glickman concedes that piracy will never be stopped, but states that they will try to make it as difficult and tedious as possible. Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij from The Pirate Bay are also interviewed, with Neij stating that The Pirate Bay is illegal according to US law, but not Swedish law.

The interviews document attitudes towards art, culture and copyright in a number of countries, including the US, Sweden, Russia, Nigeria, and Brazil.

The situation in Nigeria and Brazil is documented in terms of innovative business models that have developed in response to new technological possibilities and changing markets.

In Nigeria the documentary interviews individuals working within the Nigerian film industry, or Nollywood. Charles Igwe, a film producer in Lagos is interviewed at length about his views on the Nigerian film industry, the nature of Nigerian films and copyright in the context of digital video technology. Mayo Ayilaran, from the Copyright Society of Nigeria, explains the Nigerian government's approach to copyright enforcement.

In Brazil the Tecno brega industry and its unique approach to copyright and sampling is documented, featuring interviews with amongst others Ronaldo Lemos, Professor of Law FGV Brazil. Lemos explains that CDs or recorded music is treated merely as an advertisement for parties and concerts that generate revenue.

Good Copy Bad Copy also includes interview segments with copyright activist and academic Lawrence Lessig.

Originally created for the Danish National Broadcasting Television network, the film was eventually released for free on the internet as a BitTorrent download. The filmakers hope that releasing Good Copy Bad Copy for free will raise awareness and lead to other local broadcasting networks to show the documentary.

The documentary first appeared on The Pirate Bay and then it was officially released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license on the Blip.tv video sharing site.

On the 8th of May, 2008, Good Copy Bad Copy was shown on SVT2, Swedish Television.

Parts of the documentary and an unofficial trailer are available on YouTube.

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Source : Wikipedia