So it turns out that the news that the Pirate Bay had moved to North Korea is more than likely a fib. After the news broke on Monday, it didn’t take long for tech sites to question its probability, casting it into doubt by conducting tracking searches, and concluding that the site’s IP address most likely simply routes through a North Korea IP address while it’s still being hosted somewhere in Europe.
Having been forced to move its hosting services – provided by the Swedish Pirate party – out of Sweden to Norway, it was apparently booted out of that country as well last week. This lead to TPB declaring it was being “persecuted for beliefs of freedom“.
In a statement, TPB announced…
“This is truly an ironic situation. We have been fighting for a free world, and our opponents are mostly huge corporations from the United States of America, a place where freedom and freedom of speech is said to be held high. At the same time, companies from that country is chasing a competitor from other countries, bribing police and lawmakers, threatening political parties and physically hunting people from our crew.”
The site’s North Korea (or, as they call it ‘Republic of Korea,’ which is actually the formal name of South Korea) announcement appears to be a joke – and it is, indeed, laughable. Of course it’s not true that their opponents are “mostly huge corporations.” If you did a poll of the creators whose work is illegally distributed through TPB (while those running it make a nice living through ad-funding), I can bet you they would say the only reason they’re not going after them in court is because they don’t have the funds to.
I think they’ll find that these creators would choose getting into bed with a record label, publisher or film studio that provides them with funds to realize their dreams – and if they don’t, at least they have a choice not to, unlike with TPB, which simply uses their creations to line their own pockets without asking.
Simply making music available for free is not in itself a promotional tool, but if artists want to give their work away for free they are perfectly able to do so without the unsolicited “help” of TPB. They can, for example, register their work under a Creative Commons license. Yet, funnily enough, the vast majority of creators appear to prefer to get paid for their work.
TPB calls this “an ironic situation,” but what’s really ironic is that those running the site describe themselves as “fighting for a free world,” while taking away the freedom of choice from artists, songwriters, film-makers and authors.
Freedom fighters? That’s the biggest joke of this story – the truth is the Pirate Bay operators and their disciples have more in common with dictator Kim Jong-Un than they care to admit.
Image used under Creative Commons from petersnoopy @flickr.