Pirate Bay quits Sweden to relieve pressure on bandwidth provider

The Pirate Bay has moved from Sweden to Norway and Spain, but the move is temporary, site administrators said

The Pirate Bay has opened two new gateways to its internal network in order to shield its current Internet provider, the Swedish Pirate Party, which had been threatened with legal action if it did not stop providing Internet access to the torrent search site by Tuesday.

The Swedish Pirate Party had provided bandwidth to The Pirate Bay for about three years because it was hard for the site to find anyone else who would do so. But last Tuesday the Rights Alliance, an organization that represents the film industry, gave it an ultimatum: The Pirate Party had to cut off Internet access to the torrent search site or face legal action.

The Pirate Bay's administrators said in a post on Facebook that, because of the legal threat and the potential cost of fighting it, "We've taken the decision to move on to Norway and Spain."

The site changed its logo to taunt its opponents, replacing the usual pirate ship with a four-headed monster over the title "The Hydra Bay;" a reference to the mythical monster that would grow two heads for every one cut off.

The move is not permanent, the site's administrators wrote, adding, "Next week (hopefully), we'll announce some MAJOR changes to the site." The changes will, however, be invisible to users, they said.

This is not the first time the site has had legal problems. The founders of The Pirate Bay were found guilty in 2009 of being accessories to crimes against copyright law, and the site is blocked in several countries.

The Swedish Pirate Party has had a hectic time since the legal threats arrived, said the party's leader Anna Troberg in a news release on Tuesday. Individuals that would be targeted by the Right's Alliance lawsuit discussed possible consequences of litigation with their families because they could have had a big impact on their lives, she said, adding that it has been "a tough emotional process" for everyone involved.

"It is somewhat odd to realize that your political engagement can come at such a high cost in Sweden in the year 2013," Troberg said. "I am therefore very happy that the anonymous heroes of The Pirate Bay very early on decided to help The Pirate Party out of the difficult situation."

The Pirate Bay has opened two new gateways to its private network via servers provided by two sister parties of the Swedish Pirate Party, the newly formed Norwegian Pirate Party and the Catalonian Pirate Party, Troberg said. "It is wonderful to be able to pass on the baton to two sister parties. It is testament to the pirate movement's maturity and strength," Troberg said.

The Pirate Party of Norway has established a network node for The Pirate Bay, which means that traffic to the site from its region of the world will pass through Norway, the party said in a news release on Tuesday. From Norway, the traffic is passed on through the site's servers throughout the world, it added.

The party has an IP address that is used by the network of Pirate Bay servers. No data is stored by the party, it said.

"We are providing The Pirate Bay with an exit node. This is not an ISP," said Geir Aaslid, Captain of the Pirate Party of Norway, via email.

The Catalonian Pirate Party did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Because the Swedish Pirate Party considers the Rights Alliance's legal threat an abuse of the justice system, Troberg will recommend to a party board meeting in a few days' time that the party file a police report against the Rights Alliance for unlawful coercion, she said.

The Alliance is either trying to scare the Pirate Party into silence with the threat of a costly civil law suit, or is trying to wear it down with a lengthy and costly process, she said. "It is important to determine precisely how forgiving the system is to those who try to abuse the judicial system to silence others," she said.

"It is good news that the site has moved from Sweden," because the Swedish Pirate Party has been necessary to let people have access to The Pirate Bay, the Rights Alliance lawyer Sara Lindbäck said on Tuesday. But she was not surprised that the site was still up. "It is unacceptable that the pirate Parties abroad now continue to give access to an illegal site," she said.

There are, however, still steps the Rights Alliance could take to stop the sharing of copyright infringing work, she said. What those steps could be and when they would take place, Lindbäck declined to discuss in the media. She did refer though to the Pirate Bay blockades in the Netherlands, where ISPs were ordered to block access to the site.

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Tags Anna Trobergpirate bayintellectual propertycopyrightSara LindbäcklegalinternetPirate PartyInternet service providers

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