Soon to sink, Pirate Bay's torrents come ashore

Supporters of the torrent site continue the pirate tradition by making its database of torrents available

The old news kiosk in the center of Weimar, Germany, doesn't sell newspapers any more, but you can find pointers to plenty of other media there.

A group of German activists and artists have archived a database of torrent files from infamous file-sharing site The Pirate Bay, and made them available for download over a local Wi-Fi connection at the kiosk at the busy Sophienstiftsplatz intersection in Weimar.

The torrent files don't contain the media being shared, but allow software clients to coordinate the download of that material via BitTorrent peer-to-peer file-sharing systems.

The kiosk was not in use, and the group has essentially commandeered it, a sort of high-tech squat called the Kiosk of Piracy.

The project, called KoCA or Kiosk of Contemporary Art, is part art project and part digital activism that's intended to stimulate deeper musings about the Internet.

"With our newest project, we are joining the work of the dear people and groups which managed to duplicate the contents of The Pirate Bay on other places in the Net," according to the group's blog.

"We want to show in a very physical way that the Internet is neither a machine nor controllable in any way -- it is just a system of agreements which work in any circumstances. We don't need the Internet -- the magic can happen anywhere."

The Pirate Bay database is on a Pentium 3 PC, and the kiosk -- which has power -- is equipped with a Wi-Fi router, according to a friend of the group contacted on Tuesday who did not want to be identified.

Passersby with computers who are within 100 meters of the kiosk can access the database of torrent files through the Wi-Fi, but the kiosk is not connected to the Internet, so no actual content can be downloaded, the person said.

However, the information contained in those torrent files can be used to find and download content once connected to the Internet elsewhere.

The Web site that users see looks similar to that of The Pirate Bay. Since the kiosk went live on Sept. 7, between 100 to 150 people have used it, the group's friend said.

So far the city of Weimar hasn't stepped in. But anything involving The Pirate Bay inevitably brings trouble.

For years The Pirate Bay was assailed by the content industry, and Swedish authorities charged four of its operators with being accessories to crimes against copyright law.

Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström were each sentenced in April to one year in prison and order to pay around 30 million Swedish kronor (US$3.6 million) in damages. An appeals court hearing will start Nov. 13 in Stockholm.

The Pirate Bay -- which uses servers in various locations outside Sweden -- is still serving torrents but is due to shut down and be revamped. A company called Global Gaming Factory X (GGF) announced in June plans to acquire The Pirate Bay for 60 million Swedish kronor.

But GGF has run into stormy waters. The Swedish stock exchange AktieTorget delisted GGF after it found the company did not adequately inform its shareholders of The Pirate Bay acquisition. That's put the acquisition plans in jeopardy.

However, GGF CEO Hans Pandeya told the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet last week the deal won't be affected.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags bittorrenttorrentthe pirate baypiracyfile sharingP2P

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?