Pirate Bay’s new owners outline business model

20 Aug 2009

File-sharing site The Pirate Bay’s potential new owners have outlined a new system to identify copyright protected content and either compensate record labels or have it removed.

The news comes amidst news that Eircom has agreed to requests by the Big Four record labels Warner Music, EMI, Universal and Sony BMG to block The Pirate Bay.

Yesterday UPC said it has no intention of accepting such a request at a time when The Pirate Bay is about to go legitimate.

Global Gaming Factory X recently announced plans to acquire The Pirate Bay for €8.2m and turn it into a legal service by signing licence deals with copyright owners.

Until such deals are in place the company will use a system from 27 August that can identify copyrighted content and copyright owners will then be able to request to have it removed or leave it on the site and receive compensation.

Shareholders in Global Gaming Factory X are due to meet on 27 August to decide if the deal to acquire The Pirate Bay will go ahead of not.

Global Gaming Factory X is confident it will be able to sign deals with the world’s top music labels within three months of its acquisition of The Pirate Bay.

Under the proposed business model users will be charged a monthly fee to access content, or earn frequent file-sharing points by sharing storage capacity on their computers.

The Pirate Bay, a site that tracked torrents, achieved notoriety when its founders Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundström were each sentenced to one year in jail by a Swedish court and a US$3.6m fine to be paid between them in April. The founders have appealed and are requesting a retrial in a district court.

In June, Global Gaming Factory stepped into the breach and decided to save The Pirate Bay from destruction by turning it into a legitimate music service.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years