Blog Post

The Pirate Bay’s Unfulfilled Promises

The Pirate Bay‘s Peter Sunde and Frederik Neij recently sat down for a lively and intimate three-part interview with Dayrobber, a Danish online video site. But if, like me, you’re looking forward to a big announcement or two from these merry pranksters, you might come away disappointed. (Part one is embedded below, and parts two and three were posted today thanks to a request by TorrentFreak’s Ernesto.)

They continued to shoot down the idea that the popular torrent tracker is making a profit — Sunde says his take so far has been “a couple of free drinks,” and what income he does get is from speaking engagements. They did discuss related businesses they’re working on, but we’ve been hearing about those for months and I’ve yet to see any progress on those fronts.

NewTeeVee’s Janko Roettgers reported on projects The Video Bay, music site PlayBle and the new P2P protocol Neij is developing that promises to provide more anonymity to file sharers. But that was last May, and none of the projects are live to the public yet. Sunde promised to migrate to the new protocol by November, which leaves Neij about eight months to complete the task.

Just keeping the site online while doing battle in Swedish, Danish and American courts over copyright claims could certainly be eating into the team’s time. And if the site is just covering costs, that means there’s no profits to fold back into new projects — though as someone who donated to the efforts to purchase an island, I’d still like to know where that money went.

Who knows, maybe Carl Lundstrom can lend them a few Euros, or the site can reach a settlement in their suit against the labels and studios that will net some cash.

If the pace of development doesn’t pick up, the entertainment industry might finally catch on to the idea of a DRM free, ad-supported, bandwidth-efficient content distribution model — which Sunde admitted is about the only thing that would put The Pirate Bay out of business.

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