Pirate Bay Acquisition: The Business Model for the Future?

Right's holders, according to the Federation Against Software Theft, should broadly welcome the acquisition of Swedish file sharing site Pirate Bay by Global Gaming Company (GGF).

Pirate Bay has been bought for 4.7m and the chief executive of the new owners has gone on the record stating that it would continue to be a file-sharing site and that the only difference would be that the files would be hosted legally, rather than stolen from copyright owners.

Julian Heathcote Hobbins, General Counsel, FAST IiS, stated: "There is a great irony here that it would appear that Pirate Bay has gone legit. But there is something far more fundamental at play. If the reported comments of the CEO of GGF are to be interpreted correctly then the illicit file sharing activity could be strangled at birth."

According to Mr Pandeya, CEO of GGF, one of the biggest hurdles in overcoming illegal file-sharing was that there was zero cost to the users, while legitimate sites required payments for content. His argument goes that to make something free even more attractive was to pay users to share files.

He has stated: "We are going to set up a system where the file-sharer actually makes money. The copyright holder still gets paid, the users still get their file, the ISP doesn't have a million people all grabbing a file and for the users who share a payment for putting that file on the P2P network."

Julian continued: "It is clear that we are looking at a totally new business model here as GGF is attempting to build a business whereby content providers will be paid while file-sharers themselves uniquely will be incentivised to reduce the burden on the ISPs. Time will tell, but we welcome this in principle if it works as a sensible tool to deal with illicit file sharing which is out of control".

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