The new pirate political party in Sweden, which takes a stern anti-copyright stance, and helps out torrent-sharer Pirate Bay, now plans to launch the world’s first “pirate ISP.” It’ll be anonymized, safe, and feed funds to the party itself.
The machinations of Sweden-based Pirate Bay have been fascinating to watch unfold–every step seems to challenge laws and accepted norms. Like the latest development, where the Piratpartiet (Sweden’s Pirate Bay-inspired copyright-fighting political party) plans to offer the world’s very first pirate ISP. The Piratepartiet has been careful to distance itself from the “operational” end of the famous file-sharing site Pirate Bay, which has been embroiled in one legal battle after another as different agencies attempt to shutter its torrent-sharing activities. But the party recently began to supply bandwidth to keep Pirate Bay alive–a relatively risk-free move that also chimes well with the party’s stance on copyright reform.
It’s clearly found the strategy a success though, and in exactly the same way that many new ventures spring from a mistake, a random idea or a surprise development to an existing system, the Piratpartiet is now planning on developing its bandwidth-supplying skills into a fully-fledged ISP. Speaking to TorrentFreak, Gustav Nipe–CEO of the new venture–noted that part of the thinking is to keep existing ISPs on their toes, and remind them that they need to compete for business by actually appealing to customers rather than acting as benevolent if strict dictators. But the real drive behind the idea is to challenge all the accepted norms about file piracy, copyright, and real Net neutrality–customer privacy will be right at the core of the new ISP.
As a result, the ISP leverages the power of existing Net anonymizer service Via Europa, so that customers will remain anonymous. The idea is presumably that if Pirate ISP clients do partake in file sharing that angers the RIAA, the MPAA (or anyone else with a penchant for a sue-first-innovate-your-business-later policy) then they’ll be untraceable. Any legal action may then devolve to the Piratpartiet, which has the skills and funds to properly combat the cases–particularly since some of the fees paid to the new ISP will help fuel the party’s coffers.
It’s clever lateral-thinking approach to a very modern issue, yet reminds us of the spirit of the famous pirate radio stations of the 1960’s–which actually shook up the existing legal system, changed the thinking about popular music, and helped shape some of today’s most highly regarded radio stations (Britain’s hugely popular Radio 1 as a classic example).
To keep up with this news, follow me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.