Pirate Bay’s Weird New Business Plan

The new owner of the swashbuckling Swedish peer-to-peer outfit will bundle up the collective Internet bandwidth of its users and resell it to ISPsWhen the founders of file-sharing Web site Pirate Bay were given a year’s prison sentence in April for allowing users to illegally swap copyrighted content, many thought the swashbuckling Swedish-based Internet company was finished. Not so. On June 30, Sweden’s Global Gaming Factory, which runs cyber cafés and sells gaming software, announced it would buy Pirate Bay for $7.9 million — a hefty sum for a Web site that became the poster child for unlawful downloads on the Internet.What does Hans Pandeya, Global Gaming Factory’s chief executive, plan to do with his new acquisition? The answer is complicated and controversial. In an interview with BusinessWeek, Pandeya said he first intends to go legal by paying royalties for online content to media companies such as Warner Brothers, Sony BMG, and Vivendi Universal. He didn’t say how much he’ll pay — and concedes he hasn’t yet entered into discussions with any music and movie companies. Analysts estimate that up to 90% of downloads from Pirate Bay’s 20 million users currently are illegal.
http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/jul2009/gb2009071_378545.htm

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