Internet cafe company offers $US7.8 million for The Pirate Bay

Users cry foul, and label founders as sell-outs

The owners of The Pirate Bay have agreed to sell the site to a Swedish Internet cafe operator for 60 million Swedish kronor ($US7.8 million), the company said on Tuesday. Global Gaming Factory X (GGF) said it wants to find ways to pay content providers and copyright holders when their content is downloaded via The Pirate Bay, which tracks who is sharing files over the BitTorrent peer-to-peer service. Although The Pirate Bay has been successful in attracting visitors, in order to live on it needs a new business model that satisfies the requirements of content providers, broadband operators, end users, and the judiciary, GGF said.

Details on how it will turn The Pirate Bay from the entertainment industry's worst enemy to a partner remain sketchy. So far GGF hasn't got any deals with either movie or music companies, CEO Hans Pandeya said during a news conference.

However, the company will have a system that will allow copyright owners to charge for their content: it will then be up to them if they want to get paid for it or not, Pandeya said.

The company will also allow filesharers to make money by letting others use their hard drives for storage, and will charge operators for helping them manage the huge amount of traffic that today is generated by Pirate Bay users, Pandeya said.

GGF also plans to acquire Swedish company Peerialism, which has developed its own P-to-P technology, for 100 million kronor -- of which at least 50 million will be in cash and up to the equivalent of 50 million in newly issued shares, according to GGF.

At least half of the 60 million kronor for The Pirate Bay will also be paid in cash, the rest in shares, GGF said.The money will be used for "Internet-related projects in the shape of political activism," Peter Sunde, spokesman for The Pirate Bay, told Computer Sweden's Daniel Goldberg

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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