The Pirate Bay promises to share the loot

New Pirate Bay owners want to pay you to share files

The new Pirate Bay model will charge users to download files, and pay them for sharing content.

The new Pirate Bay model will charge users to download files, and pay them for sharing content.

The Pirate Bay's new owners envision the site as the model for the next generation of file-sharing, where users can earn money by legally sharing content with others. In short, The Pirate Bay wants to pay you for file-sharing.

Hans Pandeya, Global Gaming Factory's Chief Executive Officer told the BBC that users would also have to pay to download the files they want, and royalties would be paid to the copyright holder. But the upside is TPB is also willing to pay you to keep your computer online and distribute the file to others once you've downloaded it. GGF's chief also envisions a day when TPB users form a P2P grid that can be harnessed for its storage and processing capabilities.

What Pandeya didn't say, however, was how much users would get for sharing or how their contribution to TPB would be measured. Overall, Pandeya believes his scheme to pay for file-sharing would help users get past the fact they would now be paying for downloaded content instead of getting it for free. The new scheme would also appeal to content holders and Internet service providers, according to Pandeya, since torrent sharing technology negates the risks of server crashes and high bandwidth costs by distributing the traffic strain across a large group of seeders.

A seeder is someone who shares a file with others through peer-to-peer technology like the BitTorrent protocol used by files indexed on The Pirate Bay. Presumably, the high amount of seeders would also speed things up considerably compared to typical file sharing speeds. Free is a hard price tag to beat and Pandeya believes the new TPB model will work, but we have our doubts. Paying users might seem like a useful way to get people to participate, but the reality is the average user couldn't possibly recoup the money spent on TPB purchases by seeding files. Simple economics says the company has to take in more money than it spends. So users likely won't see much of a return for all that bandwidth they're contributing, and high costs could drive TPB users to other rogue sites instead.

The other problem is the copyright holders themselves. File-sharing stopped being about music files a long time ago. Now, people are sharing television shows, movies, games, and software in addition to music. Often these files are being distributed illegally because they are not available to the end user in any other way. The second most popular file being shared today on TPB, for example, is the most recent episode from Showtime's Weeds. Users around the world, where the show may not be available, have access to this file, and it's doubtful the legal TPB would be allowed to carry this file at all, never mind for international distribution. But if the desired video files disappear because TPB can't come to an agreement with companies like Showtime and HBO, then users are simply going to find that content through an illegal file-sharing site.

What content producers need to realize is that the reformation of The Pirate Bay is essentially meaningless. File-sharing can never be stopped with force, because there will always be another site ready to take TPB's place. So instead of getting stuck in a game of cat and mouse they can't possibly win, content producers may want to sit down and talk things over with TPB's new owners. If they can figure out a way to distribute the content people want, in a manner that is fair to both the user and the content producer, then the new Pirate Bay might have a shot at success. If not, well, there's always ActiveDots or ISOHunt or LookTorrent or Mininova or NowTorrents or Torrentz or . . . well, you get the idea.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?