Temporary Safety And Liberty (For Only $6 a Month!)

Last week saw a significant drop in Swedish Internet traffic as a result of a new anti-piracy law, the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive.

The Local IPRED "allows copyright holders to obtain a court order forcing ISPs to provide the IP addresses identifying which computers have been sharing copyrighted material."

Christian Engstrom, v.c. of the Pirate Party, said the drop would probably be temporary. Now, it seems there's a rush of sorts. Wired is reporting on the overwhelming response Pirate Bay–the popular BitTorrent file-sharing site based out of Sweden–has received for its ingenious plan to offer both safety and anonymity: 

Over 100,000 people have already signed up for The Pirate Bay's new anonymity service, Ipredator, designed to hide IP addresses from the authorities... 

Some 113,000 persons have signed up and are in queue for the Ipredator service, and about 80 percent are Swede...The service was originally set to go live on April 1, but the unexpected high demand delayed it.

The service will operate much the same way as other anonymity services, with one important exception: The Pirate Bay says it will not log its data, making it more difficult to trace activity to a specific user.

Ipredator is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which allows users to anonymously connect to the Internet. Their ISP-designated IP addresses remain hidden, revealing only a second IP address provided by the VPN.

The Ipredator service costs about 5€ (about $6.50) a month and began operating yesterday. In a post last week, I made the obvious point that legislative landlubbers wouldn't be able to avast Internet buccaneers from skirting the law. Apart from the digital rebellion, it's fascinating to see what groups like Pirate Bay come up with when responding to needs of the (viral) market. 

In the June issue of Reason, Associate Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward has a review of Peter Leeson's The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates. It's a good read that could explain the economic incentives that drive these tech pirates. Look for Reason.tv's interview with Leeson in the near future. More on piracy near, dear and here.

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  • ||

    Even though the new law sucks, I'm glad to see TPB making some money out of the whole affair.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    Hey Sweden/Big Brother...


  • Naga Sadow||

    Oh it is so ON if they get the net taken away from us!

  • Nick||

    There is a distinction between the Pirate Party and the Pirate Bay. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate_party

  • ||

    This is why I maintain that no matter what your opinion on IP, there has to be a new paradigm ("No, no, no. Your paragon is failing us, man."). It's like the drug war--this is something people are going to do, and attempting to stop them will require more and more draconian methods, with almost zero success.

    People are going to fileshare. You cannot stop them. So stop trying.

  • ||

    I made the obvious point that legislative landlubbers wouldn't be able to avast Internet buccaneers from skirting the law.

    Watch how quickly they go after Ipredator before getting too confident.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    "Vote for me and I'll set you free!!! New paradigm!"

    Sorry Epi, I'd like to engage with a witty or even semi intelligent response but I need to get to sleep over here. So I snuck in a Shield reference.

  • Bronwyn||

    So much about pirates, lately, and September is months away.

  • ||

    Kyle, references to The Shield are always good, but you failed to stay with my Always Sunny parago...paradigm.

  • ..||

    Why are they called "pirates" if they haven't done anything wrong?

  • Paul||

    Just run a darknet and be done with it.

  • ktc2||

    I expect they'll use kiddie porn as the excuse to set the full wrath of international law enforcement on ipredator (whether or not it's actually involved).

  • ktc2||

    Actually, in today's times, probably terrorism.

    If you don't keep logs the terrorists win!

  • ||

    Actually, the government does have an option. Kill the Internet altogether.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Pro Lib,

    My fears expressed above.

  • Ilya Perlov||

    I work for AnchorFree and we provide free VPN service called Hotspot Shield, which provides the exact same level of protection as IPRED -- at absolutely NO cost to 5.5 million users who download the tool every day. You can read more about us and these issues in this week's Ad Age article: http://tinyurl.com/c6hmz6.

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