A Swedish software company named Global Gaming Factory has acquired The Pirate Bay for 60 million Swedish Krona (roughly $7.8 million). Global Gaming Factory's PR statements hints the company wants to make the torrent site more legit by introducing paid download models:
The listed software company, Global Gaming Factory X AB (publ) (GGF) acquires The Pirate Bay website, http://www.thepiratebay.org, one of the 100 most visited websites in the world and the technology company Peerialism, that has developed next generation file-sharing technology. Following the completion of the acquisitions, GGF intends to launch new business models that allow compensation to the content providers and copyright owners. The responsibility for, and operation of the site will be taken over by GGF in connection with closing of the transaction, which is scheduled for August 2009.
"We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site" said Hans Pandeya, CEO GGF.
"The Pirate Bay is a site that is among the top 100 most visited Internet sites in the world. However, in order to live on, The Pirate Bay requires a new business model, which satisfies the requirements and needs of all parties, content providers, broadband operators, end users, and the judiciary. Content creators and providers need to control their content and get paid for it. File sharers' need faster downloads and better quality" continues Hans Pandeya.
This reminds me of what happened to Napster years ago but according to the team behind The Pirate Bay you shouldn't be worried. They claim they have found the right buyer which will help to evolve The Pirate Bay to the next level. They also reveal profits from the sale will go towards a foundation that is going to help with projects related to freedom of speech, freedom of information and openess of the nets.
TPB is being sold for a great bit underneath it's value if the money would be the interesting part. It's not. The interesting thing is that the right people with the right attitude and possibilities keep running the site.
As all of you know, there's not been much news on the site for the past two-three years. It's the same site essentially. On the internets, stuff dies if it doesn't evolve. We don't want that to happen.
We've been working on this project for many years. It's time to invite more people into the project, in a way that is secure and safe for everybody. We need that, or the site will die. And letting TPB die is the last thing that is allowed to happen!
If the new owners will screw around with the site, nobody will keep using it. That's the biggest insurance one can have that the site will be run in the way that we all want to. And - you can now not only share files but shares with people. Everybody can indeed be the owner of The Pirate Bay now. That's awesome and will take the heat of us.