01 January 2014
Pirate Bay continues to expand despite mounting anti-piracy movement
The Pirate Bay inarguably proved its resilience in 2013, making no less than six domain changes and evading international copyright enforcers. It increased its uploads by 50 percent while maintaining its position as the world's most popular torrent site.
More than 2.8 million files are now available for download at the BitTorrent site, the overwhelming majority of which are illegally posted music, film, and video game files. What the entertainment industry says is flagrant copyright infringement has made The Pirate Bay - which was founded in Sweden and is commonly referred to as TPB - a prime target for the entertainment industry and internet service providers.
Anti-piracy crusaders have censored the site in many countries, with a firewall in the United Kingdom forcing users to either quit their file-sharing from TPB or find a way around the firewall. The site has also struggled to keep a consistent home, moving six times over the past year. The most recent move shifted TPB's web address back to Sweden at ThePirateBay.SE.
Combined with these factors was the controversial six-strike policy introduced in the US at the end of 2012. The copyright alert system promised to warn web users accused of downloading files illegally that they would lose internet access if they failed to curtail their activity.
Yet traffic to TPB nearly doubled over the first half of 2013. A new report from TorrentFreak indicates that the 50 percent increase in uploaded files is simply more evidence showing that TPB has yet to slow down.
TPB does not host illegal content, but rather provides visitors with downloadable files (known as torrents) which then link that user to a peer-to-peer network where others are sharing the desired content. A group has also emerged to defend what it says is the legitimate right to share files, as well as to speak out against what it deems is the outdated application of copyright in some cases.
A peek into TPB revealed that 18,911,877 people are sharing media files through the site. The most popular is video content, with more 10,258,076 users sharing a movie at any given moment. Next is music (with 17 percent of all peers sharing), porn (13 percent), games (5 percent), and software (5 percent).
Certainly making up a sizable chunk of the television numbers is 'Game of Thrones.' The popular HBO series was again the most pirated show in 2013, retaining its position after an average of 3.9 million people illegally downloaded each episode in 2012.
PiracyData.org found that the movies and television shows that are illegally downloaded more than any other each week are consistently unavailable for legal consumption. While a certain level of piracy is inevitable, customers seem to simply crave convenience, as Netflix and iTunes have proven. Not coincidentally, 'Game of Thrones' is not available on any streaming service other than HBO Go, an online addition to the costly cable entertainment package.
After years of moving the site's server and avoiding prosecution themselves, The Pirate Bay's administrators announced they are preparing a new service that will make the page's domain 'irrelevant'. They stated earlier this month that a new BitTorrent-powered browser is in the works, with the ultimate goal of de-centralizing the torrent files, thus making them much more difficult to track and no longer reliant on ThePirateBay.se.
They should wait for our new PirateBrowser, then domains will be irrelevant, one source told TorrentFreak. Once that is available then all links and sites will be accessible through a perfectly legal piece of browser software and the rest will be peer-to-peer, with no central point to attack via the legal system.