Captain Cooks of Undiscovered Bays

On December the 9th police in Sweden carried out a raid in Stockholm, seizing servers, computers, and other equipment related to the worlds famous peer-to-peer and file-sharing community known under the name of ‘The Pirate Bay’. At the same time ‘The Pirate Bay’ (TPB) and several other file-sharing and torrent-related sites disappeared offline. Although no official statement has been made, several sources confirm action against TPB.

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Down Across The Globe

When the popular p2p file-sharing site disappeared from the web, pulled down by the Swedish police, the once believed ‘king’ of online piracy had been dethroned — and pretty much nothing happened at all. On Dec. 8th, 101.5 million IP addresses were file-sharing via p2p, as tracked by anti-piracy firm Excipio, according to Variety. When Pirate Bay went dark that number dropped by six million only to climb right back into the 100s two days later, in line with Excipio’s calculated daily average.

Take-down Event Details:

Date: 8th of December, 2014
Location: Stockholm, Sweden, EU
Infringements Claimant: Rights Alliance (+)
Infringemented: TPB p2p portal & Nacka ‘mountain’ Data Center
Affected: (approx.) 80Mio. Worldwide p2p users
Duration: (yet unknown)
Notable Feature: Site has been re-animated by its un-official p2p competitor ******* at +++

Is it down right now?

Nature abhors a vacuum. Aristotle said that. Of course, he was talking about how nature has a tendency to fill empty spaces with stuff. In a way, the internet also abhors a vacuum, and the ‘downfall’ of TPB is just the latest example.

When the Netherlands ordered ISP’s to block TPB in 2012, follow-up research showed that p2p file-sharing only increased during the ban, which ended earlier this year. If there was any lingering question as to what such downfalls would mean for file-sharing in the future, the answer is ‘open for discussion’. File-sharing, p2p and the internet are no longer separable — As long as you have one, you’ll always have the other. If one p2p server would fell tomorrow another site would take its place because the Internet abhors a vacuum.

Unprecedented Resurrection

IsoHunt has unofficially brought The Pirate Bay back from the dead. (Unofficially Isohunt was the main TPB competitor back in pre-NSA days). Isohunt has officially offered a plausible comment to their BFD (Back-from-Dead) resurrection protocol saying:

As you probably know the beloved TPB website is gone for now. It’ll be missed. It’ll be remembered as the pilgrim of freedom and possibilities on the web. It’s a symbol of liberty for a generation of internet users. In its honor we are making the oldp********.org search. We, the team, copied the database of TPB in order to save it for generations of users. Nothing will be forgotten. Keep on believing, keep on sharing.

Update: Readers are reporting that for popular searches there is a clear overlap (identical in most cases) between and oldp********.org. This shouldn’t be too surprising given how p2p indices are often shared, and that most were sourced from TPB in the first place. Again, no site out there right now will be as “good” as TPB was before it went down. That said, this story is far from over …