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Piracy Essay

1700 words - 7 pages

In 2003, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, a Swedish national, co-founded a website called The Pirate Bay which, over the years, would come to have a notorious reputation as the biggest file sharing website in the world. Boasting over 31 million users, the website has been the relentless target of business and governmental attempts to destroy it through lawsuits and arrests – and yet, ten years later, the website remains the biggest hub of file sharing on Earth (CBS pg1). Its founders have not had the same luck as the website itself though. In 2009, Warg and the other founders of the website were convicted by a Swedish court of copyright violations on a massive scale, sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay several large entertainment companies such as Colombia Pictures and Sony Music Entertainment the equivalent of $3.6 million, or 40 million kronor (CBS). In 2010, when Warg failed to attend a court hearing, an international bench warrant was issued for his arrest and two years later, he was arrested in the Thai Capital of Phnom Penh, and promptly sent back to Sweden. The other co-founders got their sentences reduced, Warg did not and he is currently in prison, serving the maximum sentence (CBS pg1). According to Alexa, a website “which tracks over 30 million websites worldwide” with their system “Alexa Rank”, The Pirate Bay was the 73rd most visited website on the entire internet as of the fall of 2013 (Alexa). Warg and The Pirate Bay are not the only example of this war that governments and businesses are waging on digital pirates – another example of this came with the arrest of Kim Dotcom, the founder of the infamous file-sharing website Megaupload, in 2012. In the years as the head of massively popular website, Dotcom has amassed an estimated networth of $200 million, including eighteen luxury cars and a massive estate in New Zealand north of Auckland (NYT pg1). Kim Dotcom, who was born Kim Schmitz, has had more luck in his attempts to fight of legal attempts to imprison the Warg has had. In February, after being in jail for a month after the police raided his home and arrested him in accords with the extradition treaty to the United States – the judge handling his case deemed the search warrant that the police used wrong, and declared the entire raid illegal (NYT pg1). He was eventually granted bail and some of his assets were returned to him so that he could pay his expenses (NYT pg1). On top of managing to stay out of prison and to avoid the extradition to the United States, Dotcom has either eroded public support for the police or gotten them to see his way of thinking (NYT pg2). Unlike Warg, Dotcom has gotten his money and life back. Megaupload and other massive file sharing website made men like Dotcom exceedingly rich – according to the United States Justice Department and Forbes, in 2011, before it was shut down by the FBI, it generated approximately $175 million dollars in sales over the span of itself life (Forbes). The...

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