The existence of the PirateBay has been marred with conflicts. However, none of them succeeded in shutting down the website permanently, but usually produced the opposite effect of increasing its popularity. Its problems are mostly related to copyright issues, as the site is used by many people to obtain movies, books, TV programs and other material for free. Its main enemies are big players in the movies, TV and music industry.
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Thus, in 2006 the Swedish police raided its headquarters and seized all its servers. However, the site was quickly restored in just three days, this time in the Netherlands. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) proclaimed this event as a major victory, but instead of decreasing its usage, the Pirate Bay grew in popularity. Later on, its servers were moved back to Sweden. The Pirate Bay now keeps servers in Russia and Belgium, in order to be able to continue functioning, in case it suffers another raid. During the same year, a Swedish newspaper revealed that the people behind the Pirate Bay might have been enjoying the benefits of profits obtained via paid ads.
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In February 2009 Gottfrid Svartholm, Peter Sunde, and Fredrik Neij (or Brokep, TiAMO, and Anakata to use their famous aliases), who were the people operating the site at that time, together with their investor Carl Lundström, were charged with aiding copyright violations. The plaintiffs included important companies from the entertaining industry, such as Warner Brothers, MGM, EMI, Colombia Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Sony BMG and Universal. Details of the trial were published on trial.thepiratebay.org. On April 17 of the same year, the court found them guilty and sentenced them to a year in jail and to the payment of a fine of $3.6 million. The trial became so famous that the Sweden’s National Museum of Science and Technology bought one of the confiscated servers, with the intention of displaying it in its facilities. Later appeals in 2010 and 2011 confirmed the sentences.
Controversy continued in 2008 when photos of the autopsy of two murdered children were made available on the Pirate Bay site. The Pirate Bay later on declined the children’s father petition to remove the images from the site, and explained that they could not judge what was ethical or unethical to be available on the Internet.
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In order to maintain its continuous services, the Pirate Bay changed its domain and moved its servers several times in 2013, but later returned to its old .se (Sweden) domain.
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In 2014 the Swedish police raided the Pirate Bay premises and sized its servers, following a complaint from the Swedish anti-piracy group Rights Alliance. The website became available again in January 2015. However as the Pirate Bay’s operators explained on their blog, ‘As you may have seen no data was lost because of the raid since we of course have backups running every minute :) d0h'. The site was also inaccessible in 2018, but the causes of this event remain unknown.
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The PirateBay site has also been subjected to several hacking incidents. In 2010 a group of Argentine hackers gained access to its servers and exposed details of some users. In 2012, the website suffered a denial-of-service attack, and had some problems again in 2015.
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The Piratebay is a very popular website that provides available torrents based on a peer-to-peer approach. As such, it is used by many people who are looking for free movies, TV shows, software programs and other types of files. This has led governments and companies to fight its existence, as it helps those prepared to violate copyrights.
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As a consequence, throughout the years, thePirateBay has had a very adventurous life, having to change the servers’ location, its domain name, being shut down and sued many times. At the same time, its philosophy of “sharing content because we care about others”, has created many fans for the site and its use, instead of diminishing, has increased exponentially over the years. As proof of this, the Pirate Bay’s look and feel stands out, as it has remained constant throughout the years.
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People, thus, are curious about thePirateBay’s happenings and want to find out what is going on with this website. Well, if you have that question in mind, you can consult several sites. Perhaps, the best source of information is the Pirate Bay’s own blog that is kept alive by the same people that operate the website. This blog, although not frequently updated, is a reliable source that can be found here.
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Two other good places that offer updated information are thePirateBay’s Wikipedia page and the online publication Torrent Freak. The latter has very interesting interviews and detailed descriptions of most of the events surrounding the life of the Pirate Bay. If this information is not enough, you just need to google a bit, and you will find plenty of links talking about thePirateBay, offering information on mirror and proxy sites, and much more. However, bear in mind that being the Pirate Bay a controversial subject, not all that is written about it is true. Therefore, rather trust the main available sources.