Maybe Crime DOES Pay: ThePirateBay.Org Sells For $7.8 Million

We grew up being told by our parents that crime doesn’t pay, yet after  today’s report, sometimes it does.

ThePiratebay.org, a huge file sharing site, reportedly sold today to a Internet gaming software company for $7.8 Million dollars.

Swedish software company Global Gaming Factory X (GGF) has signed a deal to acquire The Pirate Bay for 60 million Swedish Kronor ($7.8 million), including $3.9 million in cash.

GGF, which operates software for a range of Internet cafes and gaming venues, said it plans to keep Pirate Bay in operation, but make the site legal by ensuring copyright owners get paid for material shared on the service.

GGF also announced a 100 million Swedish Kronor ($13 million) deal to buy Peerialism, an IT company that has developed a new file sharing technology.

A couple of months ago, four men who were the founders of the The Pirate Bay,  were found guilty of violating copyright law for assisting the illegal downloading of protected material and sentenced to one year in prison and fines totaling 30 million Swedish Kronor ($3.9 million).

Yesterday the Swedish court turned down their appeal for a new trial.

Note that the cash being paid in this transaction equals the fine the founders received.  So basically the buyer is paying off the founders fines and giving the founders stock in the new venture.

Not bad.

Maybe the lesson is if you have a site with huge traffic, it has substantial value, no matter how you got the traffic.

Comments

  1. DomainLover says

    Maybe a great buy for the buyer.

    I think that the new filesharing technology that Peerialism has developed is very similar to what some call it P4P. There is a group at openp4p.net that talks about this thing. I think also PandoNetworks is working on same thing.

    Just thinking that maybe P2Pwill change to P4P or will not get a new name? Or just P2P 2.0.

    I agree that sites with great traffic have lots of value. I read an article with Hans Pandeya (CEO of Global Gaming Factory X and the buyers of Pirate bay) that the potential income on just advertising deal with Google or Yahoo would bring in $4M a month. He was estimating the site do 1 billion page views. Yeah…lots of money for sure. Even if his projected estimation would just be half of that…..that would still be $2M a month.

  2. MHB says

    Domain

    Well according to Alexa it is the 112 busiest site on the net in terms of traffic.

    Interesting to note they also own thepiratebay.com and the piratebay.org, so they understood the value of domains and traffic.

    They appearently we unable to prey the domain piratebay.com away from its owner.

  3. Reece Berg says

    So they sold it for $7.9MM and the guys had $3.9MM in fines leaving them with $4MM in stock to split between the four. Not a bad deal – one year in I would imagine a minimum security prison for $1MM each :)

  4. Lame says

    Your title is so ignorant and bias. They are in appeal, they are NOT in jail, and the fact you consider the pirate bay a crime site is an example of how thick your skull is Berkins. Do yourself a favor, and call Michael Arrington from TechCrunch. Talk to him about copyright law, or someone who actually knows wtf they are talking about and figure it out. It’s not a crime, only a matter of opinion.

    Berkins, do you actually side with the RIAA? Do you think corporations should rule the internet? Why are you so one sided with copyright law? When there is obviously sooo many grey areas you overlook.

  5. Reece Berg says

    Lame,

    The Pirate Bay facilitated illegal downloading of intellectual property and when companies would ask that they remove their software/ebooks/etc, they were greeted with responses such as “F-off”. They clearly knew exactly what they were doing and anyone who thought this was legit is an idiot. I don’t agree with the RIAA’s practices but what the hell gives anyone the right to steal copyrighted works? If I spent years making a software program, I’d be pretty angry and certainly considering all legal options available if someone uploaded it to the Internet and The Pirate Bay told everyone where they could find it.

  6. MHB says

    Lame

    Let me deal with your argument point by point.

    First of all its Berkens, not Berkins

    Second I could give a shit about the RIAA. Its the issues I care about not the organization presenting them.

    Third I do not think “corporations should rule the internet”.

    Fourth no one said these guys are in jail.

    Their request for a new trial was denied yesterday.

    I do not know what the criminal procedual rules in Sweden are but it the US you cannot appeal until if you have a motion for retrial heard, so I’m not sure they have actually filed an appeal, but in any case I’m sure its coming.

    As of now they have been convicted of criminal charges related to copyright infringement. So its not an opinion anymore as to whether they committed a crime; they have already had a trial and been convicted.

    Yes your innocent until proven guilty, but they have been proven guilty and will be regarded as such until and unless the appellate court says otherwise.

    As for the heading of each story I have learned growing up in NY and reading the Post, the Daily News and the Time and have seen for myself blogging that dramatic headlines get a lot more attention than boring ones

  7. says

    Interesting entry, I am sure a number of advocates of the site will not be happy. Then again the owners of the site were in a tough position and a buy out definitely makes sense at this time. Whether what they were doing was illegal or not the site ThePirateBay.com has definitely had a drastic effect on how we access files, let alone media online. I know plenty of establishments including “Nine Inch Nails” who use the site for legitimate purposes. Technology will always be a double edged sword. Those who choose to use it legally or illegally are both contributing to the way it effects our lives.

  8. MHB says

    Geo

    They sold the domain and the brand, and if you see my comment above you will see they also had the .com of the domain as well, which just redirected to the .org and at least another .org along with.

    Not sure this would fall into the just domain category since they have a huge “customer” base built in.

    But certainly the highest price paid for a .org based business.

    Congrats on the story on Oakville.com appearing in dnjournal.com

  9. MHB says

    UPDATE

    Today July 29, 2009 according to reports Hollywood studios — including Columbia Pictures Industries Inc., Disney Enterprises Inc. and Universal Studios Inc. — have reportedly filed suit against bit torrent-tracking Web site The Pirate Bay.

  10. says

    TPB is legal in Sweden.. Torrent files are legal.. They don’t host content..

    The real criminals are going to be the new GGF-TPB linked with the big three..

    In the TOS watch for your permission for the new PeerMedia to watch and track you..

    I have a better idea.. Since nobody is actually going to place their torrents and seed their files using GGF-TPB you simply use Mininova or another site.. Open Bit Torrent Tracker FTW…..

    TPB will rest in peace..

    GGFTPB will never work.. It’s truly sad to see the the industry has harmed their reputation so badly that nobody trusts them.. As an independent artist these days your better off on your own.. The only reason artists stay with The Big Three is the money The Big Three will throw at lawsuits and “protecting” their profits.. Hence all the big named artists have the Big Three behind them..

    I for one will never ever place torrents onto GGF-TPB once its turned over.. Their are far to many risks associated with doing so.. I wont even check out GGF + TPB ever..

  11. Spiffy says

    @Reece Berg

    Clueless is the word. TPB does not host any content. By your definition every search engine in the world is also guilty of facilitating illegal downloading of intellectual property.

    Like other search engines TPB simply points you to the actual content you require. Go to google/yahoo/msn/askjeeves etc and type in your favorite TV show. I’m sure you will come up with several links to websites where you can watch these shows. Does that mean these sites run foul of copy right laws?

    It appears you are the idiot here for swallowing what the incumbent industry has told you. Think! Think!

  12. JErk says

    To all, in favor of the old TPB *and* against it:

    Do some research. Learn what you’re talking about before you try to look smart. Do some research, think for yourself, and don’t just listen to what every other opinionated bloke on the ‘net says, especially if you already agree with them. A little thought is all it takes.

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