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NEWS > EVERYONE ELSE > ITALIAN PIRATES PIRATING PIRATE SITE

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ITALIAN PIRATES PIRATING PIRATE SITE

August 16 2008
Rome, Italy Italian officials have struck another blow against bit torrent tracker The Pirate Bay in their ongoing battle to take traffic away from the notorious site. They have begun routing traffic destined to the download tracker to their own download site in an effort to gain an upper hand in the battle.

pirate bay logoThe battle began last week when a court ruling encouraged major ISP’s throughout Italy to block user access to the site. This prompted outright bans or, in some cases, a rerouting of traffic destined to the site to a site owned by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) which is linked to www.pro-music.org, a legal music site owned by the IFPI.

With typical Swedish pirate zeal, The Pirate Bay isn’t going down quietly with fiery claims against the Italians and the IFPI. Claims of fascism (the IFPI was founded in Italy while Mussolini was in charge) to out and out theft, the battle appears to have just begun.

“This decision sends out a clear message that The Pirate Bay’s activities are illegal under Italian law. The Pirate Bay facilitates the mass infringement of copyright across music, film, television and games. It’s very name shows the contempt its operators hold for the creators of legitimate content,” said John Kennedy, chairman of the IFPI. “The only way to fight fire is with fire. Generations of Pirates have known this for centuries and it is up to us to uphold that tradition. I mean, we’re not Pirates or anything, I’m just speaking metaphorically. We are acting in the best interest of copyright holders everywhere.”

In typical Pirate Bay fashion, co-founder Peter Sunde has lashed out at the government, saying in part “I hope people start noticing that the IFPI gets more and more into bed with the police,” and “there is no way they are getting a share of our gold. We found the treasure and we are keeping it for ourselves.”

Government officials had no comment on the situation, though suspicion of involvement from higher-ups is rampant, in particular respect to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, himself a media billionaire.

Continued Sunde; “It’s quite funny that the country Italy is run by the biggest media mogul of them all. We’re his competitors.”

While the ban and redirection seems to have had the opposite effect, increasing the traffic to the tracking site rather than stopping it, though neither side appears to be letting up.

“It’s an interesting situation,” said Scrape TV legal analyst Gabe Hawthorne. “I guess it just comes down to who has the biggest cannons and the fastest boat, just as it always has. I have to say though, I don’t remember stories of any major Italian or Swedish Pirates in the past. Blackbeard, Captain Hook, those guys I remember. It’ll be interesting to see who ends up with the booty in the end.” 

With contributions from Torrent Freak and Find me a Pirate.

Emil Uliya, International Correspondent

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