Pirate Bay Goes on TrialINFORMATION - human knowledge, art & culture is more widely available today than at any time in history. On Monday, February 16th, those who have shared the most information will go on trial.
Imagine being able to obtain most any movie worth watching, most songs worth listening to and many books worth reading by merely downloading the file. No longer do you have to go to the cinema or get a DVD to watch a movie, no longer do you have to buy a CD or buy a song online, no longer do you have to buy a book to read it. All this is being shared freely online. However, it is illegal in most countries and efforts are being made to stop the sharing of copyrighted material even though other forms of sharing copyrighted material is legal.
Libraries are allowed to freely share books, magazines, DVDs, and audio CDs and do so on a global basis but in limited quantities. You can loan any copyrighted material you have to as many people as you want as long as it is in its original form.
When copyrighted material is digitized it can be replicated and freely shared by very large numbers of people. This is deemed illegal in most countries and considered to be piracy but is widely practiced.
Most file sharing is done through various peer-to-peer networks. The most secure type of file sharing is the BitTorrent protocol. The technology enables anyone to securely share their files with anyone else, but it requires a BitTorrent file and a tracker that keeps tracks of the files and who has which piece. Pirate Bay is the leading tracker of BitTorrents of copyrighted files.
The guys who operate Pirate Bay are heroes to those who want information to be freely available but they are arch-villans to corporate media production companies.
At the present time, Internet sharing of copyrighted materials poses a significant but not huge threat to some media producers. It is a boon to smaller producers who want exposure for their work.
Pirate Bay is a study in human culture and what interests people the most. By examining the files shared the most you can get a good idea of what drives people who download media. You can view Pirate Bay’s top 100 files at http://thepiratebay.org/top/all
Porn is not what is shared the most. The most popular files are mainstream movies and TV shows. Educational material is shared widely but political material is often the least popular.
The trial against Pirate Bay is a trial against the freedom of information and its outcome could have serious consequences for the future of the human race.
You can monitor the trial at: http://trial.thepiratebay.org/