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Piracy Your Rights Online Politics

The Pirate Bay's Founding Organization Shuts Down 107

Posted by kdawson
from the mission-pretty-much-accomplished dept.
kcurtis sent the news that Piratbryån, the lobbying organization out of which The Pirate Bay sprang, has disbanded. (The torrent tracker is alive and well.) "Piratbyrån had many purposes, but could be described as a pro-piracy lobbying organization. It was founded in response to Antipiratbyrån, the local anti-piracy outfit in Sweden. The goal was to start a debate on copyright issues and how they affect society. Until then, most press in Sweden would simply take everything Antipiratbyrån said for granted. Internationally, Piratbyrån is mostly known for launching The Pirate Bay in the fall of 2003, just a few months after the group itself was founded. ... The final decision to disband the group came after Ibi Kopimi Botani, a prominent member and co-founder of the group, passed away. Without one of its greatest minds, the group would never be the same again, Piratbyrån's members felt."
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The Pirate Bay's Founding Organization Shuts Down

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  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @04:10PM (#32710634)
    Abandon ship!!
    • by value_added (719364) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @04:48PM (#32710836)

      Our chief weapons are fear, surprise and ... oh, wait. Wrong skit. I'll come in again.

      Our chief weapons are rum, sodomy, and the lash. They're Swedish? I'll come in again.

      Our chief weapons are an unprouncable name, a role in giving a voice to millions of file-sharers who believed that copying is not a crime, and Ibi Kopimi Botani. He's dead? Fucking hell. I'll come in again.

      Our chief weapons are culture, clusters and chaos. Ok, that sucks, but it was straight from the article. I'll come in again.

      Our chief weapons are torrents.

  • Hmm.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 27, 2010 @04:12PM (#32710642)

    Without one of its greatest minds, the group would never be the same again, Piratbyrån's member felt.

    That seems pretty weak of them. If someone died and their protege decided to give up, I'm pretty sure they'd be pissed (if they were still alive). I know I'd be pissed.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Or they felt they were not competent enough on their own yet, and calling it quits was(is) better then a long drawn out death.

    • Re:Hmm.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Yvanhoe (564877) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @05:43PM (#32711286) Journal
      The group founded the Pirate Bay who is alive and well and had good ties with the pirate party which, with 9% of ballots in Sweden, is alive and well. The original group was slowly becoming obsolete in the best way possible. The death of the founding member just made that more evident. Closing the group is more a way to show respect and to not cling on the past than a failure.
      • Re:Hmm.. (Score:4, Informative)

        by Kjella (173770) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @07:41PM (#32712084) Homepage

        The group founded the Pirate Bay who is alive and well and had good ties with the pirate party which, with 9% of ballots in Sweden, is alive and well.

        The Pirate Party got 7.13% in the EU election, but they've been struggling to get visibility in polls in the run for the national election in September with 1-2% support when mentioned. The minimum limit is 4%, so they're okayish but it's a long way to go to become an established political party in parliament. In general many support their politics but they have taken a neutral stance outside their core politics to remain united so many end up voting left/right instead.

        That said, they're not that far off as it sounds. While in the US there is problems with third parties with how the system works, it's a little bit like that with the 4% limit too as below that you get no representation and a lot of people won't vote for a party that "doesn't matter". If they start making people think they actually can make it and have a positive upswing in the polls they can get a positive feedback loop going and climb rapidly.

        Polls aside, they are doing grassroot activity and they do have a good recruitment among young voters so they're alive and healthy that way. But gaining new voters by aging is a slow process, only something like 1/70th of the voters are replaced each year. But if all else fails, that bears promise for 2014...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Or you could see the joke and realize it's not a real person.

      Kopimi = copy me

    • Re:Hmm.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Tom (822) on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:09AM (#32713596) Homepage Journal

      I am in a situation that is a bit comparable. I didn't die, but I left, and people decided to continue what I started. It is hard to describe how much it hurts every day to watch them. I built this group up and introduced most of what made them successful. Some gets continued, most gets twisted, some outright abused.

      No, I'd much rather feel good if they had shut it down, or at least replaced it with something entirely their making. In this particular case, they didn't really have that option, though.

      No, just continuing something for the sake of continuing it is not always what would please the original founder(s).

      • by tom17 (659054)
        I'm jealous of your username. A plain Tom these days is hard to find :(
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Wait ... are you the myspace Tom?

    • by jim_v2000 (818799)
      Ah yes, great minds that come up with ideas like "Hey, wouldn't it be great if we set up a website that would be used almost exclusively for people to illegally trade copyright materials? And wouldn't it be great if we named that site after a word commonly used to refer to the practice of copyright infringement?"
  • by RobinEggs (1453925) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @04:20PM (#32710678)
    It's not like this is the end; the Pirate Party still has seats in the European Parliament. If they thought letting this particular organization die made the most sense in absence of some central figures, then I'm not sure I agree but it's not the end of their political movement and it damn sure won't be the end of their member's activity in similar organizations.

    Nobody sold out, nobody quit; the majority of their membership will hopefully move on to different groups with the same goals.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Pirate Party and Piratbyrån are unrelated organizations.

      • The Pirate Party and Piratbyrån are unrelated organizations.

        Yes, of course. I was simply pointing out that the underlying goals of Piratbyrån are still gaining momentum quickly, and will likely change the world with or without that particular group. Piratbyrån did a lot to get things started, and things won't end with their dissolution.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nawitus (1621237)
      The global pirate movement is only starting to gather momentum. This particular organization hasn't been very important for a few years now. For example, the Pirate Party of Finland has good chances to elect a member to the parliament in the elections next year.
    • by dattaway (3088) * on Sunday June 27, 2010 @04:42PM (#32710798) Homepage Journal

      Pirates never die. They simply board another ship. aaarrrggg!

    • man. they are expected to become coalition partner in next swedish elections. not only that, you can understand that they were a huge factor in effecting the eu parl resolution that banned various cartel imposed measures of acta europe wide, like the 3 strikes measures.

      the genie is out of the bottle.
    • by Reziac (43301) *

      They have actually achieved some seats? Tell me more, I haven't heard. I live in a cave. ;)

  • According to the fine article, the death of Ibi Kopimi Botani was the final catalyst for a decision which had been discussed for years. Apparently Piratbyrån existed not to find answers but to find questions, and since it has found all the relevant questions, its work is done.

    It does sound a little lame, and I think people can be forgiven for wondering if association with a pro-piracy group wasn't hurting The Pirate Bay, and thus got axed as the pirates find themselves sailing stormy litigious seas.

  • by fermion (181285) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @04:30PM (#32710732) Homepage Journal
    This is why organizations should not depend on one or a few people. In my life when I part of something that is run by a single person, even if that single person is me, i don't see much value in it. As soon as the person goes, so will the organization. The tea party in the US has it right. Funding from corporations that are destined to live as long as the US, but no formal leadership. Gingrich did it wrong with contract for America because eventually people could not stand his sins, and they lost it all. He went from being a person who was too poor to pay child support and whose children had to beg for food to one of the most powerful men in the world, but the conservative movement paid the price.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The alternative can be even worse, though. A suitably constructed organization can be nigh-immortal; but making an organization immutable is a task requiring extraordinary cunning, skill, and more than a bit of luck. It generally isn't possible.

      You don't want to be more brittle than you have to be; but having shutdown conditions that kick in if you have fulfilled, or can no longer move toward fulfilling, your objective is superior to shambling on in ossified organizational undeath until your environment
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lokpest (1136949)
      The organization's existence was never an end in itself. Those who were involved have moved on to other similar projects.

      Organization exist for a purpose, when/if that purpose dont exist anymore its time to wrap up, close down and move on to new adventures.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      This is why organizations should not depend on one or a few people. In my life when I part of something that is run by a single person, even if that single person is me, i don't see much value in it.

      As much as you'd like to think that everyone in an organization or a company should be equally important, it's not true. There's always a few that really blaze the trail and many that tag along. If you're small, the organization may shut down or the company may fold. But being big doesn't mean it'll be the same if someone else takes over. You can look at Apple without Steve Jobs. You can try imagining the FSF without Stallman, or Linux without Linus. They'd go on but they wouldn't be the same. I think the c

    • by Tom (822)

      But this is not an organization that was intended to survive. It was intended to start a discussion and spread a message. It had a limited mission from the start.

      I applaud them for realizing they had come as far as they would, and close down. It shows that they really cherish their ideals, and don't cling on to something that has been completed, just because they think it still needs a tiny bit of finish.

  • by CODiNE (27417) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @04:39PM (#32710788) Homepage

    It's a group not a dude? Then they'll splinter off and start new groups? Like maybe... Pirate BOB??

    I'm confused.

  • Not to put too much tin foil on, but it's very hard to find many references to this person being connected to Piratbyran. He must have been a very behind the scenes kind of guy. Though could it be this person never existed or that they have faked their death to avoid legal issues. Just putting that out there in the lunatic fringe!

  • Ibrahim Botani (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @04:47PM (#32710830)

    The man's real name was Ibrahim Botani - the pseudonym "Kopimi" was adopted because many pirates refer to themselves as kopimists - "kopi mi" --> "copy me."

    Here's a somewhat autobiographical post in his blog. [blogspot.com] Unfortunately for most of slashdot's readership, it's not written in english.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Husgaard (858362)

      There has not been much happening in Piratbyrån for the last few years anyway.

      Many of the active people from Piratbyrån have become active in The Pirate Party [piratpartiet.se] or other clusters like Werebuild [werebuild.eu], The Julia Group [juliagruppen.se] or Telecomix [telecomix.org]. (The Telecomix Crypto Munitions Bureau [telecomix.org] held the conference recently discussed here [slashdot.org] where security flaws in some VPN tools used for filesharer anonymity were exposed.)

      My guess it that the core people in Piratbyrån felt that this cluster was no longer needed and used the deat

  • by unity100 (970058) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @04:48PM (#32710838) Homepage Journal
    Now, the pirate party is not only a reality in swedish politics, but is an entity in many countries, and has presence in european parliament. thanks to people like him, it has become a reality. its effects will far outreach the initial intent.
  • I've heard of the captain going down with the ship, but in this case, the ship is going down with the captain!

  • Is it "PiratBYRAN" or "PiratBRYAN" ? Summary has both.
  • by Hazelfield (1557317) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @05:25PM (#32711124)

    Piratbyrån were among the first to question the propaganda from record companies, politicians and lawyers. For that, they deserve respect and praise. They started the Pirate Bay, and they inspired the founders of the Swedish Pirate Party. Those organizations are today much more important than Piratbyrån, with the Pirate Bay being the largest bittorrent tracker in the world and the Piracy Party holding two seats in the European Parliament. Piratbyrån's disbandment will in practice have very little effect on the political struggle for online freedom.

    That's alright however, because that's how it's supposed to work. It's in the spirit of copyleft - "here are our ideas, please copy them and do whatever you like with them. Build something better on top on what we've created, and share it with others." Piratbyrån simply have had their day, and that's not just my opinion but theirs as well. Co-founders Marcin de Kaminski [dekaminski.se] and Rasmus Fleischer [copyriot.se] have both posted blog entries in Swedish to that same effect.

    I'm sorry to hear about the loss of Ibrahim Botani, but I'm not sorry that Piratbyrån shuts down now, because they've already won. Their mission is accomplished, namely that they got the common people to discuss file sharing and Internet freedom. Other people can and will continue where they left off. I'd just like to say, thank you guys for all the things you've done. You've opened our eyes and been an inspiration for the whole world.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by interval1066 (668936)
      I think one of the funniest thoughts I've been able to cull from the whole deal is the mental picture I've formed of the record label execs and the toasts they're having right now to celebrate this; as if they've somehow driven the final nail in the coffin of file sharing.
    • by jim_v2000 (818799)
      The thing that bothers me about people who are all about the "spirit of copyleft" is that they're aren't happy to just release their own ideas. They want to force everyone to abandon copyright and release their ideas/work into the public domain, with imho, is just not right.
  • Default assumption is suicide. Secondary assumption is that this is an elaborate prank. Time will tell.

  • The minute everyone has what they want, they drop connection and go their own separate ways.

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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