The Pirate Bay abandons plans for a sovereign nation

The world’s most famous BitTorrent pirates decide to drop anchor in their home country of Sweden, saying the whole affair was really for them to be able to “look on Google Maps and find ourselves there”.

It was January 9th of last month that The Pirate Bay fired the proverbial “shot heard around the world” when it announced it was going to try to purchase the Principality of Sealand from its current “royal” family, who has no doubt grown weary of living in 2 concrete tubes in the freezing waters of the North Sea.

The Pirate Bay’s offer was politely rebuffed and they then pledged to look elsewhere.

The Pirate Bay even took up a collection plate for their quest, which according to BuySealand was $20,902 USD back on February 1st when it was last updated.

But, it seems as though all their efforts for a new pirate homeland have been scuttled according to a recent article in the Swedish online publication The Local.

In interview with Tobias Anderson, one of the Pirate Bay’s six Stockholm-based operators, he comments that they no longer have any plans to create a country that pirates the world over can call home.

“We are happy to stay in Sweden since we are all from here,” said Anderson. “…there was an internet connection on Sealand. But it would have been difficult to get the capacity we needed.”

He then makes an interesting comment that I suspected was really true all along, that the whole affair was about nothing more than publicity for the site and the people behind the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker site.

“We have 20,000 to 25,000 dollars to spend and we are looking at some alternatives. Really we just want somewhere we can name The Pirate Bay, so we can look on Google Maps and find ourselves there.”

“It would be pretty cool and would serve as a memorial of what we have accomplished,” Anderson said.

So the whole idea of creating a pirate safehaven was little more than a vanity license plate for these guys, a Google Earth “look at me?”

Now I admit the whole prospect of a bunch of twenty-somethings actually buying and establishing some sort of tropical paradise of file-sharing is pretty far fetched but, is it too much to ask that those behind it respect its supporters by taking their efforts seriously?

I guess the FreeNationFoundation was right all along to take the efforts elsewhere into a more serious forum, and approach it’s devotees with the degree of honesty and respect that they deserve.

I wonder what the guys who donated a share of the $25,000 bucks The Pirate Bay now has think about the fact that their money was simply a big Google Earth ad.

Refunds anyone?

In an update to this ongoing sequence of events, I had a chance to ask one of the ADMINS over at The Free Nation Foundation about his thoughts on what The Pirate Bay had to say about dropping its plans for a pirate retreat.

He writes:

Personally, I’d like to say I ‘saw it coming’, but truthfully, I can’t. What I can say, though, is that I’m not all that surprised, especially after the roller coaster ride their forums took.
I think the major fall-off of support for the movement was when they removed all of the community moderators, and replaced them with people we’d not only never heard of but, on top of it let the forums go to complete anarchy for 3 days.
Their IRC went downhill around the same time, when iocc came in and jacked all of us of op/hop/v status, then moved 15+ bots in. Now if you look at #tpb-nation on EFNet, it’s more or less.. dead. I remember the first day, having close to 1k people in the room, and when the ‘core’ split off just because we couldn’t have a cohesive discussion that all of us wanted to keep up with past the ‘zomg teh izlandz11111’.
Plenty of things led to the eventual death of BuySealand. I would attribute most of it to the fact that TPB doesn’t seem to like to communicate with it’s members.
At one point, I actually counted two weeks between seeing brokep (he would be TPB Admin that started the whole idea), and the only update we get is a number on the main webpage.
The couple of times he did show up, we’d ask for direction for our efforts, and receive a ‘good job!’ or ‘there is much work to be done’. It’s hard to take initiative when you don’t know where the people who came up with the base idea stand on the subject.
Atleast with us, you not only get to see who is in charge, but on top of that, there is always the option to hop into IRC and speak with them on a personal level, should we happen to be around at the time.

To be fair, I never really browsed the forums at BuySealand other than to get some information and data for a previous article but, I can tell you that members of the forums at The Free Nation Foundation are about serious as a motley group of guys committed to creating a new sovereign nation can get.

Unlike The Pirate Bay, which was apparently only looking for a “where’s waldo” stamp on Google Earth, the people of The Free Nation Foundation have seriously committed themselves to the cause, and actively contribute and communicate with one another on a frequent basis in order to make strides towards reaching their goal of creating a new place to call their own on this big floating rock called Earth.

Is their dream possible? Who knows but, at least their serious about what their doing.

(***A big THX to Tuxedo over @ TFNF for his reply)