Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Global Gaming Factory acquires The Pirate Bay

According to a recent press release, a Swedish software company known as Global Gaming Factory has acquired The Pirate Bay, the world’s largest bit torrent tracker. The company will take ownership in August 2009 and plans to introduce new business models that will compensate the content providers and copyright owners. Hans Pandeya, CEO of Global Gaming Factory commented, “The Pirate Bay is a site that is among the top 100 most visited Internet sites in the world. However, in order to live on, The Pirate Bay requires a new business model, which satisfies the requirements and needs of all parties, content providers, broadband operators, end users, and the judiciary. Content creators and providers need to control their content and get paid for it. File sharers ´need faster downloads and better quality.”

An article from The New York Times says that the company envisions a file sharing system that uses networks of computers to move the digital files to ease the strain on Internet service providers. The company could generate revenue by charging the Internet service providers and also through advertising. Copyright owners would receive a share of the revenue as would participants that allow their computers to be used for file sharing.

A second article from Forbes notes that while it has been reported that the site has 20 million unique visitors, the chances of keeping the majority of these customers and turning the website into a profitable and legal operation are not likely. Eric Garland, chief executive of Big Champagne, a file sharing research firm commented, “When you think of all of the copyright-infringing companies that tried to relaunch or rebrand, the arc is pretty well established. It's easy to give away music without authorization, and far less popular when you try to offer it legitimately." Sonal Gandhi, a Forrester research analyst, added, “If the Pirate Bay takes this audience and manages to convert them to paying music buyers or to a workable ad-supported digital download, they'd have really achieved an amazing feat. In the filesharing world, people move very quickly from one site to the other." Since the announcement hundreds of users have posted both positive and negative reactions to the news.

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