The Pirate Google Launches

The guilty verdict against The Pirate Bay has left many feeling irate. Many feel that you can pretty much do what you can do on The Pirate Bay on Google. Apparently, someone has developed a web page that does this more to prove a point than anything else.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

Enter ThePirateGoogle, a website that Cory Doctorow labels as a mash up between Google and the Pirate Bay.

“The intention of this site is to demonstrate the double standard that was exemplified in the recent Pirate Bay Trial.” Writes the website creator. The creator continues, “Sites such as Google offer much the same functionality as The Pirate Bay and other Bit Torrent sites but are not targeted by media conglomerates such as the IFPI as they have the political and legal clout to defend themselves unlike these small independent sites.”

The Pirate Bay operates in a way that allows anyone to upload a torrent to the tracker. From there, through the BitTorrent protocol, they can share their files on their own computer to anyone who can find that content on a search query. By that point of view, it’s pretty easy to get the connection between that and Google – there’s only one extra step involved. Someone creates a torrent and uploads the torrent onto a tracker. Google then automatically caches the resulting page. Afterwards, anyone can type in a certain string of boolean and find that torrent file and start downloading off of the uploaders computer. The extra step, of course, being that Google is caching that file. The level of openness is pretty much identical.

The website seems to be more about proving a point rather than offering an alternative to ThePirateBay. Why can Google cache torrent file pages while ThePirateBay can’t?

Of course, such a site is already the subject of debate. Some copyright restricting supporters say that ThePirateBay only has a purpose for copyright infringement. Others point out that ThePirateBay’s mission is to bolster free speech. One of the themes one can get from the legal threats section is that ThePirateBay doesn’t host any of the files in question and that it is not illegal to provide infrastructure to search for something. Indeed, some of the lesser informed can put in a keyword into Google and conclude the internet is all about buying stuffed toys, news, gaming, or lolcats. In actuality, a given search infrastructure can be whatever it is you are looking for and one search query doesn’t necessarily overpower another on an individual basis.

Additionally, one can look at ThePirateBay and say that the website is all about downloading Linux, or Open Source content.

Still, ThePirateBay trial is far from over. In fact, many argue it’s only beginning after defence lawyers discovered that the judge was heavily involved in advocacy in restricting copyright laws. Of course, the other point to make is the fact that ThePirateBay is still online.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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