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“I went to jail for my cause”

Peter Sunde writes a guest post for Wired:

Only a few activists left are actually doing things. We’re way underfunded, we’re getting older and we’re getting lazy. We’re trying to work smart while still having a family life, managing our lives with boy- and/or girlfriends, thinking about careers.

A sad piece in which one of The Pirate Bay’s founders shares his disheartened view on the status of Internet-related legislation and general public’s indifference on the subject.1

The sad part is that it all boils down to convenience. In the world of cheap Netflix, HBO, Spotify, Rdio and others, taking the time (and possibly risk) to download torrents just doesn’t make that much sense.2 I don’t really have any statistics to back this up, but I observe the same trend amongst desktop linux users/contributors. When I installed linux for the first time on my desktop computer (late 1998, SuSE 6.0), the alternative was the buggy and ugly Windows 98, or the insanely expensive and also buggy MacOS 8. Now lots of developers switch to OS X, with its UNIX-based environment and excellent hardware, or even to Windows, which, beginning with XP I believe, became stable, fast and relatively fuss-free. There’s simply no need for linux on the desktop, because it’s trying to solve a problem that isn’t there. I’m afraid it’s the same with The Pirate Bay.

  1. I kinda like Sunde, and sort-of sympathize with his cause(s), but I feel like what The Pirate Bay crew tried to stand for in recent years isn’t exactly the same what it represented in the beginning. I feel perfectly fine with using PGP to encrypt my emails, running linux on my home media server, using open formats for documents, supporting government transparency and openness, and yet being opposed to the illegal downloading of TV shows using p2p networks. The fact that people stopped caring that much about The Pirate Bay doesn’t necessarily entail they no longer care about other aspects of Internet freedom↩︎

  2. That is, unless you’re one of those unlucky millions that don’t have access to these services. Remember that Netflix, Internet’s biggest on-demand video-streaming provider, is available in only 40 countries, excluding such big and potentially lucrative markets as, e.g., Australia & New Zealand. Spotify’s slightly better, being available in 59 countries. ↩︎