It seems that internet pirates have started to move away from countries in which they might be prosecuted, setting up shop in far-flung regions in an attempt to avoid persistent litigation.
Sweden was, for a very long time indeed, host to The Pirate Bay, which became practically iconic for its flaunting of copyright law within Europe. However, after it lost the case brought against it by representatives of the various media publishers losing money because of it, The Pirate Bay hopped from one location to another in a bid to stay open, a move that’s been aped by other major filesharers. Indeed, there’s a bit of a trend among some of the major illegal filesharing operations when it comes to shifting to places they’re less likely to be prosecuted.
According to the Guardian, illegal piracy groups are scrambling into countries where their actions aren’t quite as illegal, or at least, don’t constitute enough of a violation of local law to attract lawsuits. The most obvious of these might well be The Pirate Bay, but other major sites, like the nearly-as-infamous Demonoid have moved their physical presence over to the Ukraine.
It’s an interesting trend, and one that it’s easy to see being very frustrating indeed to copyright holders. Of course, on the positive side for those holding the copyrights being infringed, it likely won’t do too much to protect those whose illegal filesharing habits lead them to download copyright material, especially given the recent decisions in both France and the UK to crack down on users accused of filesharing, with the threat of disconnection looming large.
Still, the trend seems to indicate a shift towards wide scale punishment (whether through fines or disconnection) for individuals guilty of illegal filesharing, rather than those facilitating wide-scale distribution. In that respect, it seems that moving all the servers in the world to the Ukraine probably won’t help too much.