After the court case against the founders of The Pirate Bay was concluded today, the operators of the site quickly moved to change their domain name from .ORG to the Swedish .SE. A Pirate Bay insider informed TorrentFreak that this move was made to prevent the US authorities from seizing the domain, which is a serious risk now the court case has completed.
Earlier today Sweden’s Supreme Court announced its decision not to grantleave to appeal in the long-running Pirate Bay criminal trial.
This means that the prison sentences and fines against the defendants are now final. The Pirate Bay website itself, however, wasn’t part of the trial and will remain operational as normal. That is, unless the US Government chooses to intervene.
In 2010 it was reported that both The Pirate Bay and MegaUpload barely escaped a domain seizure. Although it wasn’t entirely clear at the time, one of the assumptions was that in the case of The Pirate Bay the pending trial against several people involved with the site acted as a roadblock.
Today this last barrier was removed. And with MegaUpload also out of the way, the largest torrent site on the Internet is now a prime target for a domain seizure.
The people running The Pirate Bay are aware of this risk and quickly redirected the site to a Swedish .se domain, outside the reach of US authorities. A Pirate Bay insider confirmed this morning that this was done “just in case ICE has been waiting for the court case to be over.”
Along with the domain change The Pirate Bay team delivered a defiant message.
“2012 is the year of the storm. The Pirate Bay will reach an age of 9 years. Experiencing raids, espionage and death threats, we’re still here. We’ve been through hell and back and it has made us tougher than ever,” they begin.
“Our 3 friends and blood brothers have been sentenced to prison. This might sound worse than it is. Since no one of them no longer lives in Sweden, they won’t go to jail. They are as free today as they were yesterday,” they note, adding:
“In this year of the storm, the winners will build windmills and the losers will raise shelters. So flex your muscles, fellow pirates, and give power to us all! Build more sites! More nets! More protocols! Scream louder than ever and take it to the next level!”
Although it’s clear that The Pirate Bay lost a battle today, the above statements signal that the war is far from over.