[NetBehaviour] Pirate Bay Founder: 'I Have Given Up'

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Sat Dec 12 22:04:14 CET 2015

Absolutely agree with you here; our music has even been used for others' 
work, it's downloaded, played on college stations, and we get no reviews 
at this point, no sales - last I heard we sold 3 cds of Threnody in spite 
of a lot of attention. All the hours of practice, instrument upkeep, etc. 
etc. I love what we do, but it's all downhill, and I'm unemployed. Argh.

- Alan

On Sat, 12 Dec 2015, Ana Vald?s wrote:

> As I wrote in Twitter (caravia158) we need social and political revolutions
> and not only free downloads. I know the Pirate Bay phenomenon pretty well
> since I lived in Sweden as they started it and many ppl who joined them were
> very political naive and believed the information should be free and by it
> we should all be  very enlightened and live happy with our free downloaded
> Art music films and texts.
> No one discussing the base of the dilemma who is going to pay to all those
> producing intellectual or artistic wares for all to download free and
> consume?
> All production of Art and writings and films and music are prized today and
> they are commodities some a new Mobil phone or a new car or a new bike.
> Den 12 dec 2015 18:11 skrev "Rob Myers" <rob at robmyers.org>:
>       Society may produce exceptional spaces though?
>       On 12 December 2015 03:31:08 GMT-08:00, ruth catlow
>       <ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org> wrote:
>             I like his final statement- that the Internet is the
>             same as society- not an exceptional place.
>             On 12/12/15 11:24, marc garrett wrote:
>       I've just copied this from the Nettime list,
>       and thought others here may be interested in the
>       subject...
>       wishing you well.
>       marc
>       <http://motherboard.vice.com/read/pirate-bay-founder-peter-sunde-i-have-give
>       n-up >
>       Pirate Bay Founder: 'I Have Given Up'
>       Written by JOOST MOLLEN
>       December 11, 2015 // 02:26 PM EST
>       "The internet is shit today. It's broken. It was
>       probably always
>       broken, but it's worse than ever."
>       My conversation with, Peter Sunde, one of the
>       founders and
>       spokespersons of The Pirate Bay, did not start out
>       optimistically.
>       There's good reason for that: In the last couple of
>       months, the
>       contemporary download culture shows heavy signs of
>       defeat in the
>       battle for the internet.
>       Last month we saw Demonii disappear. It was the
>       biggest torrent
>       tracker on the internet, responsible for over 50
>       million trackers a
>       year. Additionally, the MPAA took down YIFY and
>       Popcorn Time. Then
>       news got out that the Dutch Release Team, an
>       uploading collective,
>       made a legal settlement with anti-piracy group
>       BREIN.
>       While it might look like torrenters are are still
>       fighting this
>       battle, Sunde claims that the reality is more
>       definitive: "We have
>       already lost."
>       Back in 2003 Peter Sunde, together with Fredrik Neij
>       and Gottfrid
>       Svartholm, started The Pirate Bay, a website that
>       would become the
>       biggest and most famous file-sharing website in the
>       world. In 2009,
>       the three founders were convicted of "assisting
>       [others] in copyright
>       infringement" in a highly controversial trial.
>       Sunde was incarcerated in 2014 and released a year
>       later. After his
>       time in jail he started blogging about the
>       centralization of power by
>       the European Union; ran as a candidate for the
>       Finnish Pirate Party
>       during the elections to the European Parliament; and
>       founded Flattr, a
>       micro donation system for software developers.
>       I wanted to speak with Sunde about the current state
>       of the free and
>       open internet, but this conversation quickly changed
>       into an
>       ideological exchange about society and capitalism --
>       which is,
>       according to Sunde, the real problem.
>       The following interview has been edited for clarity
>       and length.
>       **MOTHERBOARD: Hey Peter, I was planning on asking
>       you if things are
>       going well, but you made it pretty clear that that
>       isn't the case.**
>       Peter Sunde: No, I don't see any good happening.
>       People are too easy
>       to content with things.
>       Take the net neutrality law in Europe. It's
>       terrible, but people are
>       happy and go like "it could be worse." That is
>       absolutely not the
>       right attitude. Facebook brings the internet to
>       Africa and poor
>       countries, but they're only giving limited access to
>       their own
>       services and make money off of poor people. And
>       getting government
>       grants to do that, because they do PR well.
>       Finland actually made internet access a human right
>       a while back. That
>       was a clever thing of Finland. But that's like the
>       only positive thing
>       I have seen in any country anywhere in the world
>       regarding the
>       internet
>       **So, how bad is the state of the open internet?**
>       Well, we don't have an open internet. We haven't had
>       an open internet
>       for a long time. So, we can't really talk about the
>       open internet
>       because it does not exist anymore. The problem is,
>       nobody stops
>       anything. We are losing privileges and rights all of
>       the time. We are
>       not gaining anything anywhere. The trend is just
>       going in one
>       direction: a more closed and more controlled
>       internet. That has a big
>       impact on our society. Because they are the same
>       thing today. If you
>       have a more oppressed internet, you have a more
>       oppressed society. So
>       that's something we should focus on.
>       But still we think of the internet like this new
>       kind Wild West place,
>       and things are not in chains yet, so we don't care
>       because everything
>       will be OK anyhow. But that is not really the case.
>       We have never seen
>       this amount of centralization, extreme inequality,
>       extreme capitalism
>       in any system before. But according to the marketing
>       done by people
>       like Mark Zuckerberg and companies like Google, it's
>       all to help with
>       the open network and to spread democracy, and so on.
>       At the same time,
>       they are capitalistic monopolies. So it's like
>       trusting the enemy to
>       do the good deeds. It is really bizarre.
>       **Do you think because a lot of people don't
>       consider the internet to
>       be real or a real place, they care less about its
>       well-being?**
>       Well, one thing is, we have been growing up with an
>       understanding of
>       the importance of things like a telephone line or
>       television. So if we
>       would start to treat our telephone lines or TV
>       channels like we treat
>       the internet, people would get really upset. If
>       someone would tell
>       you, you can't call a friend, you would understand
>       then that this is a
>       very bad thing that is happening. You understand
>       your rights. But
>       people don't have that with the internet. If someone
>       would tell you,
>       you can't use Skype for that and that, you don't get
>       the feeling it's
>       about you personally. Just by being a virtual thing,
>       it's suddenly not
>       directed at you. You don't see someone spying on
>       you, you don't see
>       something censored, you don't see it when someone
>       deletes stuff out of
>       the search results out of Google. I think that's the
>       biggest problem
>       to get people's attention. You don't see the
>       problems, so people don't
>       feel connected to it.
>       I would rather not care about it myself. Because
>       it's very hard to do
>       something about it, and not become a paranoid
>       conspiracy person. And
>       you don't want to be that. So rather just give up.
>       That's kind of what
>       people have been thinking, I think.
>       **What is it exactly that you have given up?**
>       Well, I have given up the idea that we can win this
>       fight for the
>       internet.
>       The situation is not going to be any different,
>       because apparently
>       that is something people are not interested in
>       fixing. Or we can't get
>       people to care enough. Maybe it's a mixture, but
>       this is kind of the
>       situation we are in, so its useless to do anything
>       about it.
>       We have become somehow the Black Knight from Monty
>       Python's Holy
>       Grail. We have maybe half of our head left and we
>       are still fighting,
>       we still think we have a chance of winning this
>       battle.
>       **So what can people do to change this?**
>       Nothing.
>       **Nothing?**
>       No, I think we are at that point. I think it's
>       really important people
>       understand this. We lost this fight. Just admit
>       defeat and make sure
>       next time you understand why you lost this fight and
>       make sure it
>       doesn't happen again when we try and win the war.
>       **Right, so what is this war about and what should
>       we do to win it?**
>       Well, I think, to win the war, we first of need to
>       understand what the
>       fight is and for me it's clear that we are dealing
>       with ideological
>       thing: extreme capitalism that's ruling, extreme
>       lobbying that's
>       ruling and the centralization of power. The internet
>       is just a part of
>       a bigger puzzle.
>       And the other thing with activism is that you have
>       to get momentum and
>       attention and such. We have been really bad at that.
>       So we stopped
>       ACTA, but then it just came back with a different
>       name. By that time,
>       we had used all our resources and public attention
>       on that.
>       The reason that the real world is the big target for
>       me, is because
>       the internet is emulating the real world. We are
>       trying to recreate
>       this capitalistic society we have on top of the
>       internet. So the
>       internet has been mostly fuel on the capitalistic
>       fire, by kind of
>       pretending to be something which will connect the
>       whole world, but
>       actually having a capitalistic agenda.
>       Look at all the biggest companies in the world, they
>       are all based on
>       the internet. Look at what they are selling:
>       nothing. Facebook has no
>       product. Airbnb, the biggest hotel chain in the
>       world, has no hotels.
>       Uber, the biggest taxi company in the world, has no
>       taxis whatsoever.
>       The amount of employees in these companies are
>       smaller then ever
>       before and the profits are, in turn, larger. Apple
>       and Google are
>       passing oil companies by far. Minecraft got sold for
>       $2.6 billion and
>       WhatsApp for like $19 billion. These are insane
>       amounts of money for
>       nothing. That is why the internet and capitalism are
>       so in love with
>       each other.
>       **You told me the internet is broken, that it was
>       always broken. What
>       do you mean by that and do we have extreme
>       capitalism to blame for
>       it?**
>       Well, the thing is the internet is really stupid. It
>       works really
>       simply in a simple manner and it doesn't take any
>       adjustments for
>       censorship. Like, if one cable is gone, you take the
>       traffic through
>       some other place. But thanks to the centralization
>       of the internet,
>       (possible) censorship or surveillance tech is a
>       whole lot harder to
>       get around. Also, because the internet was an
>       American invention, they
>       also still have control of it and ICANN can actually
>       force any country
>       top level domain to be censored or disconnected. For
>       me that's, a
>       really broken design.
>       But it has always been broken, we just never really
>       cared about it,
>       because there always have been a few good people
>       that made sure that
>       nothing bad happened before. But I think that's the
>       wrong idea. Rather
>       let bad thing happen as quick as possible so we can
>       fix them and make
>       sure it does not happen in the future. We are
>       prolonging this
>       inevitable total failure, which is not helping us at
>       all.
>       **So, we should just let it crash and burn down,
>       pick up the pieces
>       and start over?**
>       Yes, with the focus on the big war on this extreme
>       capitalism. I
>       couldn't vote, but I was hoping Sarah Palin won last
>       time in the US
>       elections. I'm hoping Donald Trump wins this year's
>       election. For the
>       reason that it will fuck up that country so much
>       faster then if a less
>       bad President wins. Our whole world is just so
>       focused on money,
>       money, money. That's the biggest problem. That's why
>       everything fucks
>       up. That's the target we have to fix. We need to
>       make sure that we are
>       going to get a different focus in life.
>       Hopefully technology will give us robots that will
>       take away all the
>       jobs, which will cause like a massive worldwide
>       unemployment; somewhat
>       like 60 percent. People will be so unhappy. That
>       would be great,
>       because then you can finally see capitalism crashing
>       so hard. There is
>       going to be a lot of fear, lost blood, and lost
>       lives to get to that
>       point, but I think that's the only positive thing I
>       see, that we are
>       going to have a total system collapse in the future.
>       Hopefully as
>       quick as possible. I would rather be 50 then be like
>       85 when the
>       system is crashing.
>       **This all sounds quite like some sort of Marxist
>       revolution: a total
>       crash of the capitalist system.**
>       Well, yeah, I totally agree with that. I'm a
>       socialist. I know Marx
>       and communism did not work before, but I think in
>       the future you have
>       the possibility of having total communism and equal
>       access to
>       everything for everybody. Most people I meet, no
>       matter if they are a
>       communist or a capitalist, agree with me on this,
>       because they
>       understand the potential.
>       **So, is there like a concrete thing we should focus
>       on? Or do we need
>       to aim for a new way of thinking? A new ideology?**
>       Well, I think the focus needs to be that the
>       internet is exactly the
>       same as society. People might realize that it's not
>       a really good idea
>       to have all of our data and files on Google,
>       Facebook and company
>       servers. All of these things need to be communicated
>       al the way to the
>       political top, of course. But stop treating internet
>       like it's a
>       different thing and start focusing on what you
>       actually want your
>       society to look like. We have to fix society, before
>       we can fix the
>       internet. That's the only thing.
>       --
>       Marc Garrett
>       Co-Founder, Co-Director and main editor
>       ofFurtherfield.
>       Furtherfield - A living, breathing, thriving network
>       http://www.furtherfield.org - for art, technology
>       and social change since 1997
>       Furtherfield Gallery & Commons,
>       Finsbury Park, London N4 2NQ
>       T +44(0)208 802 1301/+44(0)208 802 2827
>       M +44(0)7717 887923
>       www.furtherfield.org
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