Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Goodbye to The Pirate Bay?

The world's largest bit torrent tracker and the symbol of Internet anarchy is going corporate.

The Pirate Bay has confirmed the news it is being acquired by Swedish software company Global Gaming Factory X AB for the equivalent of $7.8 million.

TPB crew claim that this is in the best interest of innovation, an ideal they've always claimed to stand for.

"If the new owners will screw around with the site, nobody will keep using it. That's the biggest insurance one can have that the site will be run in the way that we all want to," says the blog post announcing the decision. "It's win-win-win."

If they seemed naive in fighting for open culture, in court, against the clout of the big media houses, this seems more so.

GGF, in its release, doesn't take long to clarify its intentions: "GGF intends to launch new business models that allow compensation to the content providers and copyright owners."

That sounds like the death knell for the steadfast and irreverent pirate stand on the many legal threats they receive, never to take down anything from their site.

Whatever GGF's plan is, it surely isn't the end of file sharing, and TPB founders know this better than anyone.

However, it could well be a blow to the Pirate ideology and everything TPB stood for in the fight for a free Internet. It's been a huge influence in deciding our online culture. 'Sell-out' is a word that's appearing rather frequently in the comments that have greeting TPB's announcement, with the bit torrent loyal threatening to delete their accounts.

The announcement comes at a time when the founders face a huge lawsuit and there are questions still being asked if the judges in the the Pirate Bay trial were biased.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

News and Hash-tag activism

In journalism school, one of the first of the inexact sciences we learn is the prioritisation of news.

There's local, national, international, sports and entertainment news to juggle (with breaking news of Madonna's divorce of course changing everything).

I've spent a lot of time this past year hearing about how the future of the media is in local, highly personalised news. Reams have also been devoted (in media that nobody apparently cares about anymore) to lamenting the lack of international news in mainstream media.

#IranElection however very reassuringly shows that people still care very much about what happens in the rest of the world and it would be myopic of news organisations to assume otherwise.

CNN was asked to pull up its socks and Twitter rescheduled its down time rather than break the flow of information coming in from Iran.

Who says people don't care.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Why I do what I do

Despite an apparent increase in readership (thank you folks for reading!), I'm afraid this blog is going to fail to contribute greatly to fruitful discussion or bringing about world peace (glad someone at least has that all figured out).

Until I finish my final project at least (all about free culture and creativity and art and y'know, stuff) I might find this an especially convenient place to rant. (Let's call it 'documenting the thought process.')

With every meeting with my tutor, and visions of failure and doom related and unrelated to this, an important question comes up.
Why am I doing this?

Please don't tell the Prof.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Bloody Fire Alarms! Burn! Burn!


It's been a long day. So shoot me for wanting a bit of peace and quiet before I put on my jammies and crash for the night.

I said shoot me. Not blow my head to bits with the incessant shrieking of six minute fire alarms every five minutes.

(Make it stop, plEAse!!!)

Where's the fire I ask you?

Nobody uses the kitchens to cook anyway - at least not since they were turned into refugee camps thanks to renovations that have lasted long enough for the new table tops to have fossilised food. (Oh and the smell. The smell of paint and turpentine. Moan-groan-grumble-sob.)

Let them alarms cry wolf just once more tonight and I'll give them a fire.

Only blogging etiquette has held me back from POSTING THIS IN ALL CAPS but make no mistake, I am screaming and whining and swearing and making rude hand gestures.

What's a girl got to do to lead a fire-alarm free existence in student housing? - I ask in great consternation.


Oh yea - Move Out.
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