There is a worrying thing happening at the moment. People are giving money to Pirate Bay so that they can buy Sealand. If you don’t know what Sealand or Pirate Bay is, then have a look here: http://buysealand.com/
The theory is that if Pirate Bay buys Sealand then a whole pile of operations varying from the mere dodgy to the sheer criminal can be run from there and nobody can touch them. So far they have raised $15,327 from donations. They state that if they can’t afford Sealand (I believe Sealand are looking at something in the region of half a billion dollars) they will buy another small island and declare independence.
Now I am a fan of Pirate Bay. If they want to give me a means of downloading episodes of Battlestar Galactica and Veronica Mars when I miss them on telly then I am all for this. If at the same time they are pissing off big companies that makes the whole thing even more fun. My problem isn’t with Pirate Bay, it is with the utter legal naivety and idioacy of these people. They seem to inhabit a world where they can own a nation state and commit illegal acts from it with no consequence. At the same time, there are wars going in in both Afganistan and Iraq against reghimes that supposedly committed illegal acts thinking they could do whatever they wanted.
Simply put; if they buy Sealand and start pissing off Sony or Murdoch, there is nothing stopping either of them getting a gunboat and blowing the thing out of the water for ever. They flaunt French Law? It’s not that hard a target for a single Exocet and those things sting! Why don’t they see this simple fact? They want to break the law and yet they want the law to protect them. Nobody out there is going to help them if someone decides they don’t like them; they are a large open target with “ABUSE ME BIG BOY” painted in neon on the side.
As I said, I rather like Pirate Bay and I’d prefer not to see it sunk for ever letting another pile of people with guns and money win. The legality of Sealand as an independent state is also very dodgy and even more so if it is sold. Nobody has ever taken that much time disputing it because previously it was just some random nutter waving a flag; as soon as they start to actually piss people off, methinks they will need a lot more than $15,327 to pay those legal fees. I have spent a good deal of my life and my money in court on issues like this over the years, it’s neither fun nor fruitful and the bastards nearly always win.
The other thing I find mildly amusing is the idiots who are giving them money. Fifteen years ago I wrote an article about the rot that sets in when things like this start asking for money – You can find it at http://lorry.org/Docs/life.cycle if you are curious. What is going to happen with all this money? Will it just end up being wasted on buying a pile of rock somewhere? It’s all very odd. Still they are Pirates, maybe it is all an elaborate scheme to relieve naive tossers of their money. If so then I wish them the best of luck!