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Pirate Bay resurfaces, while protesters walk the street

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Pirate Bay, the controversial Swedish BitTorrent site that was closed last week by Swedish police, has reemerged in the Netherlands. The site was temporarily available at an untitled IP address, but is now running again at its original address, thepiratebay.org.

Fredrik Neij, one of the three people behind the site, told Reuters that their actions are not illegal as The Pirate Bay only provides links and not the actual downloads. Now that Sweden has passed a law banning the sharing of all copyrighted material on the web, the site is temporarily operating from the Netherlands, apparently from servers of Dutch hosting company Leaseweb.

Whether it is safe there is extremely doubtful. In February, Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN celebrated the closure of 16 BitTorrent sites, and it will undoubtedly hunt for The Pirate Bay. This site is considered to be the world's biggest BitTorrent tracker and may have contributed to the circulation of thousands of illegal copies of the Da Vinci Code movie and other blockbuster releases.

But the Swedish owners of The Pirate Bay have apparently already pondered another escape. Servers in Belgium and Russia may also be used in the future, sources say.

Swedish hackers are evidently not too pleased with the shutting down of Pirate Bay. This weekend they launched a DOS attack against the Swedish government's website, as well as the Swedish police site. Both were offline for a couple of hours. The government's website was functioning again at around 8am on Sunday, according to news site The Local. A group calling themselves World Wide Hackers claimed responsibility for the attacks in a phone call to the newspaper Aftonbladet.

On Saturday, hundreds of demonstrators with pirate flags gathered in downtown Stockholm. In Göteborg, the country's second largest city, another 200 protesters took the streets. They demanded that The Pirate Bay's servers, which were seized on Wednesday, are given back and the investigation against the site's operators closed.

The demonstration was organised by The Pirate Party and the youth wings of the Greens, the Left Party and the Liberals, who believe the Swedish minister of justice Thomas Bodström acted too hastily after a meeting with US officials who presented complaints on behalf of the American movie studios. ®

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