BitTorrent Pirates Want Own Country

In what could be seen as both marketing stunt and ploy for donations, popular Swedish BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay has announced intentions to raise money to purchase Sealand, a claimed "sovereign Principality" founded in international waters, six miles off the eastern shores of Britain.

The idea is to establish The Pirate Bay in a location where international copyright laws do not apply. The service, easily the most popular site hosting torrent files for downloading illicit content such as movies and television shows, has faced increasing pressure since being raided and forced to relocate from Sweden last May.

Although The Pirate Bay, like other torrent sites, hosts no copyrighted material itself, it plays a central role in facilitating the searching for and downloading of such content. Its operators have openly mocked and taunted those who threaten it with legal action.

If it does not raise enough money to buy Sealand, which is not much more than an offshore oil platform, the group says it will look into purchasing a small island and declaring it an independent nation.

"To make sure the owners [of Sealand] will be kopimistic and that the country won’t be governed by people that do not care about it’s future, we have come up with a plan. With the help of all the kopimists on Internets, we want to buy Sealand. Donate money and you will become a citizien," The Pirate Bay wrote on a Web site setup for the effort.

"It should be a great place for everybody. With high-speed Internets access, no copyright laws and vip accounts to The Pirate Bay." Thus far, the group has raised over $17,000.

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