Online piracy is being viciously and ruthlessly battled by the United States government in an attempt to protect copyright holders and the entertainment industry from further losses. Illegal downloads are like tiny cuts being reopened again and again – one cut doesn’t hurt but when there are hundreds and thousands of them they slowly bleed the substantial profits from the big wigs.
For years now the US government has been trying to stop pirating, but only recently have they struck major blows. While many will argue that the entertainment industry and many other companies have a monopoly and that the prices they are charging for their products are outrageous and disproportionate, almost everyone will concede with the fact that pirating is still illegal (albeit justified). So of course the United States government comes running to aid the entertainment industry and is now shutting down sites with a fevered intensity – guilty and innocent sites alike.
To combat the United States attempt to solidify the monopoly held by copyright holders, pirates are being very very creative. Most websites are being moved to non-US based hosting and domains to protect themselves from unjust seizures; however one pirating site is taking a more novel approach: offline.
How does file sharing work offline? Well it all revolves around PirateBox, a Wi-Fi hotspot device developed by David Darts and inspired by local radios. While the first prototype was a bit bulky and a little unsightly, it worked fantastically. Now, kudos to Numerama, PirateBox is available for around $50 and has a sleek new look.
Since the price of the first PirateBox was around $100, that was affordable – but it could still go lower. Now some new hardware is being used (the TP-Link TL-MR3020 3G Wireless N Router) which drops the price down to around half that of the original.
So how do you use PirateBox?
First, you need a USB with the files on it that you wish to share. Once obtained simply insert that USB into the PirateBox and turn the power on. Now, just follow the easy step-by-step instructions and tutorial here.
While many torrents and file sharing sites remain up for now, there is no telling when they will be removed and an official seizure notice put on the domain. Copies of The Pirate Bay are available for download and also copies of the torrents on Bitsnoop are as well.
Can you trace it?
Thanks to the design of PirateBox all of the files in it can be downloaded and more can be uploaded without a trace. Additionally users will access it wirelessly from anywhere in the vicinity. Pirating is heading in a whole new direction and it will be some time before the United States government begins to try and contemplate a way to combat this threat – no doubt their solution will be another rash one that violates Constitutional rights, but we shall see.
For now, Pirating remains strong and the most popular pirating site on the net still stands – though feel free to download your personal copy of the PirateBay here.