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Appeared on: Monday, January 15, 2007
Pirate Bay to Buy Own Island to Beat Copyright Laws

The Pirate Bay, one of the world's most popular websites for the illegal downloading of films through filesharing, has said it wanted to buy its own "island" in a bid to avoid copyright laws.

"It's not only about Pirate Bay, it's more about having a nation with no copyright laws," one of those behind the site told the Associated Press on Friday.

The group said it would consider any territory in international waters to avoid copyright legislation.

"For Pirate Bay it would be awesome to have no copyright law. All countries today are based on the old economy and old ideas and we want to do something new," he added.

On Friday the group established a website -- www.buysealand.com -- as a discussion forum and to raise funds to buy Sealand, a former British naval platform and self-proclaimed principality six miles (10 kilometres) off the eastern coast of Britain.

No country recognises Sealand.

"We would love Sealand because its history is perfect for us as pirate radio used to be broadcast from there. If we don't get enough money for Sealand we are going to try for a small island somewhere," added the website's representative.

Pirate Bay was undeterred by Sealand's two-billion-dollar price tag.

The Pirate Bay site -- www.thepiratebay.org -- was shut down by Swedish police in May 2006. The site then reopened using servers in The Netherlands before returning to Sweden in June.

The Pirate Bay provides instructions on how to share music and film files using links offered on the site and attracts some 1.5 million users throughout the world everyday.

In 2005 the Scandinavian country passed a law banning the sharing of copyrighted material on the Internet without payment of royalties, in a bid to crack down on free downloading of music, films and computer games.

Filesharing in Sweden carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison.



About Sealand

Sealand was founded as a sovereign Principality in 1967 in international waters, six miles off the eastern shores of Britain.

It is a man-made off-shore installation founded on the principle that any group of people dissatisfied with the oppressive laws and restrictions of existing nation states may declare independence in any place not claimed to be under the jurisdiction of another sovereign entity. The location chosen was Roughs Tower, an island fortress created in World War II by Britain and subsequently abandoned to the jurisdiction of the High Seas. The population of the facility rarely exceeds ten, and its area is 5920 sq. ft. The independence of Sealand was upheld in a 1968 British court decision where the judge held that Roughs Tower stood in international waters and did not fall under the legal jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.


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