'Pirate Bay' sailing again after glitch

There were sighs of relief around the cyber filesharing world when the top torrent site The Pirate Bay came back on line again on Monday morning after being offline for about 18 hours.

Proxies for The Pirate Bay also appeared unavailable after the filesharing website, sparking speculation and fears that a government somewhere had intervened and managed to shut down the service.

Later reports said the website, which boasts over 30 million global users who avoid copyright fees and share software, music, movie, video and other files, was offline because of "a technical glitch", which was not explained.

The small group of people who run it later posted an explanation totally in line with the informal way the website operates (see below).

The site was up and running normally by 10.30am (Thai time). BitTorrent users worldwide posted messages on its Facebook page, saying they were relieved and hoped it would "have a long life".

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Screen capture of The Pirate Bay's Facebook page

The site has gone off the internet before, for technical reasons. But there also was speculation that one or more governments might have moved to remove The Pirate Bay from the internet, as they did in a US-led case last year which saw the end of Megaupload, described as the world's largest depository of illegal files.

The Pirate Bay has been publicly accused of hosting the world's largest collection of links to pirated material, including software, music, movies and more.

It helped to spread the popularity of downloading by torrent, a decentralised system where files are downloaded piece by piece from many places, so there is no necessity for any site or individual to host and illegally share the file, which would leave them open to charges.

The operators of The Pirate Bay were sentenced to a year in prison in their country, but none has served jail time. One of the Swedes was extradited from Cambodia last year, and another, who has a Thai wife, lives in Laos.

Related search: pirate bay, torrent, filesharing

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