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Pirate Bay to Purchase Sealand?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the nice-dodge dept.

The Courts 703

paulraps writes "Notorious Swedish file-sharing website The Pirate Bay is planning to buy its own nation in an attempt to get around troublesome international copyright laws. The organization, the world's largest bit torrent tracker, has set its sights on Sealand, a former British naval platform in the North Sea that has been designated a 'micronation' and claims to be outside UK jurisdiction. With a target price of £500m it won't be cheap, but Pirate Bay says contributors will become honorary citizens."

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703 comments

Arrr! (5, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572340)

Pirates and the sea! Aye, this be a perfect match if ever there be one.

Re:Arrr! (-1, Offtopic)

gx5000 (863863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572500)

No no no, NOT the Axis of Evil, just one of the lesser ones...remember ?

Axis of evil
Look out Scotland and Australia!
  In 'that Speech', Bush calls Iraq, Iran and North Korea the "Axis of Evil" -- N.Y. Times, 1/30/02
  ANGERED BY SNUBBING, LIBYA, CHINA SYRIA FORM
        "AXIS OF JUST AS EVIL"
  Cuba, Sudan, Serbia Form Axis of Somewhat Evil; Other Nations Start Own Clubs.
Beijing (SatireWire.com) - Bitter after being snubbed for membership in the "Axis of Evil," Libya, China, and Syria today announced they had formed the "Axis of Just as Evil," which they said would be way eviler than that stupid Iran-Iraq-North Korea axis President Bush warned of in his State of the Union address.
Axis of Evil members, however, immediately dismissed the new axis as having, for starters, a really dumb name. "Right. They are Just as Evil... in their dreams!" declared North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il. "Everybody knows we're the best evils... best at being evil... we're the best."
  Diplomats from Syria denied they were jealous over being excluded, although they conceded they did ask if they could join the Axis of Evil. "They told us it was full," said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
  "An Axis can't have more than three countries," explained Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. "This is not my rule, it's tradition. In World War II you had Germany, Italy, and Japan in the evil Axis. So you can only have three - and a secret handshake. Ours is wicked cool."
    THE AXIS PANDEMIC
  International reaction to Bush's Axis of Evil declaration was swift, as within minutes, France surrendered.
  Elsewhere, peer-conscious nations rushed to gain triumvirate status in what became a game of geopolitical chairs. Cuba, Sudan, and Serbia said they had formed the 'Axis of Somewhat Evil', forcing Somalia to join with Uganda and Myanmar in the 'Axis of Occasionally Evil', while Bulgaria, Indonesia and Russia established the 'Axis of Not So Much Evil Really As Just Generally Disagreeable'.
  With the criteria suddenly expanded and all the desirable clubs filling up, Sierra Leone, El Salvador, and Rwanda applied to be called the 'Axis of Countries That Aren't the Worst But Certainly Won't Be Asked to Host the Olympics'; Canada, Mexico, and Australia formed the 'Axis of Nations That Are Actually Quite Nice But Secretly Have Nasty Thoughts About America', while Spain, Scotland, and New Zealand established the 'Axis of Countries That Be Allowed to Ask Sheep to Wear Lipstick'.
"That's not a threat, really, just something we like to do, said Scottish Executive First Minister Jack McConnell.
While wondering if the other nations of the world weren't perhaps making fun of him, a cautious Bush granted approval for most axes, although he rejected the establishment of the 'Axis of Countries Whose Names End in "Guay", accusing one of its members of filing a false application.

Officials from Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chadguay denied the charges.
Israel, meanwhile, insisted it didn't want to join any Axis, but privately, world leaders said that's only because no one asked them.

Re:Arrr! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17572516)

Except that Sealand is not really a nation and won't change anything. As well as the fact that since they will likely not buy it, they will just put the donated money in their pockets. Arrr!

Re:Arrr! (2, Insightful)

Brummund (447393) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572526)

£500m? Can't they just buy the stuff they steal on the bay for that kind of money?

Re:Arrr! (3, Funny)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572726)

No, it's not even close.

Re:Arrr! (4, Insightful)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572788)

They don't steal anything, copyright infringement isn't theft. You been listening to too much **AA babble.

hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17572342)

I wonder how many copyrights you could buy out for that much money...

Re:hmmm (1)

osee (944334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572368)

Is that really 500million pounds? Or is it a typo? If so, why don't they build themselves one?

Re:hmmm (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17572524)

They wouldn't be buying just a platform. Sealand has a complex history; it was in international waters when built in WW2, and still was when its owner/leader declared it an independent nation. Since then international maritime laws have changed, and if a similar platform was built today it would be a part of the nation closest to it. There was actually a confrontation between Sealand and the Royal Navy in the 70s, IIRC, a standoff which ended with the withdrawal of the RN, supposedly cementing Sealand's place as a sovereign nation. So, that's what The Pirate Bay would be buying: not just an offshore platform, but a true data haven, a sort of modern-day Tortuga, a port from which to set sail on the high seas of the internet with blatant disregard for copyright law.

Hmm . A bit slow thought. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17572344)

256kbit over point to point radio last time I checked.
I think they might need an upgrade to do file sharing.

Re:Hmm . A bit slow thought. (4, Informative)

joshetc (955226) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572380)

They will need to upgrade a bit, not so much though as AFAIK they mainly only host the trackers. Seeders do all the actual sharing. Apparently telling a friend where to get ____ illegal material is just as illegal as actually giving it to them, hence the need for Seaworld.

Re:Hmm . A bit slow thought. (5, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572618)

Seaworld? Are they going to use TCP/IP over dolphin carrier?

Re:Hmm . A bit slow thought. (1)

Viper Daimao (911947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572756)

No, obviously they are going to use sharks [laser-internet.co.uk]

Re:Hmm . A bit slow thought. (2, Informative)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572408)

It is Bittorrent. They don't NEED filesharing. They just need to pass you a small list of computers where you can get the goodies. Heck, to save bandwith, they can host all their websites GIF's on a different server on the mainland.

And the **aa would say.. (2, Funny)

Caffeinebot (826925) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572358)

If they do that, the terrorists would win!

Re:And the **aa would say.. (4, Insightful)

slidersv (972720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572464)

As long as **aa talks, terrorist have won.

Re:And the **aa would say.. (3, Funny)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572804)

So if the **aa stops talking, terrorists will no longer have won? Would they lose retroactively?

Welcome to the club (1, Funny)

ziggamon2.0 (796017) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572362)

Seems like the axis of evil is getting a new member!

waste (2, Insightful)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572364)

Well, there's £500m down the drain...

Hmmm... (5, Funny)

psykl0n3 (759848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572370)

WOuldn't this be even more dangerous though? Now, MPAA and RIAA would actually be lobbying for military action against the Sealand nation... Imagine that, sorry our servers are down due to an air strike... Please donate to purchase more airplanes and subs.

Account number? (5, Funny)

XSforMe (446716) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572620)

Please donate to purchase more airplanes and subs.
You mean we actually get to fire live ammo on the MPAA/RIAA lawyers? Can you repost the account number accepting these donations?

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Nanpa (971527) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572684)

It's a bit sad when pirates have to beg for money for boats to protect their native land, Sealand

Perfect! (1)

drfishy (634081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572374)

Seriously, this whole story is like straight out of a movie (or crummy novel)...

Re:Perfect! (3, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572510)

I want to watch that movie! Anyone have a .torrent?

Re:Perfect! (4, Interesting)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572718)

Ironically enough, there is one! It's called Steal This Film [wikipedia.org] . Here's a torrent [thepiratebay.org] . Maybe this new stuff about Sealand will be in Part 2.

Buy Pimlico instead (1)

MindKata (957167) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572382)

Maybe they should buy Pimlico, it should be cheaper than £500m and all they will need is a passport to it.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041737/ [imdb.com]

Theres a problems with this. (5, Interesting)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572384)

As pointed out in the previous Sealand article, you have to connect to someone. So you get your fiber run out to.... who? England? France? India? Look what the Russians are doing with their oil.

Pirate Bay would get cut off in a heart beat.

Re:Theres a problems with this. (2, Insightful)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572426)

That's the sucky thing about the WTO... it's essentially a giant prefered trading block -- its NOT about free trade, its about "Trade under our rules". Russia is now rewriting their copyright laws so they can join as members.

I think the reason why Sealand has failed as a datahaven, is not just the availability of ISP but the costs involved to maintain it.

Re:Theres a problems with this. (2, Interesting)

omeg (907329) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572496)

Not really. It's not like Sealand will actually ever be a recognized country. It's essentially England, and nobody's going to boycot them.

Re:Theres a problems with this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17572576)

Look what the Russians are doing with their oil.

If you do not pay Russians for their oil, you won't be getting their oil for free for long. It's naive to think otherwise. Look up "market economy" in your search engine of choice.

Re:Theres a problems with this. (5, Interesting)

Alchemar (720449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572624)

You don't have to have the gear located inside your country. You find a friendly third world country (ie they will accept you bribe) to set up an embasy. The embasy is now considered your soil under your laws. I don't think there is anything in international law that says you can't have an embasy that is larger than your native country. Now you can just make a deal to tie into the main fiber for the country your embasy resides in. Tell them you need a direct connections for reasons of national security.

Think of the extended benifits. Under the guideline set by the US, no one should have problems with you kidnapping the head of the RIAA and using waterboarding techniques to extract information about how they are planning to shutdown your network, thus causing the complete economic colapse of your country as well as threatening (ie terrorizing) all your honorary citizens.

Re:Theres a problems with this. (5, Funny)

AlphaLop (930759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572742)

Wow, What a great plan. That only leaves one question... Do you work for the government or the Mafia? Either way I think you have the right mindset..... And I like the way you think :)

Re:Theres a problems with this. (4, Insightful)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572736)

As pointed out in the previous Sealand article, you have to connect to someone. So you get your fiber run out to.... who? England? France? India? Look what the Russians are doing with their oil.

Pirate Bay would get cut off in a heart beat.


Cutting some cables might not fix the problem, though, since there are other options (satellite communications; connecting through a proxy, say a ship in international waters; etc.). So, if this went through, most likely the young nation would quickly be 'liberated'.

(But we all know it won't succeed, it's just a publicity stunt by TPB, and an amusing one at that; they do know their PR, those people)

500 Million ?? (4, Insightful)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572390)

At that price surely it would be cheaper to build your own platform and if they truly are pirates it would be much cheaper to buy a pirate ship and take it by force.

Re:500 Million ?? (1)

alienmole (15522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572534)

If you read the comments to the previous /. article about Sealand being for sale (at which point the price was only 65 million, talk about a price rise), people pointed out that it's no longer possible to obtain any kind of independent status for an artificial structure under international law. Sealand apparently still enjoys some kind of special status, though, having been grandfathered in.

Re:500 Million ?? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572694)

Sealand claims some sort of special status, and has indeed seen off a couple of half-hearted attempts to get rid of it.

However, let's be serious for a minute. The UK does not recognise the independence of Sealand, which is entirely contained within UK national waters under international law. Seeing off the navy is a cute joke, but if anyone who "bought" the "nation" started seriously impeding UK interests, for example by flagrantly violating UK law, then the "nation" could cease to exist rather abruptly. More realistically, the government would probably just ship a few police officers over there, arrest everyone, and throw them in jail. You'd hear their cries of "You have no jurisdiction!" all the way to the police helicopter, of course. :-)

Re:500 Million ?? (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572770)

Bang on, if for example that plaform was used to store large quantities of drugs ready for smuggling over to the mainland it would not be around long enough for its operators to say "Jack Robinson".

Any activity on the platform which is likely to cause any kind of incident; be it illegal filesharing or acting as a magnet for naval actions between the RIAA and The Pirate Party will see the end of the whole thing arrive very quickly under the barrel of a British Destroyer.

Re:500 Million ?? (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572550)

The British navy and the ex-Prime Minister already tried that. [wikipedia.org] Apparantly those Sealanders are real spitfires.

Re:500 Million ?? (1)

jaweekes (938376) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572592)

Or just talk to the owners and rent some rack space?

Complete Awesomeness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17572394)

I think it's a great idea. I hope the RIAA gets afew canoes and goes out there to rough 'em up. *BURBLE*

What rights Would Citizens have? (2, Funny)

akaris1 (1050250) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572402)

I can't wait to sign my john hancock! The one thing I want in the bill of rights is the right to do the dew and eat peanut butter cups

Re:What rights Would Citizens have? (2, Funny)

Howserx (955320) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572636)

don't forget to add the right to bare arms. No shirts and ties for me when it gets hot!

Not that bad... (1)

YH (126159) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572410)

Let each of the 2.5M peers currently on the tracker donate 200 each. Not bad for ensuring your favorite p2p tracker will stay up forever!!!!

Re:Not that bad... (2, Informative)

martijnd (148684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572482)

So how do you intend to get money out of leachers?

I though the whole point of the Pirate Bay was that they got everything for free?

Next RIAA tactic -- sue all honary citizens of Sealand.

problem... (2, Interesting)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572422)

The only problem I see right now is that right now the Pirate Bay is operating inside a real country. If they move to sealand, what's to stop the MPAA/RIAA from buying an old Russian Bomber / Diesel Sub / whatever and just destroying the whole platform? Or hiring someone to plant C-4 on the base of hte structure and blowing it up? Further, Sealand only exists because the British have decided it's more trouble than it's worth to just invade it. What if the Brits get pressured into eliminating this grave threat to the international recording industry?

Re:problem... (1)

Aim Here (765712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572486)

"What's to stop the MPAA/RIAA from buying an old Russian Bomber / Diesel Sub / whatever and just destroying the whole platform? Or hiring someone to plant C-4 on the base of hte structure and blowing it up?"

Errr, the same thing stopping them doing that sort of thing with the current pirate bay servers. Terrorism and murder is pretty much illegal everywhere.

Re:problem... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17572564)

Errr, the same thing stopping them doing that sort of thing with the current pirate bay servers. Terrorism and murder is pretty much illegal everywhere.

No, it's easy to carry out terrorism and murder legally. It's like Iraq - just get Britain to help. All the RIAA needs to do is:
  1. Lobby the US Government (they are good at doing this).
  2. The US Government declares war on Sealand, saying that it is a haven for terrorists (the new word for copyright infringers, just like "liberal" now means "terrorist sympathizer").
  3. The US Government gets Britain, their allies and best friends, to invade the evil terrorist dictatorship of Sealand and install democracy.
  4. The terrorists are all killed! No-one can download pirated music any more!
  5. Profit!
  6. RIAA wins.

Re:problem... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17572716)

Why don't you shut the hell up. Idiot.

Re:problem... (4, Interesting)

Tx (96709) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572614)

Errr, the same thing stopping them doing that sort of thing with the current pirate bay servers. Terrorism and murder is pretty much illegal everywhere.

That didn't stop French Intelligence from blowing up a Greenpeace ship [wikipedia.org] , now did it? And I'm pretty sure that French Intelligence are pussies compared to the **AA.

Re:problem... (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572666)

Who's going to stop them? The U.N.?

Re:problem... (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572668)

Didn't you get the memo? Anyone with money and/or power is above the law... ;-)

Re:problem... (3, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572732)

The only problem I see right now is that right now the Pirate Bay is operating inside a real country. If they move to sealand, what's to stop the MPAA/RIAA from buying an old Russian Bomber / Diesel Sub / whatever and just destroying the whole platform? Or hiring someone to plant C-4 on the base of hte structure and blowing it up? Further, Sealand only exists because the British have decided it's more trouble than it's worth to just invade it. What if the Brits get pressured into eliminating this grave threat to the international recording industry?

One thing any island nation that is not self sufficient needs to remember is that a blockade can strangle them without a shot being fired. In Sealand's case, all it would take is to cutoff their internet connection to the outside world and their data center is down. If it is a hardwired line the terminating point can kill it; if it is satellite the satellite company can no doubt be pressured into dropping them.

If they really piss people off step two is cutting all sea and air traffic; plus countries could issue arrest warrants for the owners and wait until they left and simply grab them once they are within reach - who wants to spend their entire life on a floating platform simply to pirate movies and songs?

Finally, if they raised the money they'd have the clout to negotiate licenses with many, if not all of the copyright holders - or simply buy whole catalogs. If they could pull off enough donations they'd have people begging to partner with them. then again, your MPAA/RIAA diesel boat scenario is more probable then them raising the cash.

Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17572424)

Yeah, they're really going to raise 1 billion USD.

What is internet access like on Sealand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17572430)

What is internet access like on Sealand?
Assuming Sealand has a trunk comunications line, a country could always cut the line in their own territory.
Seems that it would be cheaper to launch a communications satellite and have a ship in international waters hosting servers...

Boom (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572446)

So, if they're outside the reach of national law, they're also outside the protection of it too correct ?

All theese orginazations that want them shutdown could hire gorillas to raid the "Nation" & take them out the old fashioned way without fear of prosecution couldn't they ?

Re:Boom (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572498)

Can gorillas swim, or pilot small manuevable water craft ?

Re:Boom (0, Offtopic)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572606)

Not only can they do that, they also come in a suppository.

Re:Boom (1)

hauntingthunder (985246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572514)

well There is the teensy little matter of the Royal Navy taking a dim view of Pirates

Re:Boom (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572568)

Does that mean they don't even need to hire gorillas, they can just wait for the Royal Navy to blow them out of the water ?

Re:Boom (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572696)

Ironic isn't it? Aren't they the ones who's willing* financing made the whole (maritime) piracy thing big?

note: willing because the rest of the financers were typically not willing and were financers by force rather than option.

Re:Boom (0, Troll)

jedigeek (102443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572638)

Why of course, someone who can't even spell guerrillas is bound to know all about international legislation with regard to small nations operating legally at odds with the countries around them! Thanks for the tip!

Re:Boom (2, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572680)

Hey, Bush can't pronounce Nuclear & he's running the country.

**AA response? (1)

AlHunt (982887) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572452)


The **AA will doubtless lobby the UN to send troops in if Piratebay sets up shop there.

Ugh... (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572454)

In the end these guys still tick me off. They act as if they have a plephora of information held back by the almighty dollar and the greedy supercorperations (yeah, as if anyone really torrents non-gaming, non-pornography books) and that we, the public have a right to get anything we want for free as long as no one is willing to pay...ugh. Sorry, I just had a dream of mine cut short by doing some research and finding out for every D20 book you sell, around 10,000 illegal copies are shared (mostly among people who won't even use your ideas). I personally love the idea of people sharing my books and in a perfect world I'd say go for it. Too bad the publishers and artists still want payments/commissions... -___-'

Brilliant ! (1)

gx5000 (863863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572460)

Brilliant !
But I do think the MPAA shock troops might be readying to invade
should the sale go through...
Should prove interesting if tourism hits big....
Fire Marshal will have a hell of a time figuring out max capacity on that thing !

dumb idea. (4, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572470)

Safer using a fraction of that amount to spread the site across the nordic countries + netherlands or some eastern european country.

1) I bet some data centers are bigger than Sealand.
2) Easier to cut Sealand off from the rest of the internet.

The National Anthem of Sealand (5, Funny)

Van Cutter Romney (973766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572474)

We download, we copy, we share and loot
No more DRM me hearties, yo ho
We file swap and upload and don't give a hoot
No more MPAA me hearties, yo ho

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me

Re:The National Anthem of Sealand (1, Insightful)

fishyfool (854019) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572574)

Dang, I wish I had mod points

Citizenship?!? (5, Insightful)

PetrusMagnusII (309326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572480)

Dude, forget the whole bittorrent part, I'd donate just so I can get citizenship. That'd be a sweet novelty item, a Sealand Passport! Just as long as they don't have laws against dual citizenship that is ;)

Re:Citizenship?!? (1)

quarterbrain (958359) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572744)

If you go to http://www.sealandgov.org/ [sealandgov.org] , you'll find that you can buy a title for about 30 euros. You can be a Lord/Lady or Baron/Baroness of Sealand! I'm thinking my D&D fascinated neices and nephews will be getting a title for the next gift giving event. Much better than being an honorary citizen if you ask me.

Sealand is not a country! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17572490)

It is not recognised as a country by any other country and never will be.
If anything like this was set up i can imagine they will send in the navy and pull it down just like they did with the other platforms.

Finally where will they get their internet connection from?
the UK will be much stricter than their current country and i can imagine the bandwidth requirements for piratebay are quite large!

IT won't work (2, Interesting)

myth24601 (893486) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572508)

After they spend all that money the UK will claim jurisdiction over them anyway. Up 'till now there hasn't been anything on that platform worth a dang so the UK let some crank claim it was a seperate contry.

Waste of money.

International waters (1)

sveinb (305718) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572532)

If they manage to get a decent network connection to Sealand, they might as well connect a ship in international waters. Cheaper and less controversial.

Arrrrr - Yay for pirates ! (1, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572536)

I, for one, welcome our new pirate saviors.

500 million for that? Why not launch a satellite? (5, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572540)

With that price, couldn't they do something better with the money?

For that amount of cash they could probably launch a satellite. Now that's an idea -- how about trackers in the sky people can connect to by pointing an antenna to it? Since you'd have to aim at the satellite, it'd be very unlikely that somebody could snoop on the communication, and the precise location of the users could be unknown.

At least, unlike with Sealand, anybody with the right equipment could connect to it, without having to rely on other countries not cutting the connection to it.

Isn't this a book? (4, Interesting)

gravesb (967413) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572544)

This reminds me of the plot to Cryptonomican, by Neal Stephenson. If this really is a micronation, and the pirate file sharing thing works out, I wonder if they will expand to hosting other files for money in return for a promise of absolute privacy, i.e., no court orders to turn files over. I think they would make up the money spent buying the 'country' rather quickly. Of course, their servers would be a target for the NSA and every equivalent hunting for files from terrorist and criminal organizations.

What are the odds? (1)

Spritzer (950539) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572546)

The average person using the site won't pay $15 for a DVD at Wal-Mart. Does anyone seriously expect that enough of them will fork over hundreds of dollars to acquire a rusting, burned-out, communicationally-challenged scenic overlook. This whole thing is as humorous as the Pirate Party.

If they do get Sealand they better form one hell of a militia. One rubber raft does not a navy make.

Re:What are the odds? (2, Funny)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572704)

And even if they do get the money who is going to trust a bunch of pirates with £500 Million. With that money in the bank buying a rusting steel coffin in the middle of nowhere is not going to look like a very good option compared to building yourself a well defended palace on some tropical island somewhere and living like a Pirate King for the rest of your life.

Re:What are the odds? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572776)

TPB has had no problems in the past getting donations for their quite impressive tracker power. Of course, this is on a whole different scale, however, that pirates donate is not news. I also don't understand what's so "humorous" about the Pirate Party? It's a serious party that actually got mentioned at national TV on election day, being reasonably close some other specialist parties that have had some media coverage.

Bad Idea... (4, Insightful)

joto (134244) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572548)

That would be a waste of money. As much as I support piratebay, they are much more secure within Sweden than they ever will be at Sealand.

First, Sealand is not a real country, it is a part of Britain. The fact that some people who are good at manipulating media claims otherwise, doesn't make it so.

Secondly, even if Sealand was a real country, it's not a country any other country needs to maintain relations with. If they find out that they dislike you, they will be perfectly happy to shut down your Internet connection. That the server remains out of their reach is not important. More important is the fact that unless you agree to be e.g. British, you will not have the protection of e.g. British law against service providers who decide to shut you down.

Finally, it's a waste of money. If you really believe Sealand is a country, and that owning it will somehow help you avoiding legalities when hosting torrents, then you should just do the same as the current owner did: occupy it. At this time, there is only one person on Sealand (a security guard). I'm sure the cost of renting a small ship or a helicopter and sufficient crews to fight him will be well below the prize the current "owners" ask for.

500m? (2, Interesting)

Flamefly (816285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572552)

former British naval platform in the North Sea that has been designated a 'micronation' and claims to be outside UK jurisdiction.

The United States, and Germany have found it has no legal status, and that it is part of the United Kingdom, a country who has never given up ownership of the platform.

Surprisingly I'm not a multi-millionare, so I've not looked into it, but I'm betting you could by a tiny island somewhere in the world for a lot less money, and ideally be able to then begin legally moving it to it's own sovereignty. With the added benefit that a single bomb/torpedo wouldn't entirely destroy your country.

The other way around (2, Informative)

kt0157 (830611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572806)

No, actually the UK claims it to be inside UK jurisdiction. It was outside UK territorial waters, and the UK then decided to extend its territorial waters further and claim Sealand. K.

If they do (1, Troll)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572554)

Just expect US intervention and maybe invasion of the island. It will not be the first time US goverment applies sanctions against those who don't respct corporations copyrights. After all US are the kings of the world.

Why pirates and paedos the only ones interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17572558)



Why are pirates and paedos the only ones interested in Sealand ?

Why Bother? (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572584)

Sealand is now within the British territorial waters (since they were expanded a few years back), and the 'nation' is not recognised by the UK. There are two ways in which you can become an independent nation:
  1. Claim it, and back up the claim with a strong enough economy or military that the international community decides that it's in their best interests to play along.
  2. Get a strong nation to recognise your claim, and put pressure on other nations to do the same.
Sealand failed the first one; they have no military, and almost no economy, and they haven't tried the second.

Being a citizen of somewhere like Vatican City, which is internationally recognised, might be useful. Being a citizen of Sealand isn't; even if they did issue you a passport (the current administration doesn't), you can't use it anywhere. Similarly, infringing UK law on Sealand isn't a good idea. When Sealand caught fire last year, they called out the British fire brigade. I suspect the police have at least as long a reach, and the claim that you are not guilty because you committed the crimes in a nation that is not recognised by the UK government would not hold up in a British court any more than declaring your house to be its own jurisdiction would.

A better bet might be Luxembourg. According to the CIA factbook, the population is just under half a million. The number of registered Slashdot users is about a million. Unlike Sealand, Luxembourg is already recognised as a nation. Monaco, with only 32K people might be an even better bet. Failing that, I suspect that there are a number of third-world countries that would sell a segment of themselves and recognise its independent status in exchange for a few million dollars...

They'll never get enough money (4, Interesting)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572590)

At current exchange rates, they would need very close to 1 billion dollars to buy Sealand at a price of a little more than 500 million pounds. That would mean that 1 million people would need to donate 1000 dollars each to get the money. I'm not sure they could raise enough cash if all they needed was 1 million to buy it.
 

Re:They'll never get enough money (1)

Sir Runcible Spoon (143210) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572712)

Right, so if all the registered slashdot users donated $1000 (including the dead, the duplicates and all those old first post robot accounts), we are in with a chance?

Re:They'll never get enough money (1)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572724)

Damn, they should have bought it in 1960. Or maybe that movie didn't quite get the inflation rate correct...

Re:They'll never get enough money (1)

Sir Runcible Spoon (143210) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572792)

Oh back then all the pirates were in boats [wikipedia.org] .

Re:They'll never get enough money (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17572774)

Considering their constituency is made up of thieving teenagers who refuse to pay 20USD for the films they download, the likelihood of them ever raising any money is close to zero.

Uh Oh... (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572632)

They'd better watch out, because in Sealand, they could easily get boarded by Kevin Costner.

hogwash (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572654)

I know this is somewhat flamebait but this idea really sounds like hogwash. Its founding tenets are fundamentally flawed. Copyright laws are a good thing when NOT abused. Copyright and patent law, when properly used is designed to protect the small time inventor/innovator with less assets than large corporations. The US and UK Legal Systems allow for rampant abuse and the lawyers ultimately make out well. Patent law in the US is a mess and is being abused by M$. Microsoft patents absurdities: this is abuse. Besides, what if you travel to Sealand, commit piracy and return to the US? I am sure, lawyers, being creative as they are, will find a way to punish you for your misdeads. Whilst I cannot condone RIAA and MPAA tactics, I am also no fan of piracy. One has every right to make money off of their creation. Only when the creators (i.e. the artists) say it's not piracy, it's not piracy.

I Thought They Were Legal Already ? (3, Interesting)

CodeArtisan (795142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572660)

If what they claim is true, i.e. that they aren't doing anything illegal now, why do they need to escape to anywhere ?

Eh (1)

Rie Beam (632299) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572702)

There seems to be an issue with fiber connectivity -- so why not launch a satellite? I mean, while we're on the topic of silly tasks like purchasing nations to support a file sharing website...

Any banks in sealand? (1)

psykl0n3 (759848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572708)

One other thing to ponder is how exactly would they transfer the money for a supposedly sovereign country? Being pirates I guess they'll have trunks of gold!!!

uhmm a lot of legal problems not to mention practi (1)

SuperDre (982372) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572738)

Uhmm.. becomming a citizen isn't that easy, well, maybe it is becoming one of Sealand, but I think there are some real legal problems with your own country of becomming one of another... Then ofcourse, how would they take care of the Internetconnection, power... having bought a country doesn't mean that it stops there.. and ofcourse, what would you do if the US would 'invade' Sealand... Then ofcourse you also have to find someone who is willing to connect the country to the internet, which ofcourse can also result in legal problems.. It's a fun idea, but very naive...

Why? (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572796)

I thought their operation was legal under Swedish law, the recent police raid notwithstanding. How come the sudden change of heart?

Come on, (1)

ZetSabre (937999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572802)

We all know that Disney World is better than Disneyland. What makes you think Sealand going to be any better than Sea World?

Where are the Ninjas? (1)

Daemonstar (84116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17572808)

I wonder if the ninjas will have anything to say about this?
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