The first thing that came to my mind today when I was reading the headlines about the sale of the Pirate Bay was Kazaa. Okay, that's not true. The first thing probably was something like "HOLY SHIT!!!" And then I had to think of Kazaa.

Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom sold their wildly popular file sharing network in the midst of a legal battle with Hollywood and the record companies, essentially saving their ass, securing a way to move forward and found Skype and Joost.

Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg are now trying to sell their site just weeks after Swedish court handed them jail terms, and the news broke only days after they failed to get a retrail based on the claim that the judge was biased. However, there's one very important difference:

The Kazaa case was civil litigation, and and the center of the case was Fasttrack BV, a company founded by Friis and Zennstrom. The duo dropped out of their lawsuit by simply selling the assets and closing the company.

The Pirate Bay lawsuit on the other hand was a criminal case against four individuals, and not a corporate entity. That means that the new owners won't actually inherit any part of the lawsuit. They're essentially starting with a clean slate, as I wrote today on

The original owners on the other hand may just have pretty much killed their chances to get the original verdict overturned. Sure, a jury may eventually decide that this isn't really a crime worth a prison sentence, but they'll also ask: If this was really legal, then why did you sell it?

That's obviously a very different outcome than the Kazaa sale. To me it looks much more like the Pirate Bay guys are taking the fall to potentially save the site, and put some more rubust infrastructure in place that would help to keep other sites safe as well.

Tags: , , , , , , ,