With Liberty and Downloads For All. . .
Our image of pirates has changed a bit since the high seas are largely under control (though there are some unruly ne’er-do-well factions marauding about in Indonesia). Pirates today seek digital booty, and as of this week, to buy a country so they can download in peace.
Okay, so it’s not a country. It’s Sealand, a principality six miles off the Eastern coast of England. For American readers, a principality is a territory ruled by a prince. Sealand is also a fortress, a football field on concrete stilts accessible only by helicopter, abandoned by British troops after World War II, claimed and declared sovereign by a British family in the 1960’s.
With me? Okay, visit Sealand’s website to learn more of the history. That’s not what we’re talking about here. All you need to know about Sealand is that it caught fire this summer and the royal family has put it up for sale. No, you can’t sell a principality, but you can transfer power for a fee.
Pirate Bay, the Swedish outfit that uses BitTorrent technology to help visitors download whatever they darn-well feel like is tired of being harassed by the Swedish government about their trade and has launched a campaign to buy Sealand.
Trying to extend supposed success in another “micronation,” Ladonia (there’s some wild crap going on Sweden – you can become citizen and self-titled nobility there for just $12), Pirate Bay is looking for a safe haven in the world for Internet pirates. Sealand, sovereign because of certain oversights in British law, is just the place.
At BuySealand.com, the Pirate Bay clarifies its intentions:
With the help of all the kopimists on Internets, we want to buy Sealand. Donate money and you will become a citizien. We’ve set up a forum to discuss how the country is supposed to function. – It should be a great place for everybody. With high-speed Internets access, no copyright laws and vip accounts to The Pirate Bay.
With the help of all the kopimists on Internets, we want to buy Sealand. Donate money and you will become a citizien.
We’ve set up a forum to discuss how the country is supposed to function.
– It should be a great place for everybody. With high-speed Internets access, no copyright laws and vip accounts to The Pirate Bay.
It would seem, the Kopimi, or kopimists, or kopimistic people, have chosen a symbol indicating permission to copy (“copy me”) as the newest -ism in the world. The going rate for a sovereign helipad on stilts off the coast of England? Just shy of $200 million, or just 95 million minimum donations. But it has free Internet access.
The Pirate Bay has a Plan B if they cannot collect enough money to buy Sealand. They’ll buy some other island and claim it as their own country.