The Stupidity of Big Business

The Pirate Bay is a search engine for BitTorrent files and achieved the quite remarkable feat over the weekend of getting itself covered by the world’s media, including the BBC.

What stroke of marketing genius made this possible? Some brilliant promotion? A fantastic PR angle? No, it was a complete own goal by their stupid, dumb, can-you-believe-that-these-guys-get-paid-for-working opponents.

In case you missed the story, the Swedish police raided the offices of The Pirate Bay, allegedly after political pressure had been applied by the MPAA via Washington. The MPAA are running very scared of piracy and and are in the anger phase of their grieving process for their old business models. We’ve already witnessed denial for some time and bargaining, depression and acceptance will follow soon. This lashing out includes companies who just happen to be standing close to the action like The Pirate Bay, who are more like Google than say, the old Napster.

So after the heavy handed raid, the company was up and running again pretty quickly. But this company that was probably only known to a tiny niche community, in comparison to all internet users, has suddenly acquired a global media profile, the envy of any celebrity.

As a result, the MPAA (assuming the allegations are true) have single-handedly done more to promote BitTorrent, file sharing and using The Pirate Bay than anything Pirate Bay could ever have dreamed up themselves.

The mind truly boggles. How can that be topped?

Ahhh. Another weekend story. FIFA have sent Boing Boing a pre-emptive Cease and Desist letter in case they were thinking about “unauthorized streaming and downloading of FIFA World Cup matches” (that’s a big soccer competition about to start in Germany, in case you missed it). Why Boing Boing? And why try to actively court the animosity of bloggers in general?

I suppose ironically, if you did want to look for copies of World Cup videos, your best bet would be the newly famous Pirate Bay. So maybe, FIFA should consider sending the MPAA a C&D for promoting the cause of file sharing video infringing FIFA’s rights.

Now there’s an interesting twist.

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