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  • The Pirate Bay, established in 2003 by the Swedish anti-copyright group Piratbyrån (“Bureau of Piracy”), stands as a prominent file-sharing website globally, utilizing the BitTorrent protocol for distributing large files like movies and electronic games. Advocating information piracy, the site often faces legal challenges from music companies, movie studios, and other content providers whose materials are shared on the platform.

    The Pirate Bay facilitates the sharing of audio, video, software, and electronic games, with a focus on newly released movies and television programs. Unlike hosting files, the site provides information on where to find them, using the BitTorrent protocol to divide, distribute, and reassemble files among users. Since November 2009, The Pirate Bay has employed magnet links, eliminating a record of file locations.

    When confronted with copyright infringement notices, the site's operators would sometimes mockingly post these notices, asserting compliance with Swedish law. They argued that antipiracy laws, such as the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act, did not apply, and the nature of file-sharing technology meant there were no materials to remove. The site, which relies on advertising for revenue and offers its services free of charge, defended against claims of profiting from piracy.

    After becoming independent from Piratbyrån in 2004, The Pirate Bay faced a raid by Swedish police in May 2006, temporarily shutting down the site. Legal challenges ensued, resulting in the operators being charged with copyright infringement in January 2008 and sentenced in April 2009. Subsequent appeals led to reduced jail terms but increased fines. The Swedish Supreme Court rejected a final appeal in 2012.

    Despite legal battles and brief closures, The Pirate Bay continued to operate, attracting approximately nine million daily visitors as of 2015. The site's legal issues exemplify the "Streisand effect," where attempts to censor or divert attention only amplify visibility.

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