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TPB AFK (2013)

TPB AFK (2013)

I just watched TPB AFK, the first movie both screened and available for free download and the same time.

It's a documentary about The Pirate Bay, the three people behind it, and the bogus case which fined and confined them. It was an interesting watch, mostly because I've never watched any footage from the courtroom hearings earlier, even though I've been following the case, and because this is one of the more important cases of the decade. Maybe century. It's one that could govern our freedom of speech, our Internet, our way of life. I'm not speaking of illegal downloads in particular, but of a cultural gap between the new and the old, the stagnant and the innovative.

Both sides of the copyright industry (IOW the industry... and the others) are taken up in this movie. It not only paints a picture of the people behind The Pirate Bay as a sympathetic, troubled and disorganized trio but also as concerned about the future. They are three people with big differences but one common interest in computers, and a common interest in the world, and the problems of today. How is the Internet supposed to be governed?

In this particular case, Hollywood backed the trial. One of the police officers involved in the raid against TPB servers was shortly after the trial transfered to Hollywood where he now works a well-paid job. The judges and lawyers on the opposing side were members of the APB, an organization fighting against piracy. They kept getting their facts wrong and they didn't seem to understand much of what TPB was or how it worked, but still they won.

This is one of the reasons I'm ashamed to be Swedish right now. The US government saluted Sweden, and the prime minister is riding on waves of praise. How gullible are we?! I don't hate my country, I just hate the politicians that run it right now. For them, election is a game, and governing is a business. They walk home with fat paychecks and give a shit less about the people. They should be proud of TPB, the biggest torrent tracker in the world, a cultural oasis; one that is run with such dedication and pride that no matter the odds they never remain down. It's a legacy. It's time for the new wave of knowledge and creativity to replace the old!

This movie doesn't really inspire much, apart from ending with a hopeful quote, but it's an interesting insight in the lives of the people that used to be behind this site. I admire them, because they don't kneel down at the feet of Hollywood, because they persevere, and because of the visions that their non-profit project has sparked. Sealand never happened, but something will happen. It's a war for the Internet, and you know I stand on their side, I want this world to be a better place. When I see people create great things, and give it out for free, I want to pay for it. I support websites I like. I'm a loyal fan of those that treat me well and whom I appreciate. If there were less large corporations, and more small companies who used a personal business model were the bond between creators and buyers gets stronger, I believe we'd all feel more at home.

Great film, for anyone interested in the freedom of speech and file-sharing debate, or for anyone interested in the future.

 rated 3/5: not bad


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