Swedish software firm Global Gaming Factory (GGF) has purchased BitTorrent search engine The Pirate Bay and plans to turn it into a legal downloading service.
Despite never hosting content, the Pirate Bay ran into trouble because it indexed files available on peer-to-peer file-sharing services. Users searched for the files they wanted through the Pirate Bay and then downloaded them directly from the machines the files were stored on.
Following charges brought by Swedish authorities, the four founders of the site were found guilty of being accessories to crimes against copyright law earlier this year.
The deal, which is worth $7.8m, is expected to be completed by August. GGF has also acquired shares in Peerialism, a firm that creates peer-to-peer (p2p) technology.
GGF said Peerialism had "developed a new data distribution technology" which it plans to introduce on The Pirate Bay to ensure copyright owners are compensated for any content downloaded.
"The Pirate Bay is a site that is among the top 100 most visited internet sites in the world. However, In order to live on, The Pirate Bay requires a new business model, which satisfies the requirements and needs of all parties, content providers, broadband operators, end users and the judiciary. Content creators and providers need to control their content and get paid for it. File sharers' need faster downloads and better quality," said GGF's Hans Pandeya.
"We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site."
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