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The Pirate Bay is planning to launch a paid VPN service for users looking to cover their tracks when torrenting. The new service will be called IPREDator, named after the Swedish Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) that will go into effect in April. IPREDator is currently in private beta and is expected to go public next week for €5 per month.

"IPREDator is a network service that makes people online more anonymous using a VPN. It costs about 5 EUR a month and we store no traffic data. Our service is right now in a beta stage. We hope it will be released for the public before 1st of April. sign up now to start using it as soon as we're stable. The network is under our control. not theirs. the pirate bay likes and knows real kopimism. and waffles."

IPREDator is clearly a response to the introduction of IPRED in Sweden, which will allow law enforcement and copyright holders to request the personal details of suspected infringers. The copyright holders will then be able to make direct contact with the accused users and presumably threaten them with lawsuits.

If users connect to The Pirate Bay through something like Tor or VPN, however, they're less likely to be tracked. IPREDator's website says that it won't store any traffic data, as its entire goal is to help people stay anonymous on the web. Without any data to hand over, copyright owners won't be able to find individuals to target.

This, of course, is likely to irk law enforcement even further, as it has been on The Pirate Bay's case for years. Some three years after Swedish police raided the site and confiscated its servers, a few of The Pirate Bay admins finally went on trial for copyright infringement earlier this year. The world is still awaiting the verdict (expected to arrive on April 17), though those behind The Pirate Bay maintain that what they're doing is entirely legal. In fact, Pirate Bay spokesperson Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi said during the trial that 80 percent of The Pirate Bay's torrents are for content that's legal to share online.

Still, The Pirate Bay is sensitive to the concerns of its users, especially with IPRED going into effect on April 1. The question remains, however, if any significant portion of The Pirate Bay's users will decide to fork over €5 per month solely to remain anonymous. It seems more likely that the majority either won't care, or will simply start looking for lesser-known torrent trackers to use.

Portions ganked from http://arstechnica.com




Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
mrpandabehr
Apr. 7th, 2009 07:10 am (UTC)
That's very clever. Great way for Pirate Bay to take the heat off the downloaders and put it on themselves. How awesome of them.
mc4bbs
Apr. 7th, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC)

I admire them so much!

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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