t byfield on Thu, 2 Jul 2009 18:19:17 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The schizo-politics of The Pirate Bay, Inc.

rasmus@piratbyran.org (Wed 07/01/09 at 06:39 PM +0200):

> [...] When large parts of the world?s internet traffic depends on
> whether Fredrik is too drunk to fix a server error, a radical
> diversification is needed to maintaing the power of P2P file-sharing.
> Dissolving the centered subject, abandoning a trademark to multiply
> what it stands for. That's the implicit schizo-politics of The Pirate
> Bay's recent move.

O. Swartz, "Prosecution Baffled by Pirate Bay's Anarchic Structure,"
Threat Level (WiReD, 19 Feb 09):

     The prosecutor became visibly frustrated when he tried to get
     Neij to identify the kingpin who is ultimately responsible for
     Pirate Bay and the text and graphics on the site. Neij explained
     that an extended group of people have privileges on the server,
     and contribute haphazardly as they see fit.  The prosecutor
     seemed not to grasp the concept. "But someone must ultimately
     decide whether to put up a certain text or graphic," he
     protested. "No," Neij answered. "Why? If someone believes a new
     text is needed, he just inputs it. Or if a graphic is ugly,
     someone makes a better one. The one who wants to do something
     just does it." <http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/02/neij/>

Pardon me, Rasmus, for getting all molar on your ass, but could you
address the question of subscriber privacy? TPB has all but 'implicitly'
been nominated to the Default Settings Hall of Fame, which means that
many, many klewless ewsers will be pointing their software at it for a 
long time to come. Now, granted, BT by its very nature hardly lends 
itself to privacy, so you get what you pay for -- but still... Depending 
on how it's used and by whom, the domain thepiratebay.org could serve as 
a honeypot for IP maximalists. 

Please understand that my point, larger or smaller, is *not* that the 
people who've been running TPB shouldn't sell it, that there's any 
clear consensus on what 'it' is (your message is most excellent in that
regard), that a few years of work carries ill-defined responsibilities 
in perpetuity to TPB users, or anything else along those lines. I have 
generic views, and very strong ones, on those sorts of subjects, but 
they're not normative -- particularly not in case as extreme as TPB. 

But nor do I buy the Deleuzianism. At all. "Implicit schizo-politics"
is a bit too ~useful for my taste -- a retrospective cousin of, say, 
"the ends justify the means." Better to nominate yourself for Pseud's
Corner and ask people to meditate for a moment on just how ambiguous 
the proverb "desperate times call for desperate measures" can be.


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