The founders of The Pirate Bay have launched a Rapidshare knock-off called BayFiles. Anyone can upload material to the cyberlocker without creating an account. The site does not appear to be scanning for infringement.
Prepaid credit is available for €5 a month, or €45 a year. This allows freetards to fill their boots more quickly, since non-subscribers are limited to one download an hour. MoneyBookers is the payment agent for the site, which describes itself as a Hong Kong business. DNS records show Bayfiles.com registered with a Panamanian contact address.
As a sign of how effective current online enforcement legislation is, the site says it will "respect" take-down notices from copyright-holders. It hardly tarnishes the appeal to lose the odd file out of millions, and the cost is minimal.
Convicted copyright-breacher and Pirate Bay member Fredrik Neij positioned BayFiles as an alternative to Bittorrent for file-sharing in an interview at the TorrentFreak blog, which ran a promotion for the site.
"TPB has changed their sharing model, [and] so should the entertainment industries change their business model," writes one enthusiastic prospective punter.
"The only blip on the horizon is the Digital Economy Act (DEA) and not only is that implementation ages away, and receding all the time, but even then it is still time to drink and be happy," writes another.
But then even pirate-friendly file-sharing sites can be sunk by pirates.
The cyberlockers depend on paid subscriptions or on obliging the users to wait for the download to start, during which time advertisements are displayed. A program called JDownloader bypasses many of these roadblocks. One user's description of the program reads: "Having this would mean that you get almost same functioanlity [sic] as a premium user of Rapidshare, without spending any money!" The source code is increasingly used by NAS manufacturers to make their media servers more attractive by automating the download process.
The funding behind BayFiles remains a mystery. The Pirate Bay's millionaire backer and largest shareholder is neo-fascist Carl Lundström, who was thrown out of the far-right New Democracy party for being too right wing. One web report suggests Lundstrom is also behind BayFiles, but this is unconfirmed. ®