The Pirate Bay was founded in 2003 by Gottfrid Svartholm when he volunteered to help Piratbyrån, or the "Pirate Bureau," set up its own BitTorrent tracker. Piratbyrån is a Swedish group that openly advocates file sharing, and actively opposes limitations to sharing information and culture. The three primary operators of the Pirate Bay are Gottfrid Svartholm (alias Anakata), Peter Sunde (alias Brokep), and Fredrik Neij (alias TiAMO). Many of The Pirate Bay enthusiasts have created a supportive online community, both in a forum and an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel, to help new users and keep people informed about the site.
The Pirate Bay is just one part of the larger Kopimi Project (pronounced "copy me"). In an interview with TorrentFreak, Marvin de Kaminski of Kopimi explained that the people behind the project are a close group that has been working on Web-related projects since 2000 [source: Ernesto]. Kopimi's goal is to provide a copyright alternative, with free and uncensored Internet sharing. Kopimi sites also include blog site BayWords, image-sharing site BayImg, pastebin service PasteBay and an e-mail identity hiding service called Slopsbox. These sites are linked from the Pirate Bay main page.
The Pirate Bay manifesto, released in early 2009, is actually a short book called "POwr, Broccoli and Kopimi." The book lists the principles aimed at inspiring those wishing to live the Kopimi lifestyle. In its colorful language, the book expresses the importance that Kopimi places on freely sharing information and ideas on the Internet. As you might expect, the book is a free download from among the Pirate Bay torrents.
While copyright protection groups have threatened many Web sites for copyright violations, the Pirate Bay has openly responded to threats with bold, statements supporting their position. In fact, site operators have posted the original threats, plus their responses, on the Pirate Bay Web site. The Pirate Bay sustained and grew despite these threats, boasting more than 1 million unique users by May 2006.
Go on to the next page to read more about the legal actions that the Pirate Bay has faced.