Internet-avgift, a torrent of payments


Pirate Bay owners Gottfrid Svartholm (aka anakata), Peter Sunde (aka brokep), Fredrik Neij (aka TiAMO), and Carl Lundstrom recently were given prison sentences for their roles in running a BitTorrent torrent aggregator that centralises free music, film and software trading. Ordered to pay 30 million Swedish kronor (SEK), Anakata has instead launched a campaign dubbed “internet-avgift“, or “internet fee”, a play on Sweden’s television licence fee, the tv-avgift. Using a website modelled on the one run by Sweden’s television licensing body, Pirate Bay founders are encouraging their fans to assist them in sending money to Danowsky & Partners, the law firm that represented the music industry at their trial. The internet-avgift in fact consists of a “DDO$” attack, a reference to DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. While a standard DDOS attack encourages a flood of e-traffic to knock a website offline, the so-called DDO$ encourages a shower of payments to overload the victim. Receiving no more than one Swedish kronor at a time, the Danowsky firm will be forced to spend a huge amount of money processing little more than pocket change, as the bank account to which the payments are directed has only 1000 free transfers, after which any transfers have a surcharge of 2 SEK for the account holder. Pirate Bay’s captains are some of the world’s sneakiest filesharers and their last mischievous act could end up ruining the law firm. Will the ill-equipped lawyers succumb to a torrent of payments? Or will they end up on top? The trial continues.

Valentina Culatti