Pirate Kiosk, pirating the Internet in off-line mode

Pirate Kiosk

As the availability of copyrighted files online increases exponentially worldwide, artists and hackers are finding ways of distributing and making this data available without intentionally breaking international copyright laws. The “Pirate Kiosk“, based at the Sophienstiftsplatz in Weimar, Germany, attempts to make a copy of the famous torrent tracker site, “The Pirate Bay”, but keeps the entire listing on a closed, local network that is not accessible through the Internet but only to those people within its immediate vicinity by typing in “http://kioskofpiracy.org” into their browsers. The idea is an attempt to ground an Internet landmark (such as the notorious Pirate Bay) to a specific physical location, so that only those within its local neighboorhood can gain access to its content. The project’s aim is to show how the Internet exists as neither a machine or controllable unit, but rather as a “system of agreements which can work in any circumstances.” The project also includes a detailed “How-To” which instructs users on three steps necessary to build their own “Pirate Kiosk”. These steps include 1.) Gathering a database dump of The Pirate Bay and all of the torrent files hosted there, 2.) Finding suitable tracker software and 3.) Setting up a website to make the files available. Overall the project is a testament to the fact that file sharing has gone beyond its initial development as an Internet-based delivery system into a practice that adds increased meaning to the files being shared and gains importance as a social leveler in the already controlled and regulated realm of public networks and other social platforms.

Jonah Brucker-Cohen