How appropriate. Just a few days after Talk Like a Pirate Day 2008, the Pirate Bay – the world’s most notorious bittorrent tracker – has announced that it has hit 15 million peers, and 3 million registered users. For those of you unfamiliar with bittorrent terminology, that means that they’ve got 3 million uploaders, and 15 million downloaders. That’s more than the populations of Norway and Sweden put together.
The site has gone from 576,080 torrents tracked in Dec 06 (individual files or packages of multiple files for download) to 1,383,881 today. That’s more than a doubling of available music, movies, games, eBooks and other copyrighted content. The Pirate Bay, however, remains defiant. Co-founder TiAMO says: “A big thanks to all our users helping to make the site what it is. We’ll keep growing for as long as you keep using the site, filing it with content, sharing.”
Of course I should point out, however, that not all the content on the Pirate Bay is copyrighted. Earlier this morning, Timbuktu – a popular Swedish rapper – released his new single and video onto to the Pirate Bay. At the time of writing, it’s being downloaded by nearly a thousand people. Artists are starting to understand the value of giving away some of their music to get people to buy merchandise and gig tickets instead.
Here’s a graph of the Pirate Bay’s traffic over the last year and a half: