SHARE Beirut is a weekend-long conference celebrating “open, decentralized and accessible forms of communication.” This event brings many digital pioneers to the Lebanese capital. Al-Akhbar posed some questions to one of SHARE’s guest speakers, The Pirate Bay’s Peter Sunde.
Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi is a pirate. He is a member of a breed of “outlaws” redefining our use and understanding of the cyberworld.
He is part of a movement challenging powerful nations and commanding corporations in an epic, yet virtually concealed, struggle to maintain an open and decentralized Internet.
“The internet is being controlled by a corrupt industry. We need to stop it,” he once wrote in a short piece for Wired, a prominent American magazine, in which he argued that file-sharing is a product of democratic evolution.
At the age of 34, Sunde has already left a considerable mark in this fight.
In 2008, Sunde, together with Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm, founded The Pirate Bay (TPB), the largest and arguably the most influential file-sharing site online, which continues to be operational despite unceasing legal actions by Western states and cyber attacks from unknown quarters.
Two years later, Sunde announced the formation of Flattr, a micro-payments system which enables websites viewers to make small donations in an attempt to generate financial support for alternative, independent web content.
While Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal are committed to a financial embargo against WikiLeaks for publishing the infamous US diplomatic cables in 2010, Flattr continues to facilitate donations to the ground-breaking whistle-blower site.
Al-Akhbar conducted an interview with Sunde, in which he briefly touched upon the idea behind the culture of file-sharing, the potential political-economic ramifications of such a movement, and speculations regarding its future.
Complete interview can be found here.