Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Pirate Bay’s Supposed Buyer Says Everything’s Awesome. So Why Are Its Allies Running?

piratesmoviejackrunningThe company that wants to buy The Pirate Bay and turn the file-sharing haven legit says its plans are moving full-steam ahead. But it seems to be having a hard time convincing its own team.

Since announcing its plans in June, Swedish software company/Internet cafe outfit Global Gaming Factory X has seen a succession of allies jump ship.

Last month, the company worked with file-sharing veteran Wayne Rosso for three weeks before Rosso left, claiming the company had credibility problems and hadn’t paid his bills. Now, CNET reports that Peerialism, a technology company that was “integral” to Global Gaming’s plans, is having second thoughts–in part because it hasn’t seen any money, either. Greg Sandoval:

When it was announced in June that Global Gaming Factory X, would acquire The Pirate Bay for about $8 million, the Swedish software company said it would also pay about $13.5 million to obtain Peerialism….

But [Peerialism CEO Johan] Ljungberg told CNET News on Thursday that at the very least Pandeya will not make some of his deadlines for opening a restructured Pirate Bay, the world’s best known file-sharing site. That’s because much of the preparation has yet to be started.

More than two months ago, Pandeya hired Peerialism to begin doing some of the production work. Pandeya agreed to pay half the money upfront and the other half when the job was completed.

“That was two months ago but he hasn’t paid anything,” Ljungberg said. “We have his signature on the contract, but he hasn’t paid and we haven’t done the work…We’re not quite comfortable with the situation. We had really high hopes and ambitions for our technology but I’m not sure if this is the right home for it.”

I wanted to get Global Gaming’s response to the CNET story, so last night I pinged CTO Johan Sellstrom, whom I had corresponded with in early July. At the time, Sellstrom described his company’s plans as “the last chance for the media industry to come up with a new solution before everything goes to the dark side.” But Sellstrom now says that he left Global Gaming on July 15; he hasn’t explained why he left.

UPDATE: Swedish stock market regulators have suspended trading in Global Gaming’s stock today; the same thing happened a week before the company announced its Pirate Bay plans.

UPDATE 2: This might explain Sellstrom’s departure: A Swedish newspaper report says Sellstrom claims that his former employer owes him $840,000.

I’ve already gone on record: I don’t think Global Gaming’s plan has any chance of working, even in the best of circumstances.

But I’m always happy to hear what the company itself thinks. I’ve asked Global Gaming CEO Hans Pandeya for comment, but haven’t heard back. In the meantime, you can read translated accounts of a recent press release assuring investors that everything is hunky-dory, and that the company will own Pirate Bay by the end of the month.

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