Pirates Take on Corporate Media in Venice

Pirate Bay heads to Venice art Biennale
File-sharing site sets up 'Embassy of Piracy'
Call them Pirates of the Lagoon. A recent jail sentence and multimillion-dollar fine don't seem to have taken much wind out of the sails of notorious Swedish file-sharing site the Pirate Bay. Pirate Bay organizers disembarked amid fanfare at the prestigious June 3-8 Venice art Biennale and adjacent lagoon and set up an "Embassy of Piracy" within the exhibit's unofficial Internet Pavilion, offering "piracy labs" to the public. It was a clear challenge to Italian authorities with which they have clashed in the past.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4ej0NtOI_w&hl=en&fs=1&]

The artistic part of their lagoon stunt consisted of an appeal to download and print foldable paper pyramid models, called embassies, from their website. http://www.thepirategoogle.com/

Provocation comes as a grassroots Pirate Bay political party is gaining consensus in Sweden in the run-up to European elections. Meanwhile, U.K. Media Minister Andy Burnham pledged June 2 to step up cooperation with the U.S. against illegal downloads of music, films and TV shows.

But, signaling a somewhat soft stance, the Blighty pol cautioned he doesn't want to "criminalize young people who have just gotten used to enjoying music in new ways." (From Variety, June 5, 2009)