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Online Pirating Hub Upgrades File-Sharing System


The Pirate Bay is the biggest site on the Internet to find illegally downloaded movies, music, games and software, and it has just changed its file-sharing system.

As NPR's Sami Yenigun reports, this change makes it harder to track down the pirates.

SAMI YENIGUN, BYLINE: Pirates are constantly improving their technology. When Napster's central server was shut down more than 10 years ago, people went to decentralized Gnutella to find pirated music. And for the past several years, torrents have been a go to. They cut download speeds for users by chopping files into little pieces.

The Pirate Bay's newest offering, magnet files, are like torrents on steroids, says Hemu Nigam, founder of the Internet security firm SSP Blue.

HEMU NIGAM: It's a much smaller file, it makes it easier to manage, and you've made it also harder for people to identify where torrents live and therefore, people who were not inclined to pirate in the first place may be willing to get in the game now.

YENIGUN: Nigam used to be the VP of Internet Enforcement at the MPAA. It was his job to keep movies off of these pirate sites, and says it was like playing a game of whack-a-mole.

NIGAM: And I think now you're playing whack-a-mole and it's like at level five when things are popping up much faster and how do you beat it down?

YENIGUN: That's a question that Hollywood doesn't have an answer for yet. Last week, the most pirated movie torrent was "Tower Heist."


YENIGUN: It's a movie about people stealing money from a wealthy businessman.

Sami Yenigun, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Sami Yenigun
Sami Yenigun is the Executive Producer of NPR's All Things Considered and the Consider This podcast. Yenigun works with hosts, editors, and producers to plan and execute the editorial vision of NPR's flagship afternoon newsmagazine and evening podcast. He comes to this role after serving as a Supervising Editor on All Things Considered, where he helped launch Consider This and oversaw the growth of the newsmagazine on new platforms.