The operators of The Pirate Bay have denied claims that the Swedish BitTorrent search engine has been sold.
The Pirate Bay was responding to claims made Tuesday by Swedish businessman Hans Pandeya, who announced he had paid $10 million to acquire The Pirate Bay.
"We have no deal with them," said a note that was posted to The Pirate Bay's blog on Wednesday. "We have not even talked to them. Since this is quite heavy fraud and we don't want our users to buy shares or anything like that in a company that is claiming to work with us, we just wanted to point out that this is a lie."
Pandeya, who now resides in Boston, said in an e-mail interview that The Pirate Bay domain name is in escrow and that he and "the seller" which would be The Pirate Bay, have reached an agreement. In Pandeya's e-mail he offers all kinds of confusing and meandering information, such as a claim that an arbitration court in Sweden is deciding the matter. What he doesn't explain is why The Pirate Bay would deny selling him the site.
If all this sounds familiar to you, it's probably because last year Pandeya whipped up plenty of media attention after claiming he was prepared to acquire The Pirate Bay, one of the best known and most controversial BitTorrent search engines, for the equivalent of $7.8 million. Hollywood has long accused The Pirate Bay of being a tool for online video piracy.
That deal collapsed in scandal after his software company, Global Gaming Factory X, was booted off the Swedish stock exchange for providing "false information," and after Pandeya failed to provide proof that he possessed enough funds to complete the deal and after Swedish authorities seized his car, boat and motorcycle for unpaid taxes.
The difference between then and now is that Pandeya has taken his show on the road. According to an interview he did with me in February, Pandeya said he plans to run a digital-media operation here in the United Sates.
Here's where things really get interesting. Last month, Pandeya paid $325,000 for Business Marketing Services, a company that makes wall calendars and trades its over-the-counter stock on the OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB), according to an SEC filing. Records show that the company owned few assets and that the previous majority owner works as a pit boss at a gambling casino.
It was Business Marketing Services that allegedly acquired The Pirate Bay and issued the press release. No matter how unlikely it is that somebody would want to buy shares of Business Marketing Services, it is probably wise that if anybody is considering such a move, to wait until someone sorts this latest mess out.