A new buyer for the domain name thepiratebay.org has come forward, even as the legality of a previous attempt to buy the name is still in dispute.
Business Marketing Services, a U.S. company owned by Swedish businessman Hans Pandeya, said Tuesday that it will buy the Pirate Bay domain name and trademarks of The Pirate Bay from Global Gaming Factory X, another company owned by Pandeya, for US$10 million by June 30.
But on Wednesday it announced that the planned acquisition was on hold pending completion of an arbitration process regarding transfer of the domain name to GGF by Reservella, the purported owner of The Pirate Bay.
Pandeya's plan is still to offer a paid music service on The Pirate Bay with licensed content distributed by next generation filesharing technology.
The Pirate Bay's operators are distancing themselves from Business Marketing Services, according to a blog post on the site.
"We have no deal with them. 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," says the blog post.
Pandeya became famous when he and his company Global Gaming Factory X last year tried to buy The Pirate Bay for 60 million Swedish kronor (US$8.2 million). However, Global Gaming Factory was never able to secure the funds. In the process of attempting the acquisition, the company was booted off the AktieTorget stock exchange. Its former CTO also started bankruptcy proceedings against the company over an outstanding debt, an action that was subsequently settled in November last year, according to a statement from Global Gaming Factory.
The last that was heard from the company was on March 12, when it stopped trading because the sale of an unnamed subsidiary prevented it from producing a year-end report.
The idea of acquiring The Pirate Bay is apparently still alive, however.
The future of a deal between Global Gaming Factory and Reservella, the Seychelles-based company that controls The Pirate Bay, will be decided in an arbitration proceeding with the Arbitration Institute of The Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, according to a statement from would-be buyer Business Marketing Services. If the arbitration sides with Global Gaming Factory, the company will sell The Pirate Bay to Business Marketing Services, the latter company said.
The Arbitration Institute, however, would not confirm the existence of proceedings, saying its work is confidential.