Last week CNET reporter Greg Sandoval decided to mosey on down to the Digital Music Forum East in Manhattan to cruise around for a news story. Evidently there wasn’t a lot of hard breaking news, but sure enough Sandoval was able to find the one diamond in the rough. This is what he reported:
NEW YORK–Hans Pandeya, the Swedish businessman whose attempts to acquire The Pirate Bay last year collapsed amid controversy, is giving digital media another try.
Pandeya, who attended this week’s Digital Music East Forum here, said Thursday he’s busy creating a base in Boston for his U.S. operations. Asked whether he was still interested in The Pirate Bay, Pandeya said, “I have a lot of secret plans I’m working on.”
As for why he was at a digital music conference, Pandeya would only say that his plans include digital media. Last year, Pandeya, CEO of Sweden’s Global Gaming Factory, a software maker and operator of Internet cafes, rocketed out of obscurity by announcing he would spend $8 million to acquire The Pirate Bay, one of the world’s most popular BitTorrent search engines. The site is often used to find and eventually download unauthorized copies of films and other copyrighted content. Read Entire Article Here
This, of course, was music to my ears because it gave me an opening to tell you a terrific story about one of my many adventures with Hans last July in the midst of his Pirate Bay “acquisition”.
We were in London at the time meeting with several labels about licensing. In the middle of a meeting with several senior executives at one of the majors, a question came up concerning some traffic metrics that we did not have at our fingertips and were wondering where we could find the pertinent data. Hans piped up and said that he knew where we could get the numbers we needed. He then picked up his mobile phone, put it on speaker, and called some unidentified phone number in the Netherlands. A voice answered on the other end and Hans and the rest of us in the room proceeded to ask the gentleman some questions. The mysterious voice joined out conversation for about tens minutes and then signed off. We all asked Hans who was on the other end of the call and he said that it was a company of his located a couple of hours outside of Amsterdam—“a real company with a real CEO and real offices”. He then said that we could get all of the data we needed there and insisted that one of the senior label execs go to the Netherlands the following week with us to visit the company for some due diligence and to run whatever diagnostics that he may need to look at. We made tentative plans to spend a day there.
I was a bit puzzled though, because Hans had never mentioned that he had a company in the Netherlands. It was all very new to me and I had no idea what was going on. But we went on with the rest of our busy day and I didn’t revisit the subject until the next morning when Hans and I were on our way to our attorney’s office for a big meeting.
I asked Hans what was up with the Dutch company. He started to grin like a Cheshire cat. “It’s Mininova. I’m going to buy Mininova too and eliminate all the competition.”
Needless to say, I freaked out. But Hans evidently didn’t see a problem with walking an unwitting major label executive into a company in a foreign country that his employers just happen to be suing to high heaven, let alone letting the CEO of Mininova anonymously sit in on a meeting with a content owner. Hans’ reply: “What’s the big deal?”
So now my main man is back, this time in the good old USA (he claims that Sweden is too corrupt) and this time with a double secret plan. And my sources tell me that he still thinks that he’s going to buy Mininova and The Pirate Bay.
Something tells me that we’re all in for some more entertainment in the coming months. And just when we thought it was safe to go back into the water.
Other readers also read:
Flattr: Pirate Bay Gone Legit Or An Attempt To Flattr The Courts?
Can The Pirate Bay Really Be Purchased?
Exclusive: Global Gaming Factory Pirate Bay Purchase Not Moving Forward
Exclusive: The Pirate Bay 2.0