Business Law

Pirate Swarm

This is a made-up set of facts.

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Three enterprising college graduates cook up a new venture. They buy for $1,000.00 an old 250 ft. freighter ship at a surplus auction. While in college they had been working on taking the algae or plankton from sea water and converting it into a revolutionary bio-fuel. The ship now named the “Pirate Swarm” has been equipped with their new bio-fuel plant. They can remain at sea generating their own fuel to run the ship indefinitely. For an additional power supply, they have installed a solar farm on deck, along with hydroponic gardens using desalinated seawater to grow their own food supply, effectively creating their own sustainable ship operating in International waters mainly in the Caribbean.

To generate revenue, they run exclusive private parties in these International waters. The main cargo hold has been converted to a large night club. They operate a small casino. Slot machines abound around the ship. Bitcoin is the accepted form of payment for everything.

They have been operating for the past six months making a “boatload” of money. However, they are offended by having to pay to download music or movies. They feel that the record labels and the movie studios have been gouging them starting back in their teen years. They feel that music and movies should be limitlessly available to everyone for free. This is their philosophy for their new venture “Pirate Swarm”, aptly named after their ship.

Their website uses a BitTorrent communication protocol that facilitates peer to peer (P2P) file sharing. The users are unable to upload any copyrighted music or video files to their website, to avoid any issue with downloading any copyright protected material. The website allows users to search for Magnet links and to only upload Magnet links, which act as a link to “resources” that have content available for download. They believe that they have carefully crafted their P2P network to avoid running afoul of the law. The site is gone live.

Are they committing any crimes? Before posting, do some online research. Take a position, which may be between a yes or no response, for example possibly or probably. Make sure you justify your posting. Make a respectful response to another student’s posting.

Note to writer-Please write this is in 220 words. I’ll send you a students response as well once you send me the required answer above. You have to reply to this student’s response in about 40-50 words.
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