Peter Sunde’s reveals the “Kopimashin”

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Whether it is an act of technological performance art, civil disobedience or social commentary is hard to tell…

Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde is something of a techno anti-hero. When he was sentenced to one year in prison and fined a share of US$3.6 million for his part in the founding and operation of The Pirate Bay (TPB), he held up a handwritten IOU to the cameras outside the courts and declared “that is as close as they are going to get from me. Even if I had any money I would rather burn everything I own and not even give them the ashes. They could have the job of picking them up”.

Despite his bravado, he served his time and has since been released from prison. And now, using a Raspberry Pi, an LCD display and some Python code, Sunde is planning an exhibition to illustrate what he sees as the absurdity of copyright owner valuations and the impact of illegal copies. According to, the “Kopimashin” is currently engaged in reproducing eight million copies of Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy every day. Based on the calculations used to determine damages against The Pirate Bay by the media industry, this translates to a daily loss of approximately 10 million US dollars. But while the copies are genuinely being made, they are also instantly deleted: Sunde believes that the millions of dollars claimed from him and other TPB founders, like the damages from the Kopimashin, are fictitious.

As yet there has been no response from Gnarls Barkley, comprised of crooner Cee-Lo Green and producer Danger Mouse, who himself is no stranger to technological musical pranks.

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