The Pirate Box

The Pirate Box

2 May 2011

La Fonera has a new underground competitor… “The Pirate box“!, which in the current climax of penalizing any and every surfer who accidentally downloads something from lets say… for example… thepiratebay or bitsnoop, comes as a great way of tricking those great European coercive new digital content distribution laws such as the French Hadopi or the Spanish Sinde (all inspired by the great American model).

Mr David Darts (New Yorker working @ NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Art & Art Professions) is the latest example of the Freecultural movement. He’s recently popularized this lunchbox (with his friend Aaron Williamson from the Software Freedom Law Center) which provides people in the same physical space with an easy & anonymous way to share & exchange their files. This obviously has larger cultural and political implications thus the PirateBox also serves as an artistic provocation.

David decided to call it the Pirebox as a playful remix of the title of the world's most resilient bittorrent site, The Pirate Bay.

Even if it may not go beyond a mere underground movement the PirateBox is (apparently) really easy to set up and you should be able to build it on your own for aprox. US $100 (it’s registered under a Free Art License (FAL 1.3) so anyone can copy it).

Once built, you place it wherever you’re willing to create your PirateBox wireless network, so when any user joins they can begin chatting and/or uploading or downloading files immediately.

users are redirected to the PirateBox when joining the network

What’s it made of?

The PirateBox consists of a wireless router and light-weight Linux server connected to a USB hard drive. The system can run on AC or DC power which allows it to be fully mobile. You can take it to the park, operate it a cafe, in a subway, at work, even in your public local Police station or a Ministry!

This device certainly has a bit of those unknown & fortuitous encounters, never knowing what kind of person or material will be shared, joining the intimacy of a user (or group of users) who openly share what they’ve got without risking to get the hands of the government on your downloads & uploads.

If we keep it like this then we’ll  all be forced to use these alegal systems in the near future. More info on the box itself and how to set it up on the page & forum.

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