IFPI Spokesman Jesper Bay Calls It Quits

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After more than six years of loyal service, at the end of this month IFPI Denmark will lose their director and spokesman, Jesper Bay. The anti-piracy veteran says that after many copyright battles, it's time to move on to other ventures. He insists, however, he hasn't had a better offer of employment from the pirates.

Since September 2003, Jesper Bay has been working as a director and spokesman for IFPI in Denmark.

He rose to fame in the wider BitTorrent community when in early 2008 a Danish court ordered the ISP Tele2 to block its customers from accessing The Pirate Bay.

In response, the Pirate Bay team created a site in his name, TheJesperBay, which contained information and code allowing Tele2 users to evade the block.

Not only did Bay have a site named after him, Copenhagen’s ‘Pirate Cinema‘ even briefly changed their name in his honor.

But after many cat and mouse games with his opponents, Jesper Bay has just announced he will quit as IFPI Denmark’s director and spokesman at the end of January.

“I’ve been here six and a half years and think that maybe it’s time to try something else,” he told Computerworld.

Although Bay’s job has been very demanding with an understandably high workload and lots of pressure, he says that’s not the reason for his departure – he just feels he’s been in the position long enough. Bay admits that at times, things have been tough.

“Sometimes it may have been frustrating to be in a role where you know you have right on your side, but it is very difficult to penetrate with the message, because there are so many other interests at stake in the ongoing debate,” he conceded.

Bay went on to criticize the media’s coverage of the battle between online pirates and the recording industry.

“We are continuing to experience relatively sensible people at relatively reasonable media outlets, writing completely what suits them. And very often very poorly researched,” he said.

Noting that the issue of piracy and copyright is a hot one at the moment, largely due to the fact that there is so much at stake for the many parties involved, he accepts that while the industry has not won the war, they have won several battles.

Conceding in late 2008 that Denmark would not see the introduction of “3 strikes” for music file-sharers must have been one of the more bitter pills to swallow.

Bay explained that part of his job has been to refine the debate surrounding these issues, and extend it beyond combating piracy to include discussion of new business models and the way forward in a digital world.

But despite his upcoming departure, Bay says he has nothing lined up and will just take some time off to assess his future. He insists, however, that he has not received a better offer of employment from the pirates.


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