When The Pirate Bay first came online during the summer of 2003, its main point of access was thepiratebay.org.
Since then the site has burnt through more than a dozen domains, trying to evade seizures or other legal threats.
For many years thepiratebay.se operated as the site’s main domain name. Earlier this year the site moved back to the good old .org again, and from the looks of it, TPB is ready to say farewell to the Swedish domain.
Thepiratebay.se expired last week and, if nothing happens, it will be de-activated tomorrow. This means that the site might lose control over a piece of its history.
The torrent site moved from the ORG to the SE domain in 2012, fearing that US authorities would seize the former. Around that time the Department of Homeland Security took hundreds of sites offline and the Pirate Bay team feared that they would be next.
Ironically, however, the next big threat came from Sweden, the Scandinavian country where the site once started.
In 2013, a local anti-piracy group filed a motion targeting two of The Pirate Bay’s domains, ThePirateBay.se and PirateBay.se. This case that has been dragging on for years now.
During this time TPB moved back and forth between domains but the .se domain turned out to be a safer haven than most alternatives, despite the legal issues. Many other domains were simply seized or suspended without prior notice.
When the Swedish Court of Appeal eventually ruled that The Pirate Bay’s domain had to be confiscated and forfeited to the state, the site’s operators moved back to the .org domain, where it all started.
Although a Supreme Court appeal is still pending, according to a report from IDG earlier this year the court has placed a lock on the domain. This prevents the owner from changing or transferring it, which may explain why it has expired.
The lock is relevant, as the domain not only expired but has also been put of for sale again in the SEDO marketplace, with a minimum bid of $90. This sale would be impossible, if the domain is locked.
Perhaps the most ironic of all is the fact that TPB moved to .se because it feared that the US controlled .org domain was easy prey.
Fast forward half a decade and over a dozen domains have come and gone while thepiratebay.org still stands strong, despite entertainment industry pressure.
Update: We updated the article to mention that the domain name is locked by the Swedish Supreme Court. This means that it can’t be updated and would explain why it has expired.