The Corpornation: 1

There is a lot of buzz on the wires at the moment about the Pirate Bay buying the principality of Sealand.

Sealand is a WWII radar platform in the North Sea. It is in international waters and has for three decades claimed itself to be a sovereign state. In 1968 this claim was upheld by an English judge and to this day, no nation or corporation or individual has successfully contested this fact. Right now it seems very likely that Sealand really is its own country.

The Pirate Bay is the internet’s biggest illegal file sharing site, by a long way. It serves up billions of bytes of links to copyrighted files. Music, video, games, books: if you want it the chances are Pirate Bay has it, and you can download it real fast using the free bittorent software. They are based in Sweden and openly mock the big companies and even countries that try to stop them. The Pirate Bay are now trying to buy the principality of Sealand.

I think this is momentous. I also think that a new breed of social system, akin to family, corporation, nation, class… will be born. I am calling this new breed the Corpornation.

The Corpornation

If the Pirate Bay and Sealand merge the resultant entity would have a nation status and yet would comprise a relatively small group of people, all of who have chosen to be citizens of Sealand. The country already has its own legal and economic system and it would set its own legal system to openly ignore the copyright laws of other nations. This kind of entity hasn’t existed before. It is new in the way that 200 years ago the corporation was new – or 4000 years ago the city state.

This Corponation would be able to operate in ways that the old school corporations never could, however much they may try. I think though the Corpornation is a necessarily benign social entity. It has to be, because if it is seen as malign in any sense it can be closed down by public opinion alone - this beneficial vulnerability is not shared by the corporation.

In a sense, we have a purely democratic entity that has a nation’s power but is very socially fragile, and that surely is a good thing for collective good?

The end is nigh. Long live the end.

I have lots more to say on this so Ill do lots of little posts rather than long essays.