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Homage, fromage

The_pirate_bay_logo How's this for reverence? To honor the late Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, The Pirate Bay -- a controversial Swedish website that helps users find and copy movies, software, games and other digital goods, despite continual threats from copyright owners -- plans to shut down at 3 p.m. Wednesday (local time) ... for all of one minute. That's almost literally a moment of silence. In the meantime, The Pirate Bay's operators have cobbled together a tribute site, although it's probably not the kind of tribute that the Swedish auteur's estate would have requested. In addition to film descriptions cut and pasted from Wikipedia, it offers links to downloadable bootlegs of nearly 30 titles Bergman wrote and/or directed, which is a little more than half of his oeuvre (the number could rise if users contribute more links). True, the incentives provided by copyright law are irrelevant to dead men. And you can't count your residuals in the afterlife. But  Bergman leaves behind heirs and a foundation, as well as film distributors and other rights holders that (just guessing here) aren't ready to throw his collected works into the public domain. Under Swedish law, Bergman's copyrights won't expire until 2077.


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Times editorial writer Jon Healey pens opinion pieces about a variety of business issues, and blogs about technologies that are changing the entertainment industry's business model.

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