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Working Paper No. 1103

Two Sides to the Evasion: The Pirate Bay and the Interdependencies of Evasive Entrepreneurship

Working Paper
Elert, Niklas, Magnus Henrekson and Joakim Wernberg (2016). “Two Sides to the Evasion: The Pirate Bay and the Interdependencies of Evasive Entrepreneurship”. IFN Working Paper No. 1103. Stockholm: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN).

Niklas Elert, Magnus Henrekson, Joakim Wernberg

Evasive entrepreneurs innovate by circumventing or disrupting existing formal institutional frameworks. These evasions rarely go unnoticed and usually lead to responses from lawmakers and regulators. We introduce a conceptual model to illustrate the interdependence between evasive entrepreneurship and the regula-tory response that it provokes.

We apply this framework to the case of the file-sharing platform The Pirate Bay (TPB), a venture with a number of clearly innova-tive and evasive features. The platform was a radical, widely applied innovation that transformed the Internet landscape, yet its founders became convicted crimi-nals. Applying the proposed evasive entrepreneurship framework to this case improves our understanding of the relationship between policymaking and entrepreneurship in the digital age and provides a first step toward determining the best responses for regulators confronting evasive entrepreneurship.