Last month Hong Kong authorities sentenced Chan Nai-ming to
serve three months in a state-run correctional facility. His crime:
seeding Daredevil, Miss Congeniality and Red Planet via
BitTorrent in 2005.
This week BitTorrent Inc. announced a software development kit to help hardware developers integrate BitTorrent support into devices.
According to the company, BitTorrent-related transactions accounts for roughly
40-percent of all Internet traffic today, with usage on the rise.
Chan likely knew his actions were at least borderline -- his offense in 2005
occurred during the "early" days of BitTorrent. At the time,
you had to go out of your way to be on the BitTorrent path. But today, you have
optimized for BitTorrent and routers that manager your
Torrent traffic on the fly.
With more devices enabling BitTorrent-capable streams, the audience using the
protocol is expanding fast. Much like the Napster days of yore, we'll get
our share of blue-haired grandmothers in court for downloading Maroon 5 over
BitTorrent soon enough.
Don't get me wrong, I love BitTorrent. The architecture is brilliant, the
protocol is simple to implement. Blizzard's patch download system is a shining
example of one application that surely benefits from the Torrent setup.
But let's not kid ourselves, the reason BitTorrent pulled so much popularity in
so short of time is piracy.
The company is certainly not shy with major partnerships with big semiconductor
companies, but mention copyright infringement and nobody has anything to
say. At least, not since 2005 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that
intent of piracy would negatively impact any developer prosecuted by copyright
defendants. Where Napster founder Sean Fanning openly condoned piracy, BitTorrent founder Bram Cohen avoids the confrontation as much as possible. He might not laud piracy anymore, but he sure isn't standing up and taking responsibility or action either.
So what will BitTorrent do when the next Chan Nai-ming gets sentenced to jail
closer to home? It seems if BitTorrent had any vested interest in seeing its
technology prosper outside The Pirate Bay, it would concern itself with
legitimizing its content more-so than enabling it on every device known to man.
Why not move all trackers onto BitTorrent.com, and pull any that receive Cease
& Desist requests?
YouTube (post-Google takeover) is a primeexample of why
BitTorrent won't attempt to curb piracy -- at least until some poor sap buys
them. I'm not sure who BitTorrent is trying to kid with its new development kit: for each Blizzard
there's probably 100 TorrentSpys.
Ride your digital cascade while you can BitTorrent. The past is littered
with the cyber corpses of dozens of startups that never took piracy seriously
until it was too late.
quote: Why not move all trackers onto BitTorrent.com, and pull any that receive Cease & Desist requests?
quote: ... do you blame the shooter or the gun manufacturer?
quote: Just like gun manufacturors don't direct its consumers to shoot people.
quote: His crime: seeding Daredevil, Miss Congeniality and Red Planet via BitTorrent in 2005.