Print 74 comment(s) - last by TSS.. on Feb 17 at 6:49 AM

  (Source: The Pirate Bay via TorrentFreak)
No more torrents will help more content to be shared, render "copyright watchdogs" more toothless

The Pirate Bay has long been synonymous with one thing -- torrents.  The world's largest torrent site has had more than its fair share of legal headaches [1][2][3] over the years for promoting the ubiquitous file-sharing mechanism.  Consequentially on Feb. 29 in will be taking what on the surface appears to be a mind-blowing move -- deleting all torrents hosted directly on the site, which are being actively shared by more than 10 individuals.

But in reality this move is not as mind-blowing and drastic a departure from the site's operational model as some are thinking/hoping/fearing.

The site will continue to host the content, where possible, via magnet links.  All new content will be hosted via magnetic links.

The new approach is a "step forward in technology", according to the site's admins.  And it's the worst nightmare of the Recording Industry Association of America and Motion Picture Association of America.  

The Pirate Bay can now be compressed to a 90 MB torrent-free site, for easy hosting.  Under the new scheme scores of new users will be able to host free proxy servers for The Pirate Bay, helping it escape takedown attempts, local firewalls, or ISP restrictions.

At the same time The Pirate Bay washes its hands of any of the actual process of file-sharing.  It is simply hosting magnet links -- links to torrents which share the same unique hash value.  In that regard, thousands, if not millions of users will be privately hosting the scores of torrents that make up The Pirate Bay users worldwide know and love.

Magnet links

And it will be far harder for lawyers and regulators to pin wrongdoing on The Pirate Bay -- assuming that the members of the international judicial committee understand how the technology works and are willing to give a fair trial, at least.  In short, magnet links are the future of filesharing and The Pirate Bay's decision to force their adoption is a sound one in terms of its future.

Magnet links represent the supreme ultimatum to media organizations (many of which themselves engage in active for-profit piracy that steals hundreds of millions of dollars from independent artists annually):

Develop fair, reasonably priced, accessible content distribution and create content that users think is actually worth paying for, or you can and will be pirated.

In essence it will be impossible for the RIAA or MPAA to put millions of Americans in prison or fine them.  So ultimately, magnet links and other new technologies may force the RIAA, MPAA, and government to abandon traditional enforcement of file-sharing.  Thus the groups' long-standing dream of taking down The Pirate Bay's torrents has just become their worst nightmare. 

It should be interesting how the self-proclaimed "anti-piracy" advocates by day, for-profit pirates by night globally react to this new technological marvel.

Sources: The Pirate Bay, Torrent Freak

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By Solandri on 2/14/2012 2:45:52 PM , Rating: 5
For example, you tried the no name brand of Cheerios and didn't like them, can you expect a refund? Should have you stolen them first and if you liked them then start buying them?

Consumables like food generally aren't refundable. Movies, music, and games aren't consumables.

What about a lemon car; I can't imagine you would advocate stealing a Ford Focus to try it out before buying it.

No need to steal one because car dealers let you take a car out for a free test drive before buying it. So the question is, why can't you take music or movies out for a free test drive before buying them?

Back when they were still around, the retail music stores would let you listen to CDs before buying them. And Amazon (and I presume iTunes) lets you hear part of a song before buying it. I think that's the direction the studios need to go on this if they want to reduce piracy. People want to preview these products before buying. Preventing such previews or making them difficult will just drive people towards piracy.

Risk is part of the purchase; read the back of the box, read reviews, talk to friends, then decide for or against the purchase. Since when is it risk free to be a consumer with a guarantee of satisfaction?

Actually, I don't think anyone buys a movie they've never seen. They've seen the movie, and liked it enough to want to own a copy. People who've just read a few reviews or heard from friends that it's a good movie will typically rent or pirate it.

The reason online movie piracy is rampant is partly because the industry has been slow to support streamed rentals at a reasonable price (e.g. Netflix). In general, people aren't evil.* They realize a lot of work and money went into making a movie, and they're willing to do the right thing and pay for it. But at the same time they want it to be convenient for them. If you make it a contest between convenience for themselves versus doing the right thing for the studios, their convenience is going to win out and they'll just pirate it.

* All of civilized society is based on this premise that people in general aren't evil. If you've ever seen a riot, you've seen that the police force in every civilized country is vastly inadequate for keeping peace and order if people in general were evil. So any legal construct which is based on the assumption that people are evil is flawed IMHO. Let people do whatever they want, and make illegal the few behaviors which are undesirable. Do not assume everyone is evil, and make laws which make it impossible for people to even have the opportunity to engage in undesirable behaviors (e.g. DRM).

By SeeManRun on 2/14/12, Rating: -1
By edge929 on 2/14/2012 4:31:37 PM , Rating: 2
Not all music I like is featured on the radio. I live in the largest city in my state and we have only two local radio stations that venture out of the "pop/country/oldies/classic rock" music genre. I don't prefer any of those genres (although I can listen to classic rock from time to time). If I'm sitting at my computer, I'm nearly always playing a game so internet radio stations don't apply to me. At work, we aren't allowed to stream.

By Camikazi on 2/14/2012 4:39:14 PM , Rating: 2
Not all groups have the money backing to get on the radio these days. It takes HUGE amounts of money to get your song played on the radio now, which is why you only hear the same 20 or so songs on the radio now.

By JediJeb on 2/14/2012 6:36:43 PM , Rating: 2
How often does the radio station play all the tracks from a CD instead of only one or maybe two? You can't preview an entire CD by listening to only two tracks.

By nafhan on 2/14/2012 4:20:22 PM , Rating: 2
I think the real problem is that most people don't intuitively understand how to deal with non-consumable goods. Some try to equate it to stealing, which it's not, and this just confuses the issue further.
I've found that the best thing to do is:
A) look at it from a legal perspective. The law's say "this" so base your decisions on the legality of what you're doing.
B) patron of the arts perspective. Do you feel like this "work of art" (i.e. a product of the mind) is good enough that you would like it's creators to continue producing similar works?

Looking at those two questions, I feel that "B" is more important, and that I feel obligated to ensure that the creators of the work get at least some money if the work is worth my time in the first place.

By thatmikeguy on 2/14/2012 4:37:39 PM , Rating: 2
I do not pirate anything at all these days, because I can simply rent whatever I want for far cheaper than I can buy it, or in less time than finding/downloading/paring/extracting/scanning/conv erting/testing/re-sizing/saving it, all on top of hardware costs. I'll never have enough time to watch/play everything I'd like anyway, and that's without watching or playing something more than once.

By someguy123 on 2/14/2012 10:28:04 PM , Rating: 2
i don't really think it's fair to say that people pirate because of lack of availability on stream. I'd say the majority of pirates are simply people not interested in buying the product in the first place, then you have another category created by the insanely intrusive DRM and advertising schemes movie studios have been implementing and looking for an easier solution, and to a certain degree people who just don't feel like paying even if they want the actual product.

I personally agree that there should be better methods of preview, but it's hard to do with video games. Games rely heavily on the launch sales, since that's when they get the most attention and subsequent shelf space. Games are also created using a lot of redundant information distributed throughout the disc. To get a demo you'd either need an entirely separate demo build or a slice of the actual game (which would require most, if not all of the game's assets to be installed). It's much easier said than done. You can't really resale a game multiple times like you can with a movie, going from theaters to blu-ray to PPV to licensing etc.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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