For example, I was looking at Azureus today--it's running all the time, I don't even notice it unless I am trying to use VPN and then I need to pause it, other then that I don't even think about it. Anyway, I was looking at the Azureus stats for the torrents I am seeding and saw something interesting. Without doing a thing, I have "given away":
- 91 copies of the OpenOffice.org 2.0 installation software for Win32 (torrent)
- 39 copies of the Ubuntu 5.10 AMD64 installation CD (torrent)
- 26 copies of the Musix GNU+Linux 0.26 installation CD (torrent)
Of course, as always, there are those among us who abuse the rights of others and create torrents that distribute materials when they have no right to do so. I'm certain when the MPAA folks hear the word 'bittorrent' they immediately have images flashing through their collective minds of movies being distributed far & wide across the internet at blazing speeds... before they even hit the theatres! I am not surprised that they fight these new P2P technologies tooth & nail. I don't agree with their methods, but I understand their motives.
I'll tell you exactly what my position is on this problem. You guys (you know who you are) who post/join pirate torrents or P2P shares of non-redistributable copyrighted software, movies, music whatever: YOU are the ones who are ruining it for the rest of us! Don't you get that? You may think you're "sticking it to the man", but you're hurting the rest of us in the process! It is utterly aggravating!
I may not agree with current copyright law but that doesn't give me the right to break it. Bittorrent is an awesome technology for all of us. One of many, but it is viewed in some circles as simply a tool for criminals. I don't enjoy it when the existence of technologies that I find useful (for perfectly legal activities) are becoming threatened because they get branded as 'evil'. It just gives (for example) people like the Sony execs an illegitimate excuse to add spy/malware to audio CDs. And, it gives other companies & legislators the impetus to call for more control over what WE can do with the products WE bought and WE own. They don't need any encouragement. So stop!
If you like a movie you saw, don't be so freakin' cheap, buy a copy! If you like some music you heard when you were driving down the road, buy the CD or hit iTunes and buy the songs you want. Whatever it takes. Please stop ruining it for the rest of us.
Sorry for the rant but I just don't think a lot of people care about these issues because they don't feel the negative & chilling impact they have on innovation. They may think they are not hurting anyone by downloading a few thousand of song--but in the end the media moguls will fight back and slowly & insidiously what we can do with the products we paid good money for, products we own (i.e. our computers, TVs, DVRs, etc.) is going to become more & more limited. Eventually to the point that they become useless to us (all the while being billed as the latest & greatest in tech) or we will become desensitized to the point that we just think, "that's just the way it is", and the way it should be. That will be a sad day. How lame will it be to say to your kids or grandkids, "I remember when we could buy music and listen to it as many times as we wanted. These media subscription fees today are putting me in the poor house..."
News flash, there really is more to life then movies and music put out by the giant media companies. Honest...
So do something useful with the technology we have. Share the wealth of Free/Open Source Software, and Creative Commons-type licensed redistributable media via P2P & Bittorrent. We will ALL benefit and just maybe we can keep playing with our toys the way we want to and not how some mega-media-funded legislator tells us to.
One can only hope...
Tags: bittorrent P2P opinion commentary MPAA FOSS