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BitTorrent Crackdown: Battling the Hydra

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 26, 2005

It’s hard to blame the movie studios for wanting to shut down those BitTorrent sites that let people download pirated movies. And in this case, they succeeded. But I can’t help but think that for every network they shut down, many more will sprout up. And with the folks behind BitTorrent releasing a search engine for these torrents, they’re going to get easier to find. Can’t the entertainment industry find a way to harness this technology rather than trying in vain to to hack it to pieces? Ideas?

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Reader Comments

Jack Krupansky

May 26, 2005 08:41 PM

What, and eliminate all of these titanic tech battles that entertain so many of us?

Both the technologies and businesses will continue to evolve at a rapid pace, so it's way too early to try to predict how this will all play out. I won't root for either side and I wouldn't bet on either side.

Maybe, a white knight will appear, some day.

Meanwhile, bring em on!

More seriously, I do await the day when *somebody* will invent some file-sharing technology that is not nod-and-wink predicated on illicit downloading.

-- Jack Krupansky


May 26, 2005 09:21 PM

yeah, I got an idea. Kiss intellectual property goodbye. And watch the thinkers of the world not give a shit. 1's and 0's belong to nobody but base 2.

Blake Clark

May 27, 2005 08:29 AM

Where is Steve Jobs when you need him!

Rich R.

May 27, 2005 08:24 PM

When it comes to selling content online, the entertainment industry (especially the RIAA) has been trapped in a fortress mentality and has put way too much effort into fighting their own customers. They have been amazingly slow to recognize a great new business opportunity. I guess they'll wake up someday.

Alex Rowland

May 27, 2005 09:37 PM

Rob, I've actually written extensively about this problem and its solution at my blog. Open systems are here to stay. Closed systems will eventually die off. There is no regulation in the world that will prevent this transition. Advertising is the key to monetizing content in open networks. Other systems may work for the next 5-10 years while the transition occurs (subscriptions, pay-per-view, etc.), but advertising will ultimately prevail.

Rob Hof

May 28, 2005 08:11 PM

Wow, Alex, you sure have written about this. Very interesting blog. I'd suggest that anyone who's interested in these issues check out your blog:
Thanks for weighing in!

Myron Plett

May 29, 2005 03:27 PM

I think it all boils down to one thing: can the "Industry" successfully make a case to the Global Consumer that it can dictate when, where and how people will "consume" its products? As of yet, it certainly has not.

The Industry consistently forgets that, in order for their ideas about trade in intellectual property to prevail, the consumer must agree to buy into their framework. Well, the last ten years is a dramatic illustration that Global Consumers do not. Unfortunately, in response to the Global Consumer's assertion that it refuses the Industry's framework, rather than employing persuasive means (i.e. iTunes), it uses coercive means.

People will not buy into a system that is thrust upon them. So, yes, everytime the RIAA or the MPAA shuts down one website, more will spring forth. There has been no persuasion, only coercion.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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