Hollyweird under attack
Bittorrent is good at one thing, transferring gigantic files over the Internet. It's starting to get a lot of press now on major news sites because instead of downloading a song or two people are downloading entire uncompressed CDs and 7 gigabyte DVDs. Bittorrent has a system that prevents the RIAA or other antipiracy agency from uploading fake files which can corrupt swarmed downloads resulting in that godawful screeching noise sometimes heard in nefariously acquired MP3s.
A major difference between Kazaa and Bittorrent is that you generally only download one thing at a time from Bittorrent which makes it harder for the MPAA/RIAA to sue for multiple infringement. Think of it as Napster except there is no one server handling all of the transactions, there are thousands of them all over the world. Today the MPAA has decided that instead of going after the people that download, they're going after the people who host the trackers. That's all well and good but news recently leaked about a system in development that would decentralize the trackers leaving the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) with only the downloaders to go after. That's a problem because of the following stats from Suprnova.org:
348668 seeded torrents (563910 total), 7229906 seeds & 9186110 downloaders (16416016 peers), on 1461 active trackers.
9 million people are using it as I type this just on Suprnova and it's still not a household word. What happens when everybody finds out? If 50% of the population is rampantly violating copyrights then at what point does the law become invalid? I wonder if in 15 years when broadband is 50x faster we will have only actors working that really like doing it. Sure they'll get paid, not from royalties or a $20million paycheck but by people who choose to donate through their website because they appreciate that actor's work. It sounds crazy but the guy who invented bittorrent gave it away for free and simply added a "Donate" button on his site. He's now extremely wealthy because 9Million people are using his software right now and so even if a fraction of the BT users donate, it adds up.