BitTorrent goes legal

Had to happen, didn’t it? The same happened to so many other illegal music-sharing sytems that BitTorrent’s system was too good for the industry to pass.

The idea? Gather movies, music, games, and software from Hollywood studios and indie producers alike and distribute them to consumers. BitTorrent would generate revenue either by selling ads within the content or charging a fee for the files.

That’s a pretty dramatic turn for a technology that up to now has been so closely associated with illegal file sharing. BitTorrent was developed and released in 2002 by independent programmer Bram Cohen as a way to efficiently distribute the free Linux operating system that competes with Microsoft’s (MSFT ) software. But it was quickly commandeered by file sharers for illegal swapping of copyrighted movies and TV shows.

Such a strong and popular system, BT created a whole new channel for itself and now, it’ll be made legit by asking people to pay for their downloads. Sounds really rather familiar, yet I’m not feeling that it’ll really be successful. BT may have shown users how easily they could get the content, but it’s also given them all a taste for free stuff.

As long as Hollywood turns out big-budget pure-rubbish movies, I’ll be all for people finding the movies online for free. They’re simply not worth what we’re charged. When I find a truly good movie or music album, I’ll be more than happy to pay for it. Unfortunately, when it comes to movies, the good ones are rather sparse these days.

I’ll be curious to see how much they plan on charging users. It’s likely it’ll be ridiculously expensive for a chunk of data that costs them nothing to distribute in comparison to a physical DVD. Not only are they likely to be overpriced but your average BitTorrent user doesn’t necessarily have a credit card to pay online, purely because of the age group they belong to.

Bah, the idea seems to be riddled with problems, but the big bucks will do their best to make things go their way, as usual.

(Found via Digg)

2 thoughts on “BitTorrent goes legal

  1. Steven

    Hmmmmm, well personally I haven’t been going to the cinema for a few years now, since the majority of stuff is utter pants (that and my complete lack of attention span after the Internet destroyed it). It’s £9.50 to see a film at my local Odeon (Kensington High Street), so it’s a case of much better to just buy a DVD. IMHO Movies being pants doesn’t mean we have the right to rip off the studios and watch it for free by downloading. Not watching the film in the first place should be enough of a kicking for them.

  2. Hal

    BitTorrent was always legal, it’s the people who use it who are breaking the law. You can have a license to own a gun, but it isn’t the gun’s fault if it you misuse it.

    I assume the people who use this program for its intended use will fare no different.

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