Hollywood Funded Group Demands BitTorrent Inc. 'Take Responsibility' For Piracy

from the just-like-hollywood-takes-responsibility-for-its-movies? dept

You would think that a Hollywood astroturfing group, funded by all of the major Hollywood studios, would know better than to issue a blatant attack on another company for “failing to condemn” how some people viewed their products. After all, Hollywood is the industry that glorifies murder, con men and (yes) piracy. And Hollywood gets quite up in arms any time anyone suggests that its movies might influence folks in that way. That’s the correct response because it is silly and ridiculous to attack an industry that makes one thing for then not condemning how that thing may be viewed or used improperly. But, apparently, some folks in Hollywood have no problem casting similar aspersions on industries they hate.

Earlier this year, we wrote about the “launch” of a new Hollywood-funded organization called “CreativeFuture.” As we noted, this “launch” was a bit misleading, because CreativeFuture was just the rebranding of Creative America, an organization that Hollywood slapped together as an astroturfing group in support of SOPA and PIPA. It pretends to represent the interests of creators, but actually is almost entirely funded by the major Hollywood studios. After Creative America was a complete disaster, widely derided (even inside Hollywood) as a joke, Hollywood did a rebrand to CreativeFuture, and brought in new leadership in the form of Ruth Vitale, whom the NY Times described as “sassy.” Except, as we noted, the playbook remained the same: basically misrepresent issues related to copyright, pretend to represent “artists” when actually representing the big studios who regularly screw over artists, and always, always, always blame the innovators and technology companies who have provided new tools and services that have helped reinvent the industry for decades.

Vitale is bringing her “sassy” take to this playbook with a bizarre attack on BitTorrent, entitled: We’re All Waiting, BitTorrent. The basic argument is that since BitTorrent is often used for exchanging unauthorized copies of content BitTorrent Inc. has a responsibility to (1) “condemn” how its own technology is used and (2) figure out a way to stop it from being used that way.

If BitTorrent wished to prevent their client applications from being used to facilitate massive piracy, it could do something about it. The company says it?s all about technology, so how about using technology to reduce piracy?

Funny how some technology companies like BitTorrent are always extolling the unlimited power of technology ? except when it can be used to help creators by preventing the unauthorized distribution of their creative content.

I believe that BitTorrent?s failure to publicly condemn the misuse of its protocol ? and to actually do something about it ? is going to hurt the company?s efforts to build legitimate business models… just like it hurts everyone else?s.

Despite the fact that, for many years, Hollywood has been blamed for all sorts of stuff concerning its movies — and Hollywood has, rightly, pointed out that it’s ridiculous to blame its movies for idiots imitating what’s in the movies, or for believing they’re anything more than fictional stories. And yet, now, when it comes to technology, Hollywood wants to take the same bogus moral panics used against it and turn it on technology? Just how cynical can Hollywood get?

Oh, actually much more cynical. Vitale also pulls out a sarcastic “manifesto” that BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen wrote many years before working on BitTorrent, in which he jokingly talked about building tools to “commit digital piracy” as if she’s found the smoking gun.

The whole point of this “sassy” rant appears to be to drive creators away from embracing new technologies. She directly says that creators should “pause” before working with BitTorrent Inc., because even though it’s created a massive tool for free distribution, combined with a very committed and loyal audience, which many creators have found help drive sales, she doesn’t like that they haven’t “done enough” to “stop piracy.”

This is the same misguided playbook that Jack Valenti played for years, attacking the very technology his industry needed to embrace, delaying the inevitable and harming the very industry he “represented.” Because, really, what does Vitale think will happen if either of her demands are met? If BitTorrent could magically make its protocol less useful, people will immediately switch to something else. If BitTorrent were to vocally “condemn” uses of its technology for infringement, does she honestly think that people who use BitTorrent to infringe on copyrights will magically change their ways? Who is she fooling, other than herself?

Instead of recognizing that there are many big entertainment fans that the industry could embrace and drive towards additional offerings, Vitale wants to make this a silly moral stand that will do no good — not unlike the silly “morality” attacks on Hollywood for “promoting” sex and violence. Why Vitale would take such a page from the very people who tend to attack her industry is beyond me. It’s hardly a strategy for embracing the future, and seems like one that only cements legacy Hollywood’s image of being clueless and out of touch with today’s entertainment fans, as well as new and innovative technologies.

Filed Under: , , , , , , ,
Companies: bittorrent, creativefuture

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Hollywood Funded Group Demands BitTorrent Inc. 'Take Responsibility' For Piracy”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
118 Comments
silverscarcat (profile) says:

You know...

I hear bank robbers often use cars to get away from the scene of the crime. And since Ford, Chevy, Etc., still make these pieces of technology that allow bank robbers and other criminals to flee the scene of the crime, those same auto makers should condemn how it’s being misused and find a way to stop it from happening in the future.

That One Guy (profile) says:

We're all waiting, Ford

‘If Ford wished to prevent their vehicles from being used to facilitate automobile-based crimes, it could do something about it. The company says it’s all about technology, so how about using technology to reduce vehicle related crime?

Funny how some technology companies like Ford are always extolling the unlimited power of technology – except when it can be used to help the dealers by preventing the unauthorized use of the vehicles they sell.

I believe that Ford’s failure to publicly condemn the misuse of its vehicles – and to actually do something about it – is going to hurt the company’s efforts to build legitimate business models… just like it hurts everyone else’s.’

Prisoner 201 says:

I think they are failing to see the true enablers of piracy. Unless the root cause is fixed, going after technology and protocols is just a wasteful whack-a-mole of futility.

We need to make the copyright holders responisble for allowing people to pirate. It is a well known fact that it is impossible to pirate works that are in the public domain. We could end piracy swiftly and permanently if certain parties would just do the responsible thing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

OR those who want 100% copyright enforcement should have to use the ULTIMATE form of DRM…Step 1 any copies of any work they have already created are immediately and completely destroyed. Step 2 – They get put into a wardrobe which is covered in cement and dropping into the Marianas Trench, thus ensuring that NO filthy pirates can ‘steal’ any of their work in future.

Anonymous Coward says:

Hollywood blah blah, this. Blah blah, that.

The logical aspect of things have already torn Hollywood apart three ways from Sunday in how they are so incredibly and flat out wrong… so I’m just going to attack this from an emotional stand point.

Most Hollywood movies suck. They produce suck like it’s their full time job and accidentally screw up and make a real good movie once or twice a year if we are lucky. The hell they complaining about people stealing their shit? They still got jobs and look glamorous as fuck. If I produced that much worthless shit in a year I wouldn’t have a damn job.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

If Hollywood cared they wouldn’t put these things out in formats they know are compromised.
But instead they keep putting these things out there, facilitating their content escaping their control!
They need to take Hollywood to task…

(what, this totally makes sense in their world and maybe they’ll focus on destroying themselves and leave the public alone)

PaulT (profile) says:

“If BitTorrent wished to prevent their client applications from being used to facilitate massive piracy, it could do something about it.”

…and even if they did and could, what would have to do with the people using the hundreds of other client applications to access that specific protocol, let alone all the other piracy methods out there? Nothing, that’s what.

Oh, sorry, you thought you’d found a convenient scapegoat because they had the same name as the protocol – even though that company is showing a great willingness to work with content providers and promote legal content? Typical.

Why is it that these people can’t learn from the lessons taught nearly 2 decades ago, let alone find a reasonable target to attack?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

‘Fair’? She’s ‘asking’ another company/industry to spend time and money on something that’s both not their problem, in order to ‘protect’ another industry that couldn’t care less if they died off, and impractical, in that even if they did what she wanted, it would still accomplish absolutely nothing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

She makes a fair statement grounded in basic moral principles…

Which brings up another issue all together. The copyright gang has always tried to take the moral high road but it’s actions time and again show it is not capable recognizing where the moral stance is.

That in turn brings out the mark of hypocrisy well deserved and suited for just such occasions as this one. If you use the moral high road you actually have to walk the walk, not just talk it for creditability purposes.

JMT says:

Re: Re:

First, her statement are not “grounded in basic moral principles”, they’re grounded in the wishes of her paymasters to regain their control of the film industry, control they’ve been steadily loosing for years.

And second, she was being mocked for the content of her statements, not any temerity she may or may not have.

Anonymous Coward says:

“If BitTorrent wished to prevent their client applications from being used to facilitate massive piracy, it could do something about it. The company says it’s all about technology, so how about using technology to reduce piracy?”

So when are they going to start demanding that Microsoft do something to prevent piracy being as Microsoft makes software that is facilitating piracy. Without the Windows operating software being produced that Microfsoft produces piracy would be greatly reduced.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

” If BitTorrent could magically make its protocol less useful, people will immediately switch to something else. If BitTorrent were to vocally “condemn” uses of its technology for infringement, does she honestly think that people who use BitTorrent to infringe on copyrights will magically change their ways? “

This entire line of thought misses the point: If BitTorrent, Inc. magically made its protocol less useful, people would continue on as normal because the protocol is an open standard.

This is exactly the same situation as someone getting up in arms that Lucas made H. Solo shoot first (thereby promoting violence), and him going and re-releasing the movie with Solo shooting second. All it does is devalue the franchise, while not preventing anyone from experiencing the original.

What’s actually going on here is that this astroturfing group is attempting to throw mud at Bittorrent, Inc. not because of the bittorrent protocol, nor because of all the piracy that uses the protocol, but because Bittorrent, Inc. is now a viable competitor in the entertainment delivery industry. They don’t even use the bt protocol as used on public torrent sites in their entertainment delivery offering, but that’s really what is being attacked here.

It would be exactly like a railroad lobby group going after a popular trucking company because some of the technology they’ve invented and made publicly available to the entire automotive industry is used by bank robbers in their getaway vehicles.

Anonymous Coward says:

Funny that she should directly say creators shouldn’t work with another company. If a company (say BitTorrent!) were to directly say creators should not work with archaic legacy gatekeepers she’d be bloody outraged, and claim they were directly trying to harm their business.

I guess it’s ok if Hollywood is the one damaging businesses and anyone else they choose, though

Michael (profile) says:

If Marvel Studios and Disney wished to prevent their films from being used to facilitate violence, it could do something about it. The company says it’s all about entertainment, so how about using entertainment to reduce violence?

Funny how some movie studios like Marvel and Disney are always extolling the unlimited power of entertainment – except when it can be used to help the American people by showing the joys of people working together rather than vi9olently attacking each other.

I believe that Marvel and Disney’s failure to publicly condemn the violent acts of people that watch their films – and to actually do something about it – is going to hurt the company’s efforts to build legitimate business models… just like it hurts everyone else’s.

Whatever (profile) says:

Same old saw, still rusty:

If you have few sales (or maybe none) any method of distribution that gets you attention will potentially lead to some sales. Zero to X sales seems really good if you had zero sales, but if you are selling a million copies and now you are down to that X number, then you are hurting.

Success is relative to your current position. Claiming bit torrent as some sort of amazing sales tool is mostly true if your position is the bottom of the pile.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Same old saw, still rusty:”

Yeah, you do need to start reading the actual statements of others rather than lying your ass off again.

“Zero to X sales seems really good if you had zero sales, but if you are selling a million copies and now you are down to that X number, then you are hurting.”

Explain what this has to do with Hollywood, where the most pirated movies are also making hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.

“Claiming bit torrent as some sort of amazing sales tool is mostly true if your position is the bottom of the pile.”

Cite your research.

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Explain what this has to do with Hollywood, where the most pirated movies are also making hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.

A truly ignorant statement, as most movies are not pirated while still at the box office, but after during the DVD sale phase. It’s why the Expendables3 thing is such a big deal. But you know that, right?

cite your research

I am not a reasearcher, so I don’t have any “research” of my own to present you, sorry professor Paul. However, you can look at the original link in this story:

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121201/01064721193/bittorrent-book-promotion-drives-40-downloaders-to-books-amazon-page.shtml

and then compare that to recorded music sales since Napster days. I think you can easily understand the concepts, although they are a little difficult if you aren’t thinking for yourself.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“A truly ignorant statement, as most movies are not pirated while still at the box office, but after during the DVD sale phase.”

Citation, please. Sorry, you’ve been proven to lie too often to take anything you say at face value.

Also, it is funny how what “counts” seems to constantly change. If there’s disappointing months at the box office, it’s because of piracy. Now that Transformers 4 and Guardian Of The Galaxy have brought in shitloads of money, we’re back to “box office doesn’t count, it’s DVD sales!”. That’s one of the problems – one side not only feels the need to lie at every opportunity but also move the goalposts constantly.

Perhaps it would help if the industry you defend were as good at releasing DVD and other revenue figures as they are at theatrical box office. If you have access to those figures, I’d love a reliable resource as I’ve been asking for one for years.

“It’s why the Expendables3 thing is such a big deal”

What “thing” are you referring to? Sorry, haven’t heard anything about that particular movie apart from the release hype.

“I am not a reasearcher, so I don’t have any “research” of my own to present you, sorry professor Paul. However, you can look at the original link in this story”

Oh, a story from 2012! Why wasn’t I reading you mind to know you were referring that! I merely asked you to stop pulling “facts” out of your ass like you normally do. At least you presented a link rather than just whining about the way you usually do. Keep it up.

Now, can you explain how you think that link explains whatever point you think you were making?

“and then compare that to recorded music sales since Napster days.”

If you found a 2 year old article to present, surely you have found the decade of discussion of why merely blaming “piracy” for that drop in sales is either idiotic or misleading at best. A total lie designed to derail honest arguments at worst.

Up to you which categorize you prefer me to place you into. I’ll be over here, waiting for you to consider other things such as unbundling, fragmentation of the early digital market, regional and format windowing, competition from other media and other factors before going “waaah piracy!” like so many other people who don’t consider the entire landscape before making up their mind.

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Oh, a story from 2012! Why wasn’t I reading you mind to know you were referring that!

if you spent less time attacking me personally and more time reading, you would discover that the link is in the original story, exactly in the text I quoted.

Your too busy looking for a slam to have a discussion. I’m done here. 🙂

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“if you spent less time attacking me personally and more time reading, you would discover that the link is in the original story, exactly in the text I quoted.”

You don’t know how the internet works, do you? How about you stop being a dick and link me and explain which text in which article gives the data you referred to, and explain how that supports your point? Too honest a debate tactic for you?

You’re making the claim, you support it.

“Your too busy looking for a slam to have a discussion. I’m done here. :)”

Run away little man, I’ll be here to address your lies whenever I see them. God forbid you answer the questions, or even support your own arguments.

You could save yourself time by reading the previous debunking of the tired arguments you’re attempting to use, by the way.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

And honestly, digital sales exploded since Napster days because goddamn alternatives with a somewhat fair price were introduced. Also, since people no longer have to buy whole albums to get a single song overall revenue has pretty much stagnated if inflation is considered. But that’s not an issue with piracy itself but rather a lousy business model with very little spending efficiency. Maybe if they stop paying millionaire salaries and spending tons in hookers and cocaine they can actually turn some profit (so far they’ve been resorting to simply not paying the artists to make a profit).

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Oh, that’s what he was on about? IIRC, the only big deal was that it happened before the theatrical release and there were fears it could compromise that, but that directly contradicts his claim that it’s all about DVDs.

What a shame the industry he defends is so against allowing home and other releases to happen when customers demand them in the fear of cannibalising theatrical revenue, and so customers turn to other means to get the product…

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Oh, that’s what he was on about? IIRC, the only big deal was that it happened before the theatrical release and there were fears it could compromise that, but that directly contradicts his claim that it’s all about DVDs.

I have come to the conclusion that english isn’t your first language.

I said, and I quote:

A truly ignorant statement, as most movies are not pirated while still at the box office, but after during the DVD sale phase. It’s why the Expendables3 thing is such a big deal. But you know that, right?

Read slowly now. Most piracy happens during the DVD phase, and not during the theatrical release. Most of what you see during that time is cammed movies and the like, sometimes a review copy gets out.

You said, and I quote:

Explain what this has to do with Hollywood, where the most pirated movies are also making hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.

Right, they are still making money at the box office, in part because THERE ISN’T AS MUCH PIRACY AT THAT POINT. It’s the reason the Expendible3’s leak before theatrical release is a big deal, because there is much larger potential for it to harm the box office take for that movie.

Either English isn’t your first language, or you are just trolling. Either way, stop already, you are making yourself look like an idiot.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“I have come to the conclusion that english isn’t your first language”

Oooh, am I meant to turn into a blubbery whining mess because someone said something mean about me and refuse to deal with any further questions asked of me?

No, because unlike you I’m an honest person wanting honest debate. Think about that.

“Most piracy happens during the DVD phase, and not during the theatrical release.”

Still waiting for that citation. Repeating your assumptions doesn’t make them true.

Also, do you have that link or the industry figures you’re using to reach your conclusions? You still haven’t supplied it and I’d like to see a reliable source for those figures as I’ve never found one.

Or, are you lying your ass off again?

“Right, they are still making money at the box office, in part because THERE ISN’T AS MUCH PIRACY AT THAT POINT.”

Bullshit. You can find pirated copies of movies that haven’t been released yet, and copies of movies currently at the cinema. Now, they might not be perfect copies at that point, but they most certainly exist and in great numbers.

Unless you’re literally saying that 6 months after the film’s release there will be more pirated copies than there were on the day of its release. Which is not only depressingly obvious and nothing to do with the film’s release schedule, but irrelevant to your claims – even if you believe the idiotic and false claim that every pirated copy is a lost sale. You probably are stupid enough to believe that.

But,m of course, feel free to provide citations for any of the “facts” you’re spewing. You’ve a proven liar, so cite your words if you want people to believe them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I love you commenting. You’re my entertainment for the evening, as I read you flailing about and failing over and over, again, then whining that PaulT is just picking on you before you take your ball and go home. Real debate seems to be outside your actual abilities, or you’d actually support yourself with real citations and facts.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Who would think for themselves when the shills of the IP maximalists have such nice talking points for you to use?

Are you referring to the DVD sales that wouldn’t even exist if Jack Valenti had convinced people that preceding technologies such as VCRs were going to kill movies?

Also, compare the sales of entertainment media from any time before and after a technological paradigm shift and a recession and then tell me the difference is due to piracy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Not only do you fail to back up your claims, you fail to make any proper sense. I can only conclude you are paid to do this sort of thing as the reason for your willful blindness.

You complain about movies/music sales and conveniently drop the rest that tells why. Nice to wear such blinders when convenient. Music had the opportunity to sell licenses to all those pirate sites as you call them and you know what? They wouldn’t be pirate sites anymore but music and movies would be raking in a shit load of money. Piracy is nothing but a false concept in this respect.

Movies for the last 4 or 5 years have done record breaking profits compared to the year before each year. Yet every year we hear of the poor movie industry having so hard a time making it. If you are curious about that the data is right here at this site. I encourage you to use the search function.

Both movies and music studies have shown time and again that it is the pirates that spend more money on the goods than people who just don’t care about the product. Now the industry wants to go out and sue those folk and then later wonder what happens? Please go drink a glass of reality next time before spouting off.

RD says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“A truly ignorant statement, as most movies are not pirated while still at the box office, but after during the DVD sale phase.”

This may be the single dumbest, most willfully blind statement ever made on this topic.

ALL MOVIES ARE PIRATED WHEN THEY ARE IN THE THEATER. And after. And beyond that. Piracy is not going away, its a fact of life. You can’t stomp it out, you can’t defeat it. It just is, get used to it. Piracy is just an under served market. USE it. People are going to share one way or another, its how culture has expanded for THOUSANDS OF YEARS. You can’t just wave a magic wand and make a declaration that people stop. They just won’t, the will ignore it. You can either use it, or get left behind. Build a better mousetrap (Itunes, Comixology, Pandora, Netflix) or get the fuck out of the way and let the REAL innovators of delivery systems do your job better, faster, cheaper.

Tell me, how does stomping out piracy generate MORE sales? Pray tell?

Did you know that since the song “Hooked on a Feeling” came out in the GotG trailers and movie, sales of the song have exploded something like 1200% compared to virtually nothing for the past couple of decades? Why? Because people were exposed to it, in a popular movie. Piracy can be viewed as exposure, and capitalized on. Or not.

Be a dinosaur, or be a visionary.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

RD, he knows everything you said already. Frankly he (and the *AA groups) don’t care about the sharing. They’re just butthurt that they aren’t getting their 30 bucks per person per media item anymore. It’s all about money.

Now you may say, but they could stop with the windowed release crap and give people a simple easy way to buy and download digital media as soon as it is released. But no, you will never get them to believe that people will buy what they could possibly get for free. Because they are so crooked, they believe everyone else must be crooked too.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Ok, let’s take what you say and assume you are correct.

The biggest challenge for artists is and always has been obscurity. It is extremely difficult to gain enough notoriety to sell art.

If BitTorrent (or another technology) helps bring the artists with zero sales (which is 99.999% of them) to some sales while reducing the sales of the artists that were previously selling millions (which is .000001% of them), isn’t this technology promoting the progress of art and allowing the world to yield more artistic output than we did without it?

How could that be a bad thing?

AJ says:

Re: Re:

“but if you are selling a million copies and now you are down to that X number, then you are hurting.”

Then you are selling the wrong product. Time to innovate!

The people want X, industry produces X and delivers it a specific way that is acceptable to all.. However, if the nature of X changes in that it goes from scarce to non-scarce due to the development of new technologies, the industry must adapt with it and find a new way to bring it to market.

Taking a legacy position and trying to force that position on your customers, regardless of ownership or law, has never worked out well for any industry.

Violynne (profile) says:

BitTorrent: Artists, we’ll help you distribute your works around the world. We make no exclusive contracts. In addition, you keep all copyrights applicable by law.

Hollywood: Artists, we’ll help you distribute your works around the world, but will take 90% of the proceeds, charge you for distribution, and limit your works on screens and plastic coasters. We’ll also prevent you from distributing your own works. In addition, we keep all relevant copyrights preventing you from licensing further.

What continues to blow my mind is how people continue to pick the latter option.

steve says:

Don't demand unless you can explain how

Everyone at whom these sorts of demands are directed should reply by asking the Hollywood companies to explain *exactly how* the tech providers are supposed to distinguish infringing content from non-infringing content.

Developers of hardware, software or protocols, or service providers, have no practical or realistic way to distinguish what’s even copyrighted or not, and still less means of detecting the licensing status of arbitrary files. The demand that they do so is nonsensical and absurd.

This answer would force Hollywood to make explicit its real intend and demand: what they really want is for tech providers to take whitelists or blacklists from big Hollywood companies and simply suppress anything those companies want to disallow – an unaccountable private censor for everyone else’s communications.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Don't demand unless you can explain how

According to them, ‘it’s obvious’ and ‘you just know’ when it comes time for a third-party to determine whether or not a given collection of 1’s and 0’s is legitimate or infringing, though they always seem to get a little tongue-tied when it comes to backing up those claims with verifiable supporting evidence.

Alien Rebel (profile) says:

Re: Don't demand unless you can explain how

. . . what they really want is for tech providers to take whitelists or blacklists from big Hollywood companies and simply suppress anything those companies want to disallow – an unaccountable private censor for everyone else’s communications.

This is exactly the heart of the matter, and for much more than just this latest nonsense from CreativeFuture. We’re talking about shills here- doubtless they don’t believe a word that comes out of their own mouths about BitTorrent, and frankly I don’t see much reason to debate the logic behind their statements; they’re not believers, they’re advocates and propagandists for whom facts and reason are optional. All the noise from the Hollywood shills over SOPA, DMCA, support for TPP, copyright term extensions, first sale, etc., etc., is all just chilling effect. Get BitTorrent to reform? It’s not really their goal. Tarnishing them and every other alternate source of entertainment that Hollywood doesn’t own is the strategic mission. Make people afraid of those scary pirates, keep fair use a risky proposition, limit the public domain, and so on.

FYI- They already have their white list for you, if you’re sufficiently cowed and feel that going out on the big bad web in search of entertainment is just too dangerous. You of course don’t want to use that horrible Google; the CreativeFuture and Copyright Alliance websites both have links to Hollywood’s white list at wheretowatch.org

Anonymous Coward says:

So is she going to insist that Hollywood studios not produce movies that are based on other media that have utilized bittorrent? Should Hollywood studios forgo the millions of dollars of profit (or losses on paper and tax filings) that will be made from producing a World of Warcraft movie? She seems as against using technology for profit as her predecessors.

Anonymous Coward says:

I believe that BitTorrent’s failure to publicly condemn the misuse of its protocol – and to actually do something about it – is going to hurt the company’s efforts to build legitimate business models… just like it hurts everyone else’s.

I believe that Hollywood’s failure to publicly condemn the misuse of its dated protocol – and to actually do something about it – is going to hurt the industry’s efforts to build legitimate innovative business models… just like it hurts everyone else’s.

khstapp says:

Insert Company Name and Product Here

If FORD MOTOR COMPANY wished to prevent their AUTOMOBILE from being used to facilitate SPEEDING, it could do something about it. The company says it’s all about technology, so how about using technology to reduce SPEEDING?

Funny how some technology companies like FORD are always extolling the unlimited power of technology – except when it can be used to help POLICE by preventing SPEEDING.

I believe that FORD’S failure to publicly condemn the misuse of its CARS – and to actually do something about it – is going to hurt the POLICE efforts to IMPROVE PUBLIC SAFETY… just like it hurts everyone else’s.

Anonymous Coward says:

I wonder if they’re even aware bittorrent is a communications/distribution protocol. Had it been invented a decade or so earlier, support for it would probably be as basic as ftp.

More importantly for her “argument” it means that nothing Bittorrent the company can do can prevent bittorrent from being used for piracy. No matter what Bittorrent does with their own client, multiple other clients implement the protocol and pirates will simply use those.

So are they ignorant and think that Bittorrent the company can actually do something? Or do they know that and this is just an attempt to vilify the technology to the point they can con politicians into banning it?

Devonavar says:

Re: Protocol

“I wonder if they’re even aware bittorrent is a communications/distribution protocol. Had it been invented a decade or so earlier, support for it would probably be as basic as ftp. “

My thoughts exactly. What, exactly does she think BitTorrent Inc. can do about this? Bittorrent (the protocol) is an open protocol as far as I know … any attempt to make it “pirate-proof” would simply be ignored by anyone wanting to pirate things, while making it less useful for what it is actually intended to do: Speed distribution of any large file.

Besides … if she had bothered to do any research, she would know that what the company is currently doing has nothing to do with the bittorrent protocol … Bittorrent Sync and (soon) Bittorrent chat build on the principles of the protocol, but they don’t use the protocol directly.

The protocol is out there, and there’s nothing anyone, including Bittorrent Inc., can do about it.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Fill in the blanks

Thinking about it, it’s actually not hard to swap in different companies or industries to showcase how ridiculous that argument is, to the point you could almost make a template out of it.

‘If [COMPANY] wished to prevent their [PRODUCT/SERVICE] from being used to facilitate [ANY CRIME CONCEIVABLY POSSIBLE USING PRODUCT/SERVICE], it could do something about it. The company says it’s all about [INDUSTRY BUZZWORD], so how about using [INDUSTRY BUZZWORD] to reduce [ANY CRIME CONCEIVABLY POSSIBLE USING PRODUCT/SERVICE]?

Funny how some [COMPANY INDUSTRY] companies like [COMPANY] are always extolling the unlimited power of [INDUSTRY BUZZWORD]– except when it can be used to help [UNRELATED THIRD-PARTY] by preventing [ANY CRIME CONCEIVABLY POSSIBLE USING PRODUCT/SERVICE].

I believe that [COMPANY]’s failure to publicly condemn the misuse of its [PRODUCT/SERVICE]– and to actually do something about it – is going to hurt the company’s efforts to build legitimate business models… just like it hurts everyone else’s.’

ECA (profile) says:

I would take responsiblity

I would take responsibility:
1. For SUPPLY AND DEMAND
2. For giving products at a RATE the customer can afford
3. For not charging price that include, the OLD pricing structure of Paying everyone IN THE CORP, then the maker of the game last.
4. For getting games/programs to EVERYONE that wants it.

Basic price of the OLD games..
ART
BOX
INSTRUCTIONS
Shipping/handling
Then giving STORES a margin price of 1/2 the cost of the game
THEN pay the maker.. Maker is bought outright, or gets $1-2 per sale.
$50 game/program at the store…cost the store $25.

If you look at the OLD game makers, they all went into Buying and distribution. Atari/EA/All of them..

Anonymous Coward says:

Much like the war on drugs that seems never ending ,and we yet to see any real benefit from ,but has cost a ton of money ,This war on so called piracy is going to cost Hollywood its bundle to the point they have to make a blockbuster film to cover expenses , they have their hands in so much right now ,I’d think the cheaper route would be to give a two year hold on all it’s spending and it will see real increases in profits .

That being said, you don’t keep buying the same product that breaks in two weeks in a different color and expect it to be any better.

Anonymous Coward says:

“She directly says that creators should “pause” before working with BitTorrent Inc., because even though it’s created a massive tool for free distribution, combined with a very committed and loyal audience, which many creators have found help drive sales, she doesn’t like that they haven’t “done enough” to “stop piracy.””

Brought to you by the makers of “Thank You for Smoking”!

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This is a pretty disingenuous article. Normally I agree with the views presented on TD, particularly with regards to Hollywood, but the analogy presented here is so flawed it really hurts its own credibility.

Ok, I’ll bite.

What analogy are you referring to? All I saw was an article pointing out Hollywood’s hypocrisy in how it addresses different issues.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You’re confused. Techdirt is a pro-piracy site and needs to throw it’s readers some pirate red meat every friday to drive page views.
Personally, I love articles like this, as any time someone wonders if tech astroturfers might actually have honest intentions, I just steer them to stuff like this.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

The misplaced narcissism is quite funny, though. It can’t possibly be a well-established community using the visible tools to hide (not censor, of course) trolls and other unpopular posts. No, it has to be a personal vendetta from one man.

I’m not sure if they’re too stupid to realise what’s actually happening, or if they’re just so full of themselves they can’t accept it.

AC says:

Hollywood owes us

Once Hollywood stops allowing the making of films like Sharknado and Sand Sharks or Age of Tomorrow, maybe then we may listen to what they have to say. I have seen more crap put out by these so called movie makers, so once they can learn to make only good movies, then they can talk about piracy. Until then they owe us the people.

Digger says:

When will Hollywood figure out what piracy means?

Online sharing of data isn’t piracy – never has been, never will be. Period.

Piracy is taking physical media, duplicating it and then selling it for a profit. That’s piracy in the media world, audio and movies.

Online sharing is just sharing of data, isn’t illegal and never has been.

RIAA / MPAA lawyers may cry foul, but it’s the truth. How can there be a copyright violation when the studios still own the copyrights. When nobody is claiming ownership of their product, and nobody is profiting from stolen merchandise?

Without monetary gain, it’s not piracy plain and simple.

Sorry RIAA/MPAA you need to go back to kindergarten and start your educations all over again as you are totally clueless.

DigDug says:

Hollywood Accounting...

Since Hollywood is so up in arms about the monetary loss of their employees, actors, gaffers, stunt-people and such, why doesn’t some federal agency step in to correct all of the illegal accounting practices that prevent these people from being paid?

Why doesn’t Hollywood stop wasting money on their “perpetual-motion-machine” aka encryption technology. That alone would mean millions, if not billions of dollars would be available to pay the salaries of the people who actually do the work that makes the movies.

Oh yeah, that’s right, because then they’d have to admit that they’ve lied for the past 50+ years about their illegal accounting antics and about the VRC, the DVD recorder, the internet and the non-piracy data sharing sites.

And we all know Hollywood will never admit that they’ve lied, and we all know that if someone in Hollywood opens their mouth, it’s either to eat, yawn or tell a lie.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

This does make an interesting argument against gun control

Regulation of guns based on the crimes that can be committed with them sets a precedent of regulating other technology that can be used to commit crimes. And vice versa.

If torrents or cars (or, say, all-purpose computers) should not be regulated based on their usefulness in committing crimes, then neither should guns.

Just a thought.

Disclaimer: I’m a non gun owner who thinks the NRA and arms companies act like asshats, but I still think common people should have the right to own guns and shoot them at the firing range.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: This does make an interesting argument against gun control

Think about the raw purpose of the technologies though.

A car is transportation. It’s an unintended use to kill someone with it, whether it’s a hit and run, drunk driving, car accident, road rage, or whatever.

Bittorrent is a method for crowdsharing bits. It’s used legally for distributing the bandwidth load of files, whether they’re game updates (World of Warcraft), open source software (Linux distros), and legally free content (the Promo Bay).

Guns are tools for hurting or killing people. Yes, they have legitimate uses in self-defense and law enforcement (when the cops are trained to use them correctly and not on handcuffed people), and I don’t have a problem with people owning them for that purpose, but we license people to drive cars and require them to get insurance. If you suggest even just requiring background checks on potentially mentally unstable people who want guns, the NRA goes apeshit.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: This does make an interesting argument against gun control

“Raw purpose” starts getting into intent. Megaupload was taken down on the premise that the intent was piracy. According to Legacy Content, the intent of peer-to-peer sharing technology is piracy. Yes, these technologies have other purposes, but in the opinion of Big Media, that is irrelevant.

The same logic applies to guns. Guns have more use than killing people. The pleasure that enthusiasts take in owning, caring for and legally using guns is enough, in my opinion, to give them cause to own them. But if you are to argue that they should be regulated based on their original intent, it would logically follow that there is legitimacy to the Megaupload takedown and the Legacy Content argument against bit-torrent.

“Raw purpose” comes down to an opinion, and anyone can argue what the raw purpose of a thing is.

Incidentally, I’m one of the “mentally unstable people” though I don’t necessarily want a gun, I can be perfectly responsible with one, and I recent the common opinion that just because someone has a diagnosis that they should be deprived of rights.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: This does make an interesting argument against gun control

“The pleasure that enthusiasts take in owning, caring for and legally using guns is enough, in my opinion, to give them cause to own them.”

I agree with this, but…

“But if you are to argue that they should be regulated based on their original intent, it would logically follow that there is legitimacy to the Megaupload takedown and the Legacy Content argument against bit-torrent.”

Not this. The “original intent” for both MU and Bittorrent was not piracy at all, so your conclusion does not logically follow.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 This does make an interesting argument against gun control

The “original intent” for both MU and Bittorrent was not piracy at all, so your conclusion does not logically follow.

Says you, and I agree. But, I bet the MPAA and RIAA would differ in opinion.

And that’s the problem original intent is a matter of opinion, often the opinion of people who are biased due to personal interests.

And I’m saying the notion of an original intent for guns as specifically for homicide fails the same way.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »