P2P: The Secret’s Out

The movie industry’s latest effort to subjugate file sharers and the P2P networks by taking over LokiTorrent, a well-known BitTorrent site, is still a hot topic.

The entertainment industry’s principal weapon is fear. Like all bullies, it picks on people who can’t defend themselves. The RIAA and MPAA are currently using attacks on BitTorrent sites as a weapon to drive former customers back into channels it controls.

But that won’t happen. Things have gone too far. File sharers are well aware they stand about as much chance of being nabbed by entertainment industry enforcers as they do of winning the lottery or being struck by lightning, as Canada’s Dr. Markus Geisler emphasized in a recent academic study.

BT Explodes

As the number of people sharing files increases, the chances of an individual becoming a victim decrease. Soon, Hollywood will be forced to abandon its intimidation tactics and the scarcely credible proposition that it’s being “devastated” by P2P.

Instead, it will have to acknowledge P2P networks and applications as primary vehicles of sales, marketing, promotion and delivery.

That will happen, but not without more tantrums on the part of the studios, software builders and labels.

The entertainment industry’s Canute-like efforts to turn back the future to maintain the past simply won’t work.

Until BitTorrent became wildly popular, most of the files being shared on the P2P networks — especially the movie files — were of low quality. Now, thanks to the mainstream media and several well-meaning individuals and organizations who have produced BitTorrent for Dummies software, its use has exploded.

The door is open. The cat is out of the bag. The horse has left the barn.

Applications and networks able to handle only low-res files are yesterday’s news. The mainstream media’s reports on P2P and BitTorrent are alerting more and more people to the possibilities, forcing the studios to react.

Wooing and Suing

Unfortunately for Hollywood, BitTorrent isn’t the only game in town. There are other apps and technologies in hand, or being developed, that allow the movement of large, VHQ (very high quality) digital media online.

As far back as 2003, Rain Networks engineers in Brazil used Windows Media 9 software to transmit a 90-minute movie by satellite from Rain’s central computer in So Paulo to cinemas across the country. And it took just 20 minutes.

The movie and music cartels are well aware of this. That’s why they’re trying to force a horse that bolted long ago back into a barn that doesn’t exist any more.

Sooner or later, they’ll have to create new business models and accept that customers can completely bypass them, if they so choose.

Soon, the cartels will wooing instead of suing — which is what they should have done in the first place.

Jon Newton, a TechNewsWorld columnist, founded and runs, based in Canada, a daily peer-to-peer and digital media news site focused on issues surrounding file sharing, the entertainment industry and distributed computing.


  • I guess the main thing that people are forgetting is that we can get away with copying and sharing files for as long as we want because the technology allows us! Do you think this multi-billion dollar empire is just going to roll over and "woo us instead of sue us"?
    You’re sadly mistaken – the industry will lobby various governments to ensure the technology does not allow us! A few million here and a few million there and we have a Digital Rights Management system that can only be cracked by the best.
    How will kids rip, burn & share if the DVD/CD they just bought is unrippable? Sure – everything can be cracked and tools can be distributed for the likes of me but holes can be patched and the security will change to the extent that only a few will be capable … and there will be no smoke screen to hide them.
    Food for thought anyway :-0

  • Okay I fully agree with this article but have to say that like most articles related to this topic, it leaves out one important thing. That is that people are sharing KNOWN copyrighted works. They know it is illegal and morally wrong to do this and they do it anyway. Granted I dont liekt he inductries tactics, and would personally take them on any day, but in the end if I shared I know I AM wrong and have to relent or end up losing a court battle.
    Now I personally do copy DVD and music to my computer but I do not ahare them, not becuase it is illegal or because I AM actually afraid of the RIAA or MPAA, but it is theft. Money made form seeing the films and buying the movies/music is what pays the many people involved in the production. If people just shared everything they would not make enough money and would therefor go under.
    What they need is a different business model.. one that does not involve media distribution but rather electronic.. it is what most want now-a-days. Plus it is less litter :0

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