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BitTorrent More than Just a Tool for Pirates

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I was listening to Dave Slusher’s Evil Genius Chronicles yesterday; if memory serves, Slusher’s was the very first podcast I ever listened to, back around October 2004.

If it wasn’t, it was close. Anyway, Slusher pointed out that BitTorrent is his primary means of distributing the podcast.

Slusher uses BitTorrent primarily because it’s fast and that’s useful to his listeners. But he also said he uses BitTorrent to make a point: The file sharing utility isn’t just a tool for the illegal distribution of copyrighted material. The motion picture industry is anxious to kill BitTorrent because it is the utility of choice for sending large multimedia files like pirated movies. Slusher believes that killing BitTorrent will also end the ability for people like him, who are sending perfectly legitimate files, to tap into the amazing delivery speeds BitTorrent offers.

I was reminded of Slusher’s off-handed remark this morning while reading a Heather Green item in Blogspotting, in which she notes that acclaimed movie director Steven Soderbergh will use BitTorrent to release a short film he’s producing. Soderbergh made his remarks while on a panel at the Tribeca Film Festival. The MPAA’s Dean Garfield was on the same panel.

The folks behind BitTorrent think the film industry, rather than try to kill the tool, should embrace it as a channel for distributing its content. Whether that will ever happen remains to be seen, but the more legitimate uses of BitTorrent that emerge, the harder it will be for the film industry to stifle yet another useful technology.

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Shel Holtz is principal of Holtz Communication + Technology which focuses on helping organizations apply online communication capabilities to their strategic organizational communications.

As a professional communicator, Shel also writes the blog a shel of my former self.

BitTorrent More than Just a Tool for Pirates
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