A Tip of the Hat to the Torrents

Tag: commentary, computers, internet, torrents

These are the "good ol' days," when those with little resources can take part in the plenty. Enjoy it, you're not alone. Research firms estimate torrents account for up to 55% percent of Internet bandwidth. Live it up while you can.

BUSAN, South Korea - Someday in the future, when your children want your credit card number to buy music, movies or software on the Internet, you can remind them of the time when it ‘was all free!’ When all a person had to do was go to a site and download to their hard drive’s content.

Not that your children of the future will actually hear what you are saying as they multi-task Facebook’s holographic interface while having Twitter fed to them intravenously, but at least you will have something to lord over them from the ‘good ol’ days.’ In fact, they probably won’t actually ask for the credit card number, they will instead text you from fingertip implants. I digress.

Truth be told, pirating off the Internet might very well be an endangered species headed the way of the Walkman. The battle between the two camps, which can roughly be narrowed down to “producers” and “thieves” rages on; with one side gaining an edge just as the other finds another.

The fine folks out there posting torrents and the sites that “host” them are a scrappy lot by sheer number. On the flip side, you have industry and government. Interestingly, the war on copyright infringement is the consummate converse of the drug war. Those that post pirated materials on the net, as well as those that download them, are not to be found on street corners for an easy police pick-up or an Adobe drive-by.

Corporate lawyers long ago accepted the error in judgement of the downloader and took aim at the tracking sites that supply them. The more notable examples include the closing of Supernova, Torrentspy, and Mininova. But small victories they were in the face of gray laws and an enemy combatant with more heads than the Hydra.

In 2008, The Pirate Bay torrent site, formed by a Swedish group in 2003, had its servers in Sweden raided by Swedish police on allegations by the MPAA of copyright infringement. Yet, the tracker was up and running again three days later on a different server in a different country. It still serves up the goods today. Rock on.

And yet, if movies have taught us anything, it is that our future cyberwebworld might not hold such plenty. Since the music industry alone will lose an estimated $200 billion over the next five years, they will continue to merge and eventually decide its worth throwing a couple billion on some unhackable security measures — so live it up while you can.

Forget about the stigma: you’re not alone if you pilf the occasional tune or flick. Wide-ranging sources that track Internet traffic estimate bittorrents account for roughly 27% to 55% of total bandwidth, depending on geographic location. Just don’t mention my name when the police robots bust your door down.

Some Good Torrent Sites

Torrent Funk
It has 2 million verified torrents, a rating system and a comment section with loads of obnoxious netizens to shake your head at. www.torrentfunk.com

The Pirate Bay
They’ve weathered legal attacks on the Swedish high seas of copyright infringement. www.thepiratebay.org

Demonoid: the benchmark private torrent site. Membership is required and leechers quickly cut. www.demonoid.com

Busan Haps does not condone or encourage pirating off the internet, we are simply pointing out the obvious.

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