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BitTorrent Flickr

BitTorrent says if you’re using it to pirate, ‘you’re doing it wrong’

BitTorrent Flickr

Lauren Granger
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping... More

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In its continuing quest to explain to the world that BitTorrent does not equal piracy, the company behind the popular file sharing technology is tackling stories which suggest that HBO’s Game of Thrones has set a new “BitTorrent piracy record” by pointing out that all that illegal activity has nothing to do with them.

“If you’re using BitTorrent for piracy, you’re doing it wrong,” writes Vice President of Marketing Matt Mason. “We don’t host infringing content. We don’t point to it. It’s literally impossible to “illegally download something on BitTorrent.” To pirate stuff, you need more than a protocol. You need search, a pirate content site, and a content manager. We offer none of those things.”

Mason stressed that any records you’ve been hearing about are not BitTorrent piracy records — even if people do use the company’s open source file format and torrent client to download movies and series like Game of Thrones. BitTorrent doesn’t track pirated content, “tally up illegal downloads, and crown pirate-kings,” he says. The reports are just general internet piracy records, and have nothing to do with the completely legal content BitTorrent provides through partnerships with artists, record labels and creative producers.

It’s a fair point — BitTorrent is involved with sharing content that it is licensed and legal through partnerships with artists, studios and labels. It also helps distribute files for producers through its recently launched BitTorrent Bundles option, which provides users with free content in exchange for things like an email address, donation or Facebook like. It can track the popularity of content inside this ecosystem — for example, Mason says the real BitTorrent king is Epic Meal Time, a Bundles partner, which has seen over 8.6-million episode downloads. Despite the popularity of legal content, torrents are still the file protocol of choice for many pirates — making BitTorrent’s plan to stop the unwanted association with its name a bit of an uphill battle.

Image: Leo Amato via Flickr