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December 19, 2004

War on Information

In the past week several websites offering links to bittorrent files were taken offline. A recent surge in pressure exerted by the Motion Picture Association (www.mpaa.org) on these link providers forced their demise. Some, like Phoenix Torrents and Suprnova (Slovenia), which saw over a million visitors a day, made the decision to cease operation before legal action was brought against them and their users. Others, like Youceff Torrents (France), which had its servers raided by police, had little choice.

Importantly, these sites did not host “illegal” files but only pointed to them. However, faced with the almost unlimited power of multinational conglomerates, the creators and administrators of these sites neither have the resources, money, or time to do battle in court. Most bittorrent link sites operate for no profit, and sometimes struggle to pay server costs with money from donations and web ads.

In a predictable twist, the war against bittorrent, file sharing, and the freedom of the internet has already devolved to propaganda (Luther, the printing press and the Church anyone?). Recent news articles available through Yahoo and Reuters about the bittorrent phenomenon have equated the technology with terrorism:

“Some of the BitTorrent host sites, like SuprNova.org, generate a daily list of new seed files added by users. The site recently had listings for movies such as "Van Helsing" and ‘Wimbledon’, which is not scheduled for release on DVD for another three weeks.

Some sites offer digitized broadcasts of "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," computer games like "Star Trek: Klingon Academy" and "Half Life 2," e-books on the physics behind an atomic bomb, even footage of kidnap victims in the Middle East.” (from here)

Regardless of one’s stance on so-called “piracy”, bittorrent also allows for the transfer of legal files such as classic literature, taped concerts, and freeware software. Textbooks are offered, but they are neither restricted to physics or to the creation of atomic bombs (Cold War nostalgia, perhaps?). God forbid the evil that shall be unleashed on us all if people educate themselves! Still, a youth addicted to drugs is easier to control than one with a thirst for knowledge. As to the clips of beheadings; they’re online. Along with clips of anything else you can think of, including a funny one of George Bush picking his nose and various cartoons and short films.

More of this type of Spin is surely to come.

But whatever the MPAA can bring itself to shove down our throats, the fact remains that file sharing is good for the individual. It allows people to gather information, listen to music, and watch films that they would otherwise likely not experience. Even if, and it’s debatable, bittorrent is detrimental to the film and music industries, the betterment of society should supersede that. The government, a body elected by the people to serve the people, cannot put the desires of a corporation above those of the people.

Separation of Corporation and State? (here)

(Especially funny is the attitude of companies such as Sony, that produce music, films, CDs, DVDs, computers, CD burners and DVD burners. Opposed to “piracy” they may be, but while it’s going on they seem content to profit from it.)

Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of the entire situation is that bittorrent is like a medium inside the internet. It's not merely the sending and receiving of a file, but a nique way of doing so. Think of it like a road, with many possibilities and uses. Should our roadways be destroyed because there are accidents? Should telephone use be restricted because someone can use it to plan a bombing?

THEY are using all means at their disposal to convince you that file sharing is evil before you can decide for yourself. (see “piracy” at dictionary.com: here)

Napster’s dead.

Fool me once, won’t get fooled again.

The war is on.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6:37 pm  
Anonymous mp3 music sharing said...

Blogging is still new to me Quack Corleone. I never heard of or knew what a blog was until about 6 months ago. Wow, there are so many of them it's amazing. Now they're everywhere. And it seems like everyone has one but me. I was looking for websites with info about peer to peer. Then I decided to try blogs. Anyway, I'm trying to improve my site at http://www.p2p-mp3-filesharing.com for all the music and movie lovers out there, and was originally looking for relevant information I could use. Got sidetracked a lttle bit....lol. It was interesting. Thanks Quack Corleone, Mike
Hi and hello there Quack Corleone, I get sidetracked easily these days. After spending many hours checking out websites looking for peer to peer related info. I decided to try some blog sites. I found much more usable and updated information on the blog related sites than the regular websites...this is very cool. I gotta get me one of these when I find the time. My site at http://www.p2p-mp3-filesharing.com needed some updated info. After that, I thought I would check out some of the other kind of blog sites. Some are pretty cool. It's been fun. Thanks Quack Corleone, mike

11:11 pm  
Anonymous p2p file sharing said...

Hi Quack Corleone,
I was looking for information about p2p file sharing when I came accross your blog. War on Information doesn't answer all of my questions but it sure looks like it'll be useful. I'm off to find more resources on p2p file sharing. Good luck and keep it up.

11:24 pm  
Anonymous p2p file sharing said...

Quack Corleone,
I have been researching file sharing resources and I stumbled upon your blog. Although War on Information isn't what I was really after, it made a change from the usual run-of-the-mill blogs I normally seem to find. I'm going now to find more information on file sharing. Take care.

9:15 am  
Anonymous peer to peer file sharing said...

Hi Quack Corleone,
I was looking for information about peer to peer file sharing when I came across your blog. War on Information doesn't really cover what I was after but it sure looks like it'll be useful. I'm off to find more resources on peer to peer file sharing. Good luck and keep it up.

10:14 pm  
Anonymous file sharing software said...

Hi Quack Corleone,
I was researching peer to peer file sharing related stuff when I found your blog. While War on Information wasn't exactly what I was after, it made interesting reading so I'll be sure to pop by again. I'm off to find out more information about peer to peer file sharing. Keep up the good work.

7:20 pm  

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