MPAA v BitTorrent

By Jon Newton 2/2/05

The major movie studios garnered all kinds of priceless mainstream media press as they used their MPAA enforcement unit to try to crush p2p file sharing which, they claim, is ruining their operations.

International police forces acted as tax-payer financed MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) cops to close down BitTorrent sites, and the 'trade' organization even went so far as to try to enlist parents in its efforts to regain control of what used to be its owners' customer bases.

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All this highly publicized activity must be having a dramatic effect on those wicked, mom-and-pop file sharing criminals and the BT pages they frequent, one would suppose.

However, a few moments online will quickly dispel the thought and as Slyck’s Tom Mennecke quotes CacheLogic founder and cto Andrew Parker as saying, “Every time a weak point in architecture has been exploited by the RIAA/MPAA a technical solution to work around it has been created. I don't see this trend changing."

Parker was referring to the MPAA’s battle plan to go after the most popular trackers, but, "By taking advantage of the enormous savings possible in their distribution costs the MPAA should treat P2P distribution as an additional step in the Cinema -> Pay Per View -> DVD Rental -> DVD Purchase - > Broadcast TV lifecycle," Mennecke has him saying.

"iTunes (and similar offerings) hasn't eradicated the distribution of MP3 via underground channels but it has given users the choice of how they obtain content and a way for the music industry to harness online distribution, its now time they looked at something similar for video as the consumer electronics industry has already started making portable video playback devices which will only drive people's desire to get video content."

Slyck also says Big Champagne ceo Eric Garland suggests BitTorrent has actually grown since the MPAA arrived on the scene in December.

",, and are all on the rise,” he says. “Donations to sites are up. Even SuprNova has active mirrors up (Bi-Torrent)....I think it is not unreasonable to conclude at this point that given all of the attention in the media, there is now greater access to media via BitTorrent than before the campaign.”

“This is the unintended consequence of very high profile anti-piracy campaigns, and we have seen the same effect time and time again, starting with the original Napster lawsuit."

History is repeating itself. The record label cartel's RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has already demonstrated over time, and in spades, that the corporate powers that be are helpless as p2p file sharing in its many and various forms becomes a primary form of online communication.

The reality is indeed as Mennecke describes it:

“The interaction from the copyright industry has done more to promote file-sharing rather than destroy it. When the RIAA caused Napster to implode, P2P rebounded to heights never thought possible. Now, the MPAA is learning a similar lesson, as BitTorrent continues to reign supreme.


Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.

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Other MP3 stories:
Sony PSP Music Service
Movie Industry Sues File Traders Again
The Digital Media Winners of 2004
The Digital Media Losers of 2004

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