Monday, August 27, 2007

No Cure for BitTorrent

I was having a conversation with a younger developer about the resurrection of one of the more popular copyright infringement sites using Bit Torrent. He said it can't be stopped and seemed proud of that stating it was like cancer: remove it one place and it just pops up somewhere else.

Two thoughts come to mind. One was the pirate radio stations off the British Isles many years ago. They thought they were untouchable. The British Navy made stink of that belief monitoring their last broadcast even as the fresh holes in their sides were filling them with water.

The second is, well, I know a little something about cancer. Not to be cloying, but the truth is it is treatable in very many cases and types. It is just, well, the treatment isn't pleasant. I wonder if that is what is in store for the Bit Torrent sites trading in pirate intellectual property. Perhaps it is a cancer and it may be time to make it clear that the treatment or cure is... well, unpleasant for the host. Even if there is no cure for some cases, it can be driven into remission and even where it can be cured, the poison applied is well, unpleasant.

The millenials believe this piracy is making musicians "competitive". It's probably time to take the poison back to their servers and provide them with an experience that is... unpleasant. Hardware isn't free yet. Something that leaves it hairless as well might be the right cure.


John Cowan said...

Umm, say what?

The Amigo went down in a gale while in an unseaworthy condition; the Ross Revenge was wrecked on the Goodwin Sands, eventually refloated, and is in drydock now. The crews of both were rescued, one by local lifeboat, the other by RAF helicopter. Sheesh.

The closest thing I can find was the Dutch raid in 1989, in which Dutch nationals were arrested and equipment destroyed or confiscated. Nobody died, though it was still technically an act of piracy.

But then again, when you can find people out there who (apparently sincerely) believe that Greenpeace sank a French ship back in 1985, no disinformation seems too preposterous.

Len Bullard said...

Then my memory is really shot, John. I remember reading that all those years ago. Perhaps it was a tabloid and I didn't know it somewhat like we trust Wikipedia today. (No one has yet passed the Improbabletrivia test.)OTOH, a network that daily sends messages from the many thousands of relatives of Charles Taylor about my opportunity to make money on the lost diamond mines or the sweepstakes I just won in Europe is not exactly a great history resource.

Still, eventually, they did put them out of business. Recently, the powers that be managed to make life tough for the legitimate low power broadcasters. The gauntlet is down. The BitTorrent pirates are taunting the wrong people and may just find their machines hulks of dysfunctional glop or in search of a wig named “Raquel”. A system that behaves like a cancer will be treated like one.

John Cowan said...

I just read yesterday in New Scientist that 40% of all Internet traffic is now P2P, and 60% at (local) night when users are asleep but their BitTorrent programs are still running.

This is playing hob with the ISPs' provisioning model, which assumes that most of the time people aren't doing much with their Internet connection. Now they are, and the P2P-heads are now thinking of ways to take network topology into account so that you are more likely to hook up with a system on your own ISP than one halfway across the planet.

Men are more likely to die with prostate cancer than of it, and even some viruses get incorporated into the human genome in broken forms.

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