To Kill or Not to Kill Bit Torrent?
Written by David R Jennings   
Monday, 26 November 2007


Let's cut to the chase.... Bit Torrent is just a transport medium, it is not evil, it will not kill, it only conveys what it is given and is capable of no negative chi of it's own. So what's the big deal.... what is a torrent?

Wikipedia says:
BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) communications protocol. A method of distributing large amounts of data widely without the original distributor incurring the entire costs of hardware, hosting and bandwidth resources.

So, How does it work you ask?....

The peer creates a checksum for each piece, using a hashing algorithm, and records it in the torrent file format. When another peer later receives that piece, the checksum of the piece is compared to the recorded checksum to test that the piece is error-free. Peers that provide a complete file are called seeders, and the peer providing the initial copy is called the initial seeder.

So that is as clear and transparent as mud? Let me explain in a way you might understand, "Bit Torrent is an easy way for you to obtain stuff like movies, music, photos, and other online stuff you didn't pay for." Ok... I know.... it can be used for most anything and it's not evil.... I AGREE, but let's face it, anything you get from bit torrent don't cost nothin', and is basically an undocumented way of taking what you want.
This method of acquisition is more commonly called stealing.
Of course there are a few Bit Torrent P2Ps out there exchanging Biblical content, but I bet even they are exchanging bible lessons or Oral Roberts prayers that have been copyrighted by someone other than Jesus. I'm mean... Christ, bit torrent is really easy to use!

I have experimented a bit recently with: Limewire, The Pirates Bay, Bit Torrent, Miro and a few others. (OK to be fair Miro is just a player, sort of like QuickTime is a player, and Pirates Bay is just a warehouse... but hey, they sure make it easy for a klutz like me). All of these systems are just tools where you can search and look for things you don't have.

Last week I missed a TV show I like... A show that I really wanted to see... I mean it's a show about a hot chick who can jump over buildings... that is a must have for me! Of course I could have gone to Amazon and paid for it, or I could have gone to the TV network's Web site and watched it there with all the commercials still intact . But, instead I did a search on Bit Torrent and well... there it was, just laying there. I clicked the 6 million dollar button and it began to download. Two days later it was mine... sort of?
Oh... I didn't mention that part. Bit Torrent isnt' really very fast. The word Torrent is more of a proper noun, and not so much a verb.
If you want to download your favorite show via Bit Torrent you can't be in a hurry. The "Peers" you must connect with might be offline, on vacation, or just have all their bandwidth tied up using Skype or maybe their just having a slow connection day? Occasionally something comes through quickly, but it's always an unexpected surprise.

Another little problem with Bit Torrent's are the dopplergangers and fakes. Often when you hope to be downloading something exciting like the theatrical release of Spider Man 3, you may actually be receiving a low resolution copy of "The best of Punky Brewster Season 4". So after waiting two days for your download you get an evening of Punky Brewster! Damn It !!!! Jeez! I hate this stupid thing!!!!!

After only a few Punky Brewster experiences you start to think that actually paying for Spider Man 3 and watching it when you want isn't so bad after all.

Is Bit Torrent a real threat to the market? Eh... well.... maybe? But it's more a threat to bad VHS dubs being sold on street corners. Don't get me wrong it is a FANTASTIC technology. But ultimately it is a technology being managed by 13 year olds with too much time on their hands.

So here is the alert... Please be on the look out for upcoming government oversight and the attempted legal containment of Bit Torrent. This oversight will initially arrive with endless and unexplainable cease and diciest orders. Why you ask? Because the mass of luddites who think they "know all" are just now hearing the phrase "Bit Torrent" and they have hopes to shoot it down like they did Napster in the 90's.
"Kill Bit Torrent", is the new buzz phrase of the ignorant!
These are the same determined groups that spent a billion trillion dollars trying to save unborn babies with their attempts to abort stem cell research. Of course they are just now learning that some guy from Wisconsin can now make stem cells out of poo. NO REALLY!

Bit torrent isn't evil and it isn't going to kill the movie industry. It might however keep you away from VHS dealers selling copies of Punky Brewster on street corners, so be vigilant!

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