Let’s have a look at Bit Torrent, shall we?
Now there’s a company that deserves the spotlight. BitTorrent is the protocol that allows users to steal content, pick the pocket of artists and producers, freeload while other people work to pay the rent. You might say, well, it’s not BitTorrent that has responsibility here, they don’t control what their users do, and yes, the company does hide behind the gossamer-thin excuse ‘We’re only following orders.’ Nonetheless, you might ask how many of BitTorrent’s 170 million users use BitTorrent to steal? The answer appears to be 100%.
Okay, so here it comes, might as well deal with it. “Entertainment companies have to change their business model.” Or my favorite, the succinct and at this point hackneyed “Adapt or Die,” a Darwinian cry from folks who’d rather steal than pay an artist a tenth of a penny.
How about I cliche fire back “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it?” For all the twisted pretzel logic applied by legions of thieves to justify their petty digital larceny to an industry none them have even the first clue about, I’d say there wasn’t all that much wrong with the entertainment industry before you guys decided to take up shoplifting for a hobby. Yes, there were issues and the people who worked in the industry were addressing them. We actually didn’t need advice from the cheapskate set, thank you very much.
Okay, now back to BitTorrent. The company recently announced they’re going to start producing a new science fiction series. I kid you not. Their plan is to ask their millions of users to pony up $9.95 and drop it in a crowd-funding bucket. Now this is beautiful. Exactly how many of the thieves will pay? I mean we’re talking about the BitTorrent mob here, the penny-pinchers who’d rather eat glass than drop a buck in a musicians’s hat.
This is not the first time BitTorrent has tried to go all Warner Bros. on the digital world. In 2008 they launched an entertainment network that had a maiden voyage remarkably similar to the Titanic. You see, free doesn’t exactly work, no matter long your tail is.
We could go on, couldn’t we? But we’re still waiting to see how these new business models turn profit. The top infinitesimal percent of digerati? Those guys are doing pretty well. But the rest of the exploding digital middle class? It’s going to be really hard to send the kids to college on free.