Sayonara BitTorrent TV Link Directories – I Barely Had a Chance to Get to Know You

bittorrent tvDamn, another great Internet resource has been taken down by the MPAA. According to CNET News, the MPAA on Thursday filed lawsuits against BitTorrent TV link directory sites: ShunTV, Zonatracker, Btefnet, Scifi-Classics, CDDVDHeaven and Bragginrights. If you’re not familiar with BitTorrent TV link directories, the sites basically function as a poor-man’s TiVo where users can find seed links to their favorite shows and download them via a BitTorrent client.

One question, though, how is a downloaded TV show considered “stolen” content (referring to MPAA Chief Executive Officer Dan Glickman’s statement to CNET News) if a TiVo or MCE user can save shows to his hard drive for later viewing, and even archive it to DVD? Or how about when someone records a show to a VHS tape, are they stealing?

I know I’m being a bit of a smart ass in regard to stealing, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could access programming we missed, via BitTorrent, Kontiki, or whatever, from the producers themselves and rid ourselves from the thief stigma? If anything, the producers would gain viewership by providing such a desirable service to its fans, as well as, new viewers who were tipped off to a hot, new series and wanted to catch up. Moreover, if the producers wanted to throw on DRM and embed the video with commercials, I could almost guarantee the people would find the content compelling enough to lose interest in swapping television shows illegally. So the real question is: Why is the MPAA and content creators so dead set in keeping the status quo when they can be innovating and embracing the digital age?

Side note: The MPAA hasn’t taken out Torrent Typhoon, a Google-style search tool for finding TV seed links on the Web (have fun).

Filed in: Industry Buzz