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February 3, 2005
Mike Godwin runs a fine-toothed comb through the much-discussed NYT article "Steal This Show," pointing out that the authors appear to have swallowed a few MPAA-propagated myths:
A few additional thoughts
Let's leave aside whether time-shifting television with an off-brand counterpart to TiVo is "stealing." A more important problem with the article is that it gives a false impression of the normal user experience of BitTorrent. [According to the article,...] "On the kind of peer-to-peer site that gave the music industry night sweats, an episode of 'Desperate Housewives' that some fan copied and posted on the Internet can take hours to download; on BitTorrent, it arrives in minutes."
That hasn't been my experience of BitTorrent, and I doubt many other ordinary users routinely experience the downloading of TV programs in "minutes." On the off chance that BitTorrent speeds had suddenly improved since I had last used the application, I conducted an experiment...downloading Episode 13 of "Huff"...took six hours...An HDTV version of the episode, in full resolution, might have taken ten times longer.
Don't get me wrong: BitTorrent is a significant advance over last-generation file-sharing programs, especially in terms of maximizing use of bandwidth. What it doesn't do, at least for ordinary broadband users, is enable the kind of rapid downloading of TV content that the Motion Picture Association of America believes it must attack.
over @ Deep Links.
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