Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bit Torrent Usage

Some respected groups, Mises for one I am familiar with, will only post their links through  bit torrent sites. In their case, it is because of their philosophy. There is a months long debate on their site over intellectual property rights. There is  a specific area some law firms specialize in: intellectual property rights law. Copyright to your work in the U.S., at least, that I know of is granted by the Constitution. Yet, it usually goes unchallenged unless someone is gaining from your work and you challenge them in court. This is a shady and fearful place for me. I am an avid user of Pinterest for one thing, and have been challenged already for something I posted there. In most cases, when legally challenged, the non-authorized user settles with the originator for cash rather than go to court. I feel this is unfortunate as it needs to be defined in a court of law and the yardstick by which it is measured should be what the non-authorized party "gained" from it which is usually not monetarily measurable. But most of us schlubs cannot afford to engage in such a battle.

All three books of the Shades of Gray trilogy are available for free download somewhere on the Net and well-known bloggers have  posted the link. I, for one, tho curious, would not hand out money for those particular books and would be tempted to use that method. But I have heard bit torrent sites are heavily monitored for National Security issues and stuff like child pornography. I don't think I have ever downloaded from one and my natural tendency for paranoia would be what stops me. Yet people who can well afford to meet legal challenges and are well-respected use them with no qualms. It is something to do with PTP which is person to person, I believe, and by passes servers. Explain if you know cuz I have only a brushing acquaintance with the technology and prefer to try to forget those explanations. But it is the belief in Open Sourcing that drives it. For instance Mises featured a guy who would give you all the plans to build your own farming equipment which is an amazing thing. He talked about buying a used tractor and trying to pay it off while paying for repairs and not being a success because of it. So he built his own and it has worked out for him and he feels every one should have that access and opportunity. That is pure free enterprise which sounds to me like the opposite of socialism.

What do you think? Do you or would you use a bit torrent download? When would you look at it as stealing? What would influence your opinion? The value of someone's work? The loss to the originator? Your need for the work? Your political beliefs about ownership and rights?  If the originator freely offers you the right that is a different issue. I am talking about books, music, plans, photos, etc. where the use is designed to give the originator benefit. Complex situation to me. Cut and dried theft? Maybe -- maybe not. Please weigh in. Thanks.

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