One of the best things about the world wide web invented by Tim Berners Lee, was its ability on file sharing. People living in two different parts of the world could easily share a file to each other, if they are connected to the internet. They can send it through email as an attachment , or a file uploading service, upload in a corporate sharepoint or a shared Google Drive/DropBox folder.
The file transfer was instant, no loss in quality and totally free. In some cases like Office 365, they were even able to do live simultaneous editing on the same document.
Internet hackers took file sharing to a whole different level. They made everything public. They spread the ideology of free internet and wanted every single information to be available free in the internet. Be it movies, music, games they hosted in public servers, that could be accessed by anyone in the world and easily downloaded
The next step to public hosting was peer to peer networks. The first peer to peer file sharing network was develoepd by Sean Parker and he named it Napster. A software that allows you to share the songs available in your PC and also enables you to download the ones in other’s PC. So, instead of relying on a central server, users could download media content like movies and songs directly from each other, through Napster, for free. Napster’s impact on Cassette/CD industry was tremendous and sent shocking waves across Hollywood
Post Napster’s demise, the concept of Torrents took over. Working on a similar file sharing concept, torrent users had to download a 10Kb file for the movie they wished to download. They can open this torrent file through a Torrent application like BitTorrent, MewTorrent. People who were downloading the content were called as leechers, while the people who contributed to the uploading process were called as seeders. Naturally, the more no of seeders a torrent has, faster the downloading speed
The rise of torrents as the primary file sharing network has had a massive impact on several industries
Since many new movies are released through torrents, within days of its theatrical release, theatre owners are facing significant losses
The entire Hollywood industry including production companies and financiers are reeling under the impact of torrents. Though they are actively trying to shut down these torrent sites through court orders, they haven’t been effective.
Torrent servers are usually placed in countries where there are no piracy/ extradition laws like Sweden, Netherlands. Thereby making it easier for hackers to be anonymous and keep posting new content.
Not just the Hollywood Bigwigs, but small time, upcoming individual artists are unable to make any money thanks to their content being uploaded almost immediately.
Once content is available online for free, not many people actually bother to buy the original version
The last and final impact of torrents was on book publishers. Not just movies and music, but even books were pirated, digitally scanned and their eBook version was uploaded through torrents. This had its impact on its legal digital Peer called Kindle, where one had to pay a small monthly subscription to read ebooks
This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.