Pin It
Favorite

Bomb Garden 

by LUKE BAUMGARTEN & r & & r & The Libertarian Web & r & & r & Last Friday, BitTorrent, the company that created the file-sharing software of the same name, announced it would lay off about half its staff, or 18 workers -- including founder/inventor Ashwin Navin. This isn't as big a deal as the crisis in our financial markets or anything, but certain estimates peg BitTorrent uploads and downloads as accounting for half of Web traffic worldwide, so it's no stretch to call BitTorrent the Wachovia of file-sharing. (Actually, calling it that is an understatement.)





Much of the company's staff is dedicated to figuring out how file sharing can make money. In the last two years, it has failed miserably. Its BitTorrent Entertainment Network, conceived as an iTunes rival, is going away.





There are three salient points here: 1) Half of all Web traffic comes from the transfer of digital music, movies, TV, etc.; 2) The company that created the standard for that transfer is laying off about half its workforce; and, most important, 3) the company only employed about 40 people to begin with.





The upshot: For years, the recording industry has complained that people who share music are taking money from the pockets of artists. That's true, as far as it goes. The opposite side of that coin, though, is that even the pirates -- or in this case those the industry believes are complicit in the piracy -- are broke too.





I haven't written much about national trends in music in a while (much to the joy of certain scene people, I hear). In general, this column space is going to become as locally focused as I can make it. This news, though, is too big to be getting as little coverage as it is. There's little money to be made in digital media. There's even less to be made in digital media distribution. The old open-source maxim, "Information wants to be free," is as true as ever but isn't broad enough. It's not just information that wants to be free, but the way that information reaches people. No one is going to get rich in digital media, least of all the supposed pirates.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Growing Pains
  • Growing Pains

    When the only constant is change itself, we'd best saddle up and make the most of it
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Access for Sale?
  • Access for Sale?

    Trail Mix: Clinton's shaky Foundation, Trump's questionable staffers
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Why I'm With Her
  • Why I'm With Her

    Ignore the chants: Hillary Clinton has earned America's trust from her life of public service
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap

Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap @ Boots Bakery & Lounge

Last Wednesday of every month

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • 'Unreasonable Threat to Life and Property'

    Spokane's rental housing has problems, but landlord and tenant groups are split on a solution
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • 'End of Story'

    Condon administration aims to close the controversial Frank Straub chapter — but last week's scathing report has irrevocably changed the narrative
    • Aug 4, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


election 2016


green zone


marijuana


trail mix


Readers also liked…

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation