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BitTorrent says “it’s literally impossible to illegally download something on BitTorrent”

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We recently posted the top 10 most pirated TV shows of the season [2], and in it HBO says that they actually think it’s a huge compliment to have the most pirated show on television [3]. Another company on the other hand, doesn’t quite enjoy the reports of Game of Thrones breaking the “BitTorrent Piracy Record.” And that company is BitTorrent.

That’s because despite the fact that the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol is enabling ridiculous amounts of piracy around the world, the company that maintains that protocol is headed in the opposite direction. BitTorrent Inc, has numerous efforts on promoting legal content that can be distributed through the protocol, like the most recent BitTorrent Bundle [4]. The problem is because the technology is open-source and has their named tied to it, plenty of people of associate BitTorrent with piracy.

On a blog post titled, The Real King of BitTorrent, BitTorrent VP of Marketing Matt Mason tried to distance the company from the rampant piracy that is enabled by the BitTorrent protocol:

The idea of a “BitTorrent Piracy Record” is a complete fabrication. Because there’s actually no such thing as a “BitTorrent piracy record”. Because piracy happens outside the BitTorrent ecosystem.

We don’t host infringing content. We don’t point to it. It’s literally impossible to “illegally download something on BitTorrent.” To pirate stuff, you need more than a protocol. You need search, a pirate content site, and a content manager. We offer none of those things. If you’re using BitTorrent for piracy, you’re doing it wrong.

While the things he’s mentioned are understandable, I have an issue with the statement that it is “impossible to illegally download something on BitTorrent.” Because if he’s talking about the BitTorrent client, and he most likely is, then what is this?

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Sounds like someone got a little too excited. But I think for Mr. Mason’s sake, we should all remember that piracy doesn’t equal BitTorrent the company. Piracy is just enabled by their file-sharing protocol, which is also called BitTorrent. Yeah, that’s not confusing at all.

[via BitTorrent [6], The Verge [7]]