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How Do Seeders Profit From BitTorrent?

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the my-monitor-is-smudged dept.

Piracy 195

arcticstoat writes "As you may remember, a recent study claimed that just 100 users were responsible for downloading 75% of BitTorrent content, and were doing it for money, raising a lot of questions about the study. How do you profit from seeding, and how can the same 100 users be responsible for 75% of downloading and 66% of uploading. The details of the study are clarified in an interview with one of the key researchers, showing that the study's actual statistic is that 66% of the original seeds indexed on the Pirate Bay come from just 100 users, and these seeds then go on to account for 75% of downloads. The interview also details how it's possible for this small number of seeders to make a profit from seeding, via embedding links to their own indexing sites in the filenames and bundled TXT files, which then get money from advertising if downloaders decide to visit the site, assured of quality downloads. Meanwhile, other ways of profiting include 'premium' registered accounts."

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Really? (5, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220676)

_AGAIN_ with this nonsense?

I strongly doubt anyone is getting rich from the trickle of people who actually go to the URLs found in torrent info files. They seem to be more for notoriety than profit.

Yes, the trackers make money of the ads.. but unless there is some secret backroom deal where TPB and others funnel money to axxo and friends.. I don’t see the corollary between index site traffic and motivation for users to seed.

People do it for the e-pene. People were (and still are) doing this on IRC long before there was any way to make a profit. People insist on keeping their share ratios up, even when not required... and they see no profit either.

And the interview doesn’t _detail_ anything. It quickly explains some very shallow “research” with plenty of bias, then makes a pretty dubious guess, and finally proceeds to make an even lamer admonishment of people who illegally download.

_AND_ using TPB and Mininova as your main source of data good grief.

This isn't a few guys who've had a look at what's happening on BitTorrent a couple of times and made notes

Weird... cause that’s exactly what it feels like. This thing reads like some high school kid’s half assed research project. They grabbed some data.. made a bunch of broad assumptions.. then proceeded to unsubstantiated correlations.

This whole “study” is a complete joke. If these researchers had any brains they’d just let this thing quietly die and move onto something else.

Re:Really? (-1, Troll)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220732)

I admire the way you've cited good solid research in your rebuttal. If you hadn't backed up your statements about why "people do it," your comments would have come across like just another angry sounding, defensive opinion from someone who likes to pirate entertainment.

Re:Really? (1)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220780)

Yeah, let me just go get those citations from IRC... oh wait...

There are just some things that can't be cited.

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220854)

someone who likes to pirate entertainment

I'm actually pretty good about paying for content these days.

As for research... this thing was completely torn apart the last time it graced slashdot. Ergo the top bit of my comment. The fact that these points have been brought up by a huge number of people, and from my recollection arn't even touched on by the study, to me shows that their research was pretty thin. They are the ones writing the study.. they should have researched why I (and the huge crowd who share the same opinion) are wrong and presented that.

Or here's an idea.. _actually_ talk to a file sharer. Someone managed to get an interview with axxo once.. so it's not impossible.

Re:Really? (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220984)

Very similiar to my own situation. I've finally accumulated enough shit and earn enough to fear losing it more than buying content.

It doesn't hurt that music (the thing I pirated most) is easy to get through Spotify and other equivalents, and TV series are available cheaply on DVD quite quickly.

Re:Really? (1)

adewolf (524919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221186)

"TV series are available cheaply on DVD quite quickly." Not cheap enough. DVD tv shows should MSRP for $5.00.

Re:Really? (1)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221586)

This is, of course, entirely subjective. Either that, or entirely inaccurate.

Why would would want to waste your time watching something which, according to you, is only $5 worth of entertainment? Maybe because you're actually getting more than $5 worth of enjoyment out of it? And if that's the case, what do you have against paying a fair price for something?

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221788)

"Maybe because you're actually getting more than $5 worth of enjoyment out of it?"

How would you know? His/her price for entertainment might be a lot lower than yours.
Why would someone pay $20 for a TV show you'll watch only ONCE in a month (unless you're a fanatic), when compared to...oh..say World of Warcraft, where you pay $15 for an entire month of differing content?

"what do you have against paying a fair price for something?"

Again.......define 'fair price'.
I recently purchased an entire season of a TV show I liked for under $20. Why would I pay more than that for a different show?

Re:Really? (1)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222110)

"How would you know? His/her price for entertainment might be a lot lower than yours."

Of course - that's why I prefaced my comment by saying it's entirely subjective. The fact that he complains about the price caused me to infer that he values it to be quite low. I can understand that - if he believes its entertainment value is low, he wouldn't want to pay much for it. But that seems to be at odds with his desire to pirate it. If he's already, by my assumption, classified it as being of low entertainment value due to his desire to pay a low price for it (or just not pay a higher price for it), why would he waste his time with pirating it? If he's willing to go to the effort (albeit very low these days due to how easy it is to pirate things) to pirate it, obviously it's worth a little more to him than he's letting on. I know I don't "waste my precious time" engaging in activities I believe to be of low entertainment value.

So my final assessment was that it's of a greater entertainment value than he leads on, but that he's simply not willing to pay the higher price that he is unknowing placing on it by bothering to pirate it. That's where the bit about the fair price came from - the higher price that he unknowingly placed on it which he's not willing to pay.

Re:Really? (1)

richlv (778496) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222066)

what the hell _is_ "worth of entertainment" ?
badminton set can provide countless hours of "entertainment" to some people. i haven't met an idiot who would try to value a badminton set based on the amount of "worth of entertainment" it would be supposed to provide.
people assess the value of goods based on how expensive they perceive them to be to manufacture, store and ship, plus some margin (which includes advertising and whatnot). and that is a sane approach.

i hereby proclaim "worth of entertainment" as absolute bullshit measure.

Re:Really? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222710)

I like that."Entertainmentworth" should be an SI measure of bullshit, like grams of mass or libraryofcongresses of data.

So, the Justin Beiber movie would be measured in....megaentertainmentworths, while Bill Nye the Science Guy would be measured in picoentertainmentworths.

Depending on the episode, Mythbusters would measure in between kiloentertainmentworths and microentertainmentworths.

Anything involving politics would require new SI prefixes above "yotta" to properly scale.

Re:Really? (2)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222068)

I waste time doing a lot of things which are worth a lot less than $5. I consider this post a waste of time and I wouldn't pay $5 to do it.
So why waste time? Well, I find your stance on the matter to be wrong. TV, for the most part, has no value. It has a cost to produce. I'll agree that TV has a better dissemination cost per person. But education & news have worth regardless of the medium of conveyance, So "TV" is not the true valued part or many "TV" things. Ergo TV has no value. We could all be out working hard doing something to better society, rather than sit on a sofa.

I too think DVDs or box sets cost far too much money. I wouldn't pay a great deal of money to watch the lastest Smallville (or what ever mind numbing crap you care to pick). But, If I did find a bargain for a tiny amount, then I would sit down and watch it. I'd enjoy rather a lot; but wouldn't pay full price. The amount paid is in direct conflict with the enjoyment felt. I am happy to pay a fair price. My idea for a fair price is very much lower than yours. I also do not care if I never see X dvd. So they have a choice to make $1 or not. There is a lot more going on in the world.

Re:Really? (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222292)

Maybe because you're actually getting more than $5 worth of enjoyment out of it?

I kind of had that realization myself. We gripe about the cost of entertainment.. especially TV box sets. I paid somewhere in the area of $400 for the entire ST:DS9 series. That seems insane.. but when you actually think about how much "entertainment hours" that is... it suddenly seems a little more reasonable.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221926)

Five bucks for.. how much entertainment?

Take your income per work-hour and half it. Now multiply by the number of hours of "entertainment" that the DVD provides. Is that more than $5? I'll bet it is.

Re:Really? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222754)

Why would it be measured in terms of income? That makes no sense.

Re:Really? (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221198)

That is probably why college students are mostly pirates. That is another reason the whole "war against piracy" is doomed to fail, at least from a cost / benefit perspective. They are targeting an audience that probably can't afford to pay for the media let alone the court costs anyway. They will ruin a lot of lives along the way. I pay for pretty much everything these days myself with the exception of borrowing a movie from a friend, but in college.... I plead the 5th.

Re:Really? (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222006)

+5 informative, for having the real answer

Re:Really? (-1, Offtopic)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222256)

If that's the real answer (college kids rip stuff off because they're short on cash), why isn't this considered a reasonable tactic for getting better beer than they can afford? If they don't like the price an artist is asking for their work, we'll all just shrug our shoulders at a culture of piracy, but if they don't like the price that a chef or a brewer or a parking lot operator asks for what they do, we should continue to hold people accountable for ripping them off when the only excuse is, "I'm short of cash" ? Of course we shouldn't. Giving people a pass at ripping off frivalous things because they've spent their money on other things is morally toxic. You may want to give the GP a +5 for explaining what is happening, but that ignores the why (a sense of entitlement to others' work) and the consequences of that (an entire generation of whiny parasites that won't understand how destructive they are until they're in their 30's and actually creating something themselves, if they can pry themselves away from Facebook long enough to do so).

Re:Really? (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222242)

Yup!

Very similar experience here. Doesn't make it right.. but I'm honest about it.

Although I think there is some value in convinience as well. I'm a very impulsive person. Give me the ability to pay and be watching something within 10 seconds (streaming) or an hour (full download) and you'd make a bit of money of me. As it stands I'm Canadian, and thanks to the CRTC/CBC.. this is generally not much of an option.

Re:Really? (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222398)

Totally agreed. I started paying for ALL of my video games when Steam came out. I used to have to wait for a week or more for new video games, and many times they would sell out. This being the case, IRC came into play. It was easier to wait overnight to download a game. Convenience is key, and the MPAA/RIAA try to stick to CD / Movie outlet business models. It goes to show you what kind of asshole idiots run those organizations. They could just come out with a Steam-like service that gives you instant access to media, and every once in awhile does huge sales (like Steam). They could restrict the media through an online account and tie it to ROKU or other Netflix-like appliance, except you download the media to the devices. Even Steam controls the games so they can't be shared easily, however you have them downloaded on your computer and can have them on any other computer you own.

Re:Really? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222380)

It's not just college students - I was in my early highschool years back when I ran an ftp drop site. My part-time job was enough to pay $40 every month for the connection ... OR for 1 movie and 1 CD.

It wasn't exactly a tough decision ...

Re:Really? (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222416)

Yeah. I should have included high school students. I did the same thing.

Re:Really? (1)

delt0r (999393) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222706)

My problem is that quite a lot of DVDs etc don't work on my players or PCs anymore. And when i try to get my money back, they say its not their problem. Finally a lot simply don't come out (TV series) soon enough to be useful.

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220864)

I admire the way you've cited good solid research in your rebuttal. If you hadn't backed up your statements about why "people do it," your comments would have come across like just another angry sounding, defensive opinion from someone who likes to pirate entertainment.

Note that the "researchers" making this extraordinary claim also cite no data, only speculation. Also, note that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Honestly, if someone looks angry and defensive and out of touch with reality here it's you, not the GP.

Re:Really? (1, Insightful)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220872)

>>>defensive opinion from someone who likes to pirate entertainment.

That's because I'm sick of buying SHIT on dvd or cd, and then the producer of this schlock refusing to take it back. Every other industry allows returns for cash or store credit. Hell even candybar maker says "If for any reason you are dissatisfied, return the unused portion for full refund." Why should music and movie makers be the sole exception to this practice.

So if I "pirate" Transformers2 or IndianaJones4 or some Yet-Another-Crappy Movie, it's only because I'm sick-and-tired of throwing away my money on lousy storytelling. I can't return this crap, so I download it first, see if it's any good, and THEN buy it on dvd.

Oh and I watch hulu.com too. Why not? ABC, NBC, CBS, etc are using the People's airwaves free-of-charge, so might as well enjoy the product they produce on OUR property. (Else we'll just revoke those licenses and give it over to Citizen Band - return it to the people.)

Re:Really? (0)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221078)

That's because I'm sick of buying SHIT on dvd or cd, and then the producer of this schlock refusing to take it back. Every other industry allows returns for cash or store credit. Hell even candybar maker says "If for any reason you are dissatisfied, return the unused portion for full refund." Why should music and movie makers be the sole exception to this practice.

You're over complicating this, don't watch pirated or otherwise.

Re:Really? (4, Interesting)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221144)

You're over complicating this, don't watch pirated or otherwise.

Reminds me of people who spoke for prohibition, and before that, for abstaining from sex.

Former got essentially swallowed up by reality, latter got caught abusing young boys. Neither is "life-threatening to go without". Which goes to show that "well, just go without!" argument has some rather serious flaws.

Re:Really? (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221878)

You're over complicating this, don't watch pirated or otherwise.

Reminds me of people who spoke for prohibition, and before that, for abstaining from sex.

Former got essentially swallowed up by reality, latter got caught abusing young boys. Neither is "life-threatening to go without". Which goes to show that "well, just go without!" argument has some rather serious flaws.

It's not a question of whether it's right or wrong, so much as whether or not it's inevitable.

Re:Really? (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222214)

I'm not talking about black and white. As for inevitability, you may want to read up on how prohibition was set up (specifically, just how widely your particular sentiment was spread about prohibiting alcohol), and how soundly it was ignored by those who were the target of these laws. The similarity to issue we're discussing is undeniable.

Re:Really? (3, Insightful)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221724)

>>>You're over complicating this, don't watch pirated or otherwise.

Let me simplify it for you:
- buy Transformers2. Watch it: "Man that was shit."
- goto store: "Sorry sir you can't return this because you didn't like it." "Okay, but how about this Hershey candybar and DVD player? The bar tastes like wax and the player doesn't have S-video output like advertised." "Sure no problem." "That's bullshit that I can return other products, but not movies."
-
- Later: The company that made T2 releases Star Trek Reboot 2. I remember how this company already screwed me, so I download it instead. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." I won't be fooled again.

Re:Really? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222306)

the player doesn't have S-video output like advertised

Are you really so obtuse that you don't understand the difference between a factual error (or lie) on the box or ad selling the device, and the qualitative assessment of whether or not a movie is "good?" I saw tons of reviews telling me that particular movie was bad, bad, bad. Your attempt to pretend there is no such information available so that you can justify ripping off your entertainment is embarassingly juvenile. What are you, eleven?

Re:Really? (0)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221116)

So your point is that you dislike some products (for which you can see and hear ample, legit clips online before buying, as well as thousands of reviews by people from every possible perspective and level of taste), and you thus feel morally righteous in ripping off your entertainment. Here's a thought: if you don't like the way an artist offers their work for sale, and the terms under which they offer them, show an ounce of intellectual integrity and walk away. It's what you do if you are at the register in a retail shop, buying other sorts of products, where there's a sign that says "All Sales Are Final," right? Or are you still insisting that there is no such thing? Never mind, anyway. You're just having a typical junior high school kid's I'm-entitled-to-everything-I-want-on-my-own-terms-for-free tantrum. I get that.

Re:Really? (4, Interesting)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221232)

You can have integrity and still do things other people think are unethical. Maybe an anarcho-communist pirates things because he thinks everything should be free. He is upholding his beliefs.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35222236)

Well, my belief is similar to that: I loath anything that robs me of my freedom. Unfortunately, copying doesn't make non-free free. Quite contrary, it just takes more freedom away from us.

I choose to boycott. Fasting helps against intestinal parasites. I'd like to bankrupt the whole idea of poisoning our idea space with kind of "you must assure that you don't think about the white horse" koans. Just F' them and their "content"! I don't need it, I want it out of my senses and out of my devices.

If I had it my way, I would promote law that bans non-free content from public space, in part (commercials and trailers included) and in whole.

Re:Really? (1)

tenZygzak (1396535) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221280)

Here's a thought: if you don't like the way an artist offers their work for sale, and the terms under which they offer them, show an ounce of intellectual integrity and walk away.

You won't belive it but he belies that he is a Libertarian. Fox News Libertarian.

Re:Really? (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221972)

>>>>>if you don't like the way an artist offers their work for sale
>>
>>he belies that he is a Libertarian

Most libertarians don't believe in copyright (grants of monopoly). They don't think anybody has a Natural Right to be given a ~100 year monopoly by the government. Or as Jefferson said: "Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society. It would be curious then, if an idea could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property. If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one..... Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property."

>>Fox News Libertarian.

This should not surprise you. Judge Andrew Napolitano is a Libertarian, hates the Rs and Ds equally, but he's on fox news. http://freedomwatchonfox.com/ [freedomwatchonfox.com]

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221816)

Reviews don't work when 99% of people are shallow idiots, and the mainstream review sites all sold out a long time ago.

See: PC gaming, where you adjust by -4 out of a scale of 10 to get the approximate score. Don't forget to add another -2 to the 'top 50' list as well.

Re:Really? (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221920)

>>>you can see and hear ample, legit clips online before buying, as well as thousands of reviews by [marketers and paid reviewers]
>>>

Fixed that for you. It means you can see 60 seconds of clips on TV or online, plus raving reviews, and the actual movie is still excrement. It means there is NO way to know if the product is good or not until you actually see it for yourself.

That's why I view first, buy later.
- Then if it IS good, like Gattaca, I buy it.
- If it is bad, I've not thrown away 20 bucks.
.

>>>"All Sales Are Final," right? Or are you still insisting that there is no such thing?

Even in those cases, the laws allow a return if the item is not as advertised. i.e. "This mower is sold as is," and the mower does not work, and there was no opportunity to try it before hand, then the Seller is required to refund the money or else face jailtime. That is the law.

The same should be true with movies, even if it's just store credit towards future purchases. Remember: These are the same people who want to make selling used DVDs illegal. If you think I will feel sympathy for them, forget it.

Re:Really? (0, Troll)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222154)

i.e. "This mower is sold as is," and the mower does not work, and there was no opportunity to try it before hand, then the Seller is required to refund the money or else face jailtime. That is the law.

I begin to see that your entire understanding of reality is just ... incorrect. That explains a lot, like your inability to find a single movie review blog, on the entire internet, that's written by someone who shares your tastes.

Your statement of "the law" is simply wrong on the face of it. When something is sold "as is," that's exactly what preserves the sale as-is. If the seller doesn't say that it works, and simply says "as-is," that's it, period. If you're projecting, in your mind, the image of a perfectly working lawnmower, and can't get your head around the meaning of "as-is," then I suppose it's possible that you're just irrational enough to think that, indeed, your disappointment with one movie makes it OK to rip off another movie. You really don't need to explain any more, thanks. You're quite clear.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35222666)

Not in the UK - even sale items are covered by the sale of Goods act on everything other than the reason for discount stated - so if the mower was "display stock sold ad seen" and when you got it home it was mechanically faulty you could still take it back - if it was listed as "ex demo - not tested for mechanical soundness" then you wouldn't be covered.

I bought a suit in the "end of season " sale reduced as it was a discontinued line and then the hem came undone after 3 weeks - the store checked the stock computer rang around some other stores and then offered me a full refund or a free replacement set of trousers if I could wait 3 days for delivery.

Re:Really? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222474)

Even in those cases, the laws allow a return if the item is not as advertised. i.e. "This mower is sold as is," and the mower does not work, and there was no opportunity to try it before hand, then the Seller is required to refund the money or else face jailtime. That is the law.

The same should be true with movies, even if it's just store credit towards future purchases

The same is true for movies: if the movie doesn't work, you can return it for an exchange or store credit. If it works and you just don't like it, well, too bad.

Not that I disagree with you on the larger point, but you're mixing up your analogies pretty horribly.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221118)

Why should music and movie makers and car dealers be the two sole exceptions...
Er, Why should music and movie makers and car dealers and realtors be the three sole exceptions...
Er, Why should music and movie makers and car dealers and realtors be some of the exceptions to this practice.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221240)

So if I "pirate" Transformers2 or IndianaJones4 or some Yet-Another-Crappy Movie, it's only because I'm sick-and-tired of throwing away my money on lousy storytelling. I can't return this crap, so I download it first, see if it's any good, and THEN buy it on dvd.

Libertarian retarded thief striking again. Children, look at him, he don't want to pay for crap, but he will waste his precious time to watch it.

Re:Really? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222188)

I assume you are in the US. Sorry if that is wrong.
Is this "precious time" thing a common statement in the US. I've just started to notice a lot and I'm wondering what to attribute it to. I'm finding it to be a feckless counter argument. My time sat in front of the TV has no value what so ever. It is being misspent. Even more so if there is no beer left.

Re:Really? (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221478)

Oh and I watch hulu.com too. Why not? ABC, NBC, CBS, etc are using the People's airwaves free-of-charge, so might as well enjoy the product they produce on OUR property.

Wow, you're such a rebel. Hulu licenses their content and displays ads. It's just an extension of broadcast. It's owned by the broadcasters.

Re:Really? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221502)

Caveat emptor. You are given the option to return your goods you are dissatisfied by out of courtesy, not right. Faulty, you can return it. Not as described, you can return it. Your opinion of it is that is sucks? Too bad, suck it up and make better choices next time.

Sorry, but them's the apples. FWIW, I'm in the same boat as you, though, which is why I read reviews and opinion pieces from sources I trust before buying entertainment media anymore. Maybe you should do the same.

Re:Really? (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222060)

>>>not right

Not correct. Most credit card companies force stores to accept returns. All you need is proof (such as a delivery confirmation number). And of course there are legal rights, which is how Paypal landed in a lot of trouble, when they violated the consumer protection laws.

As for reviews, as I commented elsewhere, most of the reviews you see in magazines or on Amazon are PAID REVIEWS or PAID employees of the selling company. In fact amazon.com caught one of those movie companies and expelled them.

But it probably didn't take long to create a thousand more aliases to give 4-and-5 star reviews to that company's DVDs. You are being duped if you think you can trust reviews to make purchasing decisions.

Re:Really? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222422)

Most credit card companies force stores to accept returns

Which has nothing to do with the law. That's a business arrangement between the merchant and the processing company that they're paying to handle your credit card. They (the retailer) wants to have more opportunities to sell things, so they enter into an agreement with one or more card processing companies in order to have that option. Part of that agreement is to support the card processing companies' OTHER agreements, which are with the card-issuing banks and their customers, the card holders. Plenty of retailers only take their own credit cards, or will take Visa, but not AmEx or Discover, etc., exactly so that they can pick an choose which policies they consider viable for their business model.

You are being duped if you think you can trust reviews to make purchasing decisions.

No, it means you're too lazy to bother taking five minutes to understand what you're reading, or to put it into any sort of context. Which also explains why you keep making so many factually incorrect statements (about the law, banking, retailing, etc) that you could simply look up and accurately understand if you were so busy watching sitting on the couch watching ripped off entertainment and lamely trying to excuse it away by pretending that you, and only you, have good taste. You might be surprised at how transparent you are, seen from outside of your mom's basement. Maybe if you asked her for a bigger allowance, you could actually pay for some of what you're desparately trying to come up with ways to justify rippipng off. Your "I had no idea that a movie wasn't going to be a masterpiece" excuse is utterly pathetic. Of course, you know that. You're just making the mistake of assuming that you're smarter than you actually are, and that we aren't on to you. Which is typical of kids like you. You'll grow out of it.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221130)

Go. Fuck. Yourself.

Re:Really? (1)

X.25 (255792) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221234)

I admire the way you've cited good solid research in your rebuttal. If you hadn't backed up your statements about why "people do it," your comments would have come across like just another angry sounding, defensive opinion from someone who likes to pirate entertainment.

Maybe you should start using your brain for a change, and stop expecting that everything is laid out in front of you, so that your tiny intellect could be satisfied.

Some things can not be 'cited', you monkey. Real world is not Wikipedia.

Re:Really? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221384)

who likes to pirate entertainment.

I like to pirate entertainment. It's more convenient for me. Until the legit product is as convenient, I will continue to "pirate". I'm not afraid to pay - when my mother wanted access to online video, I didn't show her how to set up a usenet service and subscription... instead, I bought her a netflix membership. Hell, my usenet service costs more than a netflix service, so it's not about cost.

Re:Really? (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221592)

I just love downloading pirated stuff. I might not even use it but will burn a DVD anyway.
I pay extra for every empty dvd, cd or harddrive. this money goes to right holders organisations, wether they pay out to the actual right holdres is not my concern. This effectively pays for my pirating, which is not even illegal in my country due to relaxed fair use regulations.

So MAFIAA, RIAA, and other malafidous organisations can kis my sweet behind.

Re:Really? (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220870)

./bitchx

#exceed> /msg botsrv1 xdcc send the_cure_boys_dont_cry.rar

/good ol' days

Re:Really? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221022)

Johnny-come-lately. The real eleet never use BitchX, they use ircII. With a script. That they wrote themselves. Lemme guess, you were in an ANSI art group, right?

Re:Really? (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221276)

I must be at the bottom of the barrel because I never used either. Just packetnews and a little script to query the bot if its queue was full.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221348)

Johnny-come-lately. The real eleet never use BitchX, they use ircII. With a script. That they wrote themselves. Lemme guess, you were in an ANSI art group, right?

*sigh* And the REAL l337 kids just scream PPP into their phone lines and quickly write down the XDCC response (unless they're halfway decent, where they memorize it and manually poke bits on a hard drive with magnetized needle and a steady hand, or just use butterflies). Can we end this joke here now?

Re:Really? (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221440)

Oh man.. nostalgia trip!

I actually used bitchx for chat! For a long damn time too. I resisted irssi (with it's silly activity numbers) for quite some time.

and now I use xchat.

sigh...

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35220884)

1) They grabbed some data..
2) made a bunch of broad assumptions..
3) then proceeded to unsubstantiated correlations.
4) PROFIT!

Being an out of touch old guy .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221030)

People do it for the e-pene.

I had to google e-pene and I got Epene stationary company of China.
They're doing it for the stationary? [epene.com]

Re:Being an out of touch old guy .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221070)

Yeah, for the stationary. What did you think he meant?

Re:Being an out of touch old guy .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221894)

That's one company that's really not going anywhere.

Re:Really? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221230)

I strongly doubt anyone is getting rich from the trickle of people who actually go to the URLs found in torrent info files. They seem to be more for notoriety than profit.

People might not get rich from the genuine torrents. I bet people get rich from fake torrents where the download is a readme.txt and an encrypted rar and you're instructed to visit some url, sign up to a bunch of affiliate programs (and subjected to drive by attacks) to get the supposed password. Of course the password and the rar will be fakes.

Re:Really? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222562)

Who would actually do this? A handful of suckers? That's no way to get rich. If I got a file that had a readme that said "this file is encrypted, and we didn't tell you that before you downloaded it. To get the password, sign up for all of these credit cards and whatnot first." I would delete the file without a second thought. A legit uploader will fill the hole pretty quickly. Said torrent would get a lot of "Don't download! Bogus!" comments too.

Re:Really? (1)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221366)

Not so much. Once upon a time, I was quite active on IRC - I was on an *extremely* high speed connection, and got multiple offers of all the "free" hardware and access I wanted in return for maintaining a node in their network. I imagine that's still the case nowadays.

First Post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35220690)

Yay! WN

I doubt it's as pervasive at they suggest. (3, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220706)


Most (all?) private trackers that I use absolutely forbid any advertising in the torrent. For the most part the rules on the private trackers dictate untouched scene releases. Some allow for unrarring of the goodies but the nfo and other scene-sourced stuff must remain intact.

Public trackers are another matter completely.

srsly? (3, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220720)

None of the porn I download has any sort of ads, links or otherwise. Who's making money off this mythical advertisement?

Re:srsly? (3, Funny)

Meddik (1849590) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220880)

Plastic Surgeons. Think of it as advertising via Product Placement.

Re:srsly? (5, Funny)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221944)

Kleenex.

Re:srsly? (1)

mxs (42717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222120)

In many cases, the porn you download /is/ the advertisement. On most, if not all, current produced-for-internet porn you can find the name of the outlet somewhere in the frame. If you like the quality, you might want to go get the rest of their stuff. People who never pay for porn do not cost them anything -- question is whether the people who pay for it after having gotten parts for free outweigh the people who may have paid for it but opted to scour usenet instead -- the age-old unanswerable question, really. And this only works if you can stand behind your product.
Granted, usually porn producing outlets do not seed torrents, so the seeder will not make money. But you asked who made money, not how the seeder makes any :P

Re:srsly? (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222164)

So this is making money for the people producing and selling the porn in the first place... and not denying them of money as the MPAA has been arguing for years. The torrenters themselves do not see a penny of it, unless they are the legal copyright owners... in which case no law has been broken!

Re:srsly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35222252)

Can this get any seedier?

BSDMsrsly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35222376)

None of the porn I download has any sort of ads, links or otherwise. Who's making money off this mythical advertisement?

The whips and chain industry.

Re:BSDMsrsly? (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222442)

Considering my tastes in porn, the anal lube industry has been getting considerably more exposure.

Bad title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35220768)

Should replace "profit" with "make money" since that's all the articles seem to care about. There are lots of ways to "profit" from something, without ever making a single cent of actual money. Maybe it's cred, maybe it's favors, maybe it's admission into a special group, maybe it's blowjobs, who knows... Just because indexing sites sell ad space doesn't mean that the seeders are making money.

ebooks make seeders money (2)

Anonymous Showered (1443719) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220790)

I've downloaded a few e-books (PDFs) and upon opening them, were greeted with the seeder's or creator's homepage (or affiliate URL). One of the books I downloaded was about day trading. The person who put together the PDF injected his homepage and services in the first 2 pages of the book. Does he make money? Who knows. Does he get a few visits to his website for a bit of work? Yup.

Misleading headline (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35220852)

I don't frequent /. very often these days but whenever I do one thing always strikes me: "News for nerds" yet your editorial work IMO shows that you're losing touch with the "nerd factor" over time.

Take this article.. BT lives on seeders and leechers (who, during leeching, also seed though it maybe little). The headline includes /all/ seeders of a torrent whereas the article clearly speaks of "original seeders". There is a huge difference, but even that important detail is left out of the summary.

As to the study results themselves, I think they're flawed. The stuff I read only focuses on the amount of entries. Sure; some persons can easily be responsible for that. The real question here is who keeps those swarms alive, sometimes several years after the original upload (upload "into" the swarm so to say)?

The original seeders? I very much doubt that!

So why aren't those people counted?

Re:Misleading headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221134)

you're right, but the right name for original seeder is uploaders

Re:Misleading headline (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221310)

They are losing the nerd factor. Its mainly because we have an influx of non-nerds. Just the other day I was harassed by crazy a Right-winger who tried to say that Left-leaning leaders are all like Hilter and Stalin. I suppose when anything gets popular word-of-mouth inevitably shows it to the loonies.

Re:Misleading headline (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221388)

Used to be, back when nerds ruled the roost, that an argument would take a while before Godwin's Law took effect. It wasn't the tool of first resort.

PS might want to check H&S's respective political parties

Re:Misleading headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221316)

Rather than 40 or 50 versions of the same file that can be transferred in minutes ripping movies
takes time & effort so you dont get nearly as many versions. Because it takes longer to transfer
(using much more bandwidth) people will look at the sample if one is available, check quality ratings
the previous leechers have given or go for a more trustworthy seeder. This ends up with most people
getting the same files which also tends to increase overall transfer rates. The report is saying that
BitTorrent is working exactly how BitTorrent is supposed to work.

If you were going to get a piece of meat for your dinner who would you get it from.. some guy who just set-up
a stall or your local butcher who has a reputation for selling quality meat?

Bundled text files (1)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220896)

"via embedding links to their own indexing sites in the filenames and bundled TXT files"

Ah, those would be the text files that I uncheck before I start the download, ensuring that they never reach my computer.

If I'm downloading a torrent for one file, and there are other files in the torrent, they all get unchecked first.

Re:Bundled text files (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221602)

Although based on block size you are somewhat likely to have the text file downloaded anyway based on the order the data is arranged in the torrent. That is unless it's one of those strange mangled torrents some people make which have padding between every file to finish up the block. In the end that file might not be parsed out and just get left in a lump of cache data which will be erased, but you probably are at least downloading those tiny things most of the time, even if they never manifest as a separate file.

When not RTFA = repost ? (1)

AwaxSlashdot (600672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220908)

I didn't knew that when people were not R[ing]TFA (or actually RTFPaper), it was worth a repost when someone who actually read the paper would talk about it.

just another lame attempt (2)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35220930)

to try to find a more concrete reason to go after bittorrent. Everyone's tired of hearing them whine about the zillions of dollars they're losing from the violation of their imaginary property. Usually Plan B involves showing how someone, somewhere is making money. (someone's making money off their IP, they want a cut, ok I get that) But this doesn't work for bittorrent because nobody's making money on it. But they're going to give it a go anyway.

Trying to insult peoples' intelligence tends to LOWER your credibility and sympathy, not raise it. You'd think they'd learn. No, on second thought, they never do learn, do they?

Re:just another lame attempt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221122)

wouldn't it be funny if the people seeding the content actually worked for the RIAA & MPAA!! i'd bet they'd pay people to post content for them (kind of like cablevision vs. youtube)

that would give them a reason to start suing people and therefore an immediate new revenue stream. then they bring this problem to congress to help them gain control over the airwaves and how people are allowed to interact with the content they already own... it sure would make a great conspiracy theory!

Re:just another lame attempt (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221248)

As far as the RIAA/MPAA employee doing it, I doubt its at the behest of the organization. However, they are both doing everything else you just said. Corruption doesn't necessarily have anything to do with conspiracy. Its just assholes taking advantage of a new situation in an under-handed fashion.

Re:just another lame attempt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221202)

someone's making money off their IP, they want a cut, ok I get that

That's the whole thing. NO ONE is making money off of their product, not even them. What they are doing, what this whole 'pirates is taking our stuff' thing is all about, is KILLING THE COMPETITION. They think that if they shut off the other sources of the product then everything will be a-okay. I mean, i can understand why they'd think that. After all, hundreds of people download their stuff for free every day and if they could cut off the free services then Sony and the rest could, in theory, get some decent cash. What Sony et al fail to realize is that the only reason ANYONE downloads their gawdawful tripe is because it's free. If anyone had to pay for it they would never buy it.

Think about it. Would you BUY a Ke$ha CD? Really?

Re:just another lame attempt (4, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221250)

Hey the TV networks are losing $22,589,304,200,123.15 every second because of bittorrents. These evil pirates are making these kind souls that make this content for our enjoyment, out of the goodness of their hearts... Poor by STEALING their content.

Because if after a TV show like "big bang theory" airs and it hits the torrent sites, NOBODY will buy the DVD's or watch any of the reruns. Sales of TV show DVD's are at ZERO.. Nobody at all buys them, nobody is watching reruns. They are poor as paupers and we all simply ignore them and continue stealing...

Those poor poor destitute souls... all you evil people are making them so poor that in order to survive NBC had to be sold to Comcast for pennies on the dollar.

Re:just another lame attempt (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221726)

and of course that's money being taken out of the mouths of starving artists living in slums unable to feed their family. all that money should go to them. Less the 99.3% we the riaa skim of the top anyway. But it's the PIRATES that are the evil.

Re:just another lame attempt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35222226)

I watched every episode of Buffy the day they aired in the US (me being situated in Europe).
I also own all the boxsets on DVD.
I am pretty sure I am not alone in this behavior.

(Though I am also pretty sure I'd never buy crock of shit reality TV show boxsets)

Re:just another lame attempt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221700)

Most of our US elected politicians seem to have an IQ on the lower end of the scale and they buy anything that the MPAA/RIAA says. Of course the brib...um campaign donations help.

Dirty tricks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35220982)

I've always suspected it to be competing businesses, i.e. Windows 7 gets released, Apple secretly pays to have it cracked and seeded. They have the money and plenty of reason to do it, making them chief suspects.

Alternative Hypothesis (2)

pellik (193063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221026)

The author seems to operate with the assumption that the only motive for one person to do so much "work" is profit. My observation is that a lot of torrents are put up by old piracy groups (games are cracked and distributed by RAZOR, as one example). Shows are often put up by similar groups with their own communities. These groups tend to have a small number of members who are responsible for uploading the content. They are just one part of a much larger content distribution machine.

Not a dime (3, Interesting)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221056)

I never profited a dime from my seeding activities, but then that was never even a secondary goal of doing it in the first place... quite the opposite. It was anti-greed or anti-capitalism.

I actually run a BitTorrent website (1)

xiando (770382) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221166)

..and I tell you, the advertisements on the site where the torrents can be downloaded make no money worth mentioning. It doesn't even fully cover the server cost, seeding does cost money. And that's limiting the content to public domain and creative commons, advertisements make nothing close to what is requred in order to buy quality content. Keep in mind that this is a site where torrents can be downloaded which also does seeding of those torrents, I really do not see how those who just upload some file to some torrent site and seed it make any money at all. If I owned TPB and I uploaded files to TPB and seeded them then that would generate profit, but that's different than random strangers uploading some file.

The money isn't made on public trackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35221492)

Private trackers, which require invitations to join, are where many of these people make their money. The sites are ratio-based, and leeching to the point where you have an unfavorable ratio will result in you getting banned. These sites are generally much faster than public torrent sites (TPB, etc.) as they employ users with seedboxes (with 0sec files and access to extremely fast internet connections, often 100Mbit and sometimes even 1Gbit+) to seed the files to other users. People pay, err, 'donate' to the site in order for upload credit, and a chunk of that money goes to the owners of those seedboxes. When a user wants the newest copy of Gulliver's Travels, and is either too lazy to seed back or lacks the ability to do so (mediocre upload speeds - thanks crappy US ISPs!), it is often reasonable to use this process -- after all, spending $1 USD for 2GB of upload credit makes a lot more sense financially than dropping $60 to take a family of four to the movie theater. Multiply this by thousands or even tens of thousands of users, at a dozen or so movies/TV shows/pieces of software per month, and this quickly becomes a very lucrative business.

they are seedhosts (3, Informative)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35221742)

You pay for a seedhost. They do the torrenting for you and you simply download what you want directly from them while they boost your ratio.

I call BS (1)

Covalent (1001277) | more than 3 years ago | (#35222140)

No way. When I'm downloading something from a torrent, I always seed. Sometimes I seed after the downloads have completed. I think this is pretty typical of BT users. That means that MOST users are also seeding most of the time. Since many users are downloading the most popular content, they are also uploading the most popular content. That's how it's supposed to work.

the internet-brain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35222264)

you know how you can train those gray cells in your head (to have more interconnections)?
same goes for your internets.
tom-dick-and-harrys internet connection just goes to google, facebook and youtube (and some pr0n sites).
but if you're a seeder, you can be sure that those BGP internods know you IP-address by name
and if one of your packets should enter said fine establishment, you can be sure that the BGP bar-tender
will greet it by name and serve you a (free) beer before even attending to the douch-trio : D

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