Angry Artists Attack BitTorrent With Spoofed Billboards

An anonymous group of disgruntled artists have launched a banner campaign spoofing the billboard promotions BitTorrent Inc. ran last week. The banners, which suggest that BitTorrent doesn't care about artists, appeared on several popular websites including Rollingstone.com, The Drudge Report, Mashable, GrooveShark and MediaFire. "Instead of paying artists, we spent money on banners" and "All your content are belong to us," the ads read.

bittorrent-nsaLast week BitTorrent Inc. shocked friend and foe with a clever marketing campaign.

The company, best known for its file-sharing applications uTorrent and BitTorrent, put up billboards in three major metropolitan areas.

Initially the billboards displayed slogans such as “Your data should belong to the NSA” and “Artists need to play by the rules,” but they were later updated to signal the reverse.

BitTorrent’s goal was to raise awareness of issues related to Internet freedom, privacy and artist rights. However, not everyone agreed with the somewhat confusing messaging, and some artists were flat-out offended.

In a direct response to the billboard ads, a group of anonymous artists have launched a banner campaign spoofing BitTorrent’s slogans, while directing people to a website filled with statements showing various downsides of copyright infringement.

Over the past year BitTorrent Inc. has tried very hard to distance itself from piracy, but the artists in question are having none of that. The banner below appeared on the popular music site Rolling Stone earlier this week and suggests that BitTorrent is depriving artists of income.

“Instead of paying artists, we spent money on banners,” the banner reads, crediting it to the misspelled “BitTorent” alongside a fabricated logo.


Spoof ad running on Rollingstone.com

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Another banner ad spoofs BitTorrent’s anti-NSA billboard. Instead of “Your Data Should Belong To The NSA You,” it reads “All your content are belong to us.”

The banners went live earlier this week and have been spotted on Rollingstone.com, The Drudge Report, Mashable, FileHippo, GrooveShark and MediaFire, among others. All banners were linked to the Right The Music website which is registered by Swedish company MycketMusik AB.


All your content are belong to us

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Thus far little is known about the mysterious group behind the ads but information received by TorrentFreak suggests that this the first of a series of anti-piracy campaigns the anonymous coalition of artists has planned.

Whether BitTorrent Inc. is the right target for these campaigns is doubtful. While millions of pirates use the company’s software every day to download copyrighted material, the same can be said about Mozilla’s Firefox or even Windows.

That, however, may be a little nuanced for the disgruntled artists, who have clearly made up their mind about the company. Luckily for BitTorrent there are also plenty of artists who are supportive of the company, including Madonna, Moby and Plain White T’s, all of whom have collaborated with the company in recent weeks.

To be continued.

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