Within 24 hours of president-elect Barack Obama delivering his victory speech to the hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Chicago, another hundred thousand gathered in a BitTorrent swarm, to download a copy of the historic event.
The 2008 presidential campaign in the United States has been without doubt one of the most memorable in history. Already, Obama’s victory speech has become a collectors item. A day after he was elected president, his acceptance speech has been downloaded well over 100,000 times from various BitTorrent sites.
The most popular copy of the speech comes from the leading TV-torrent distribution group , EZTV. Novaking, one of the admins at EZTV told TorrentFreak that they simply couldn’t ignore this historic presidential election. “It would have been idiotic for us not to supply it,” he said. EZTV had also distributed copies of the debates, but the demand for these didn’t come close to that of Obama’s final speech.
Interest in the speech was not simply limited to the United States. A more detailed look at the geographical location of the people who downloaded the file via BitTorrent, shows that more than half of them come from outside the United States. However, the remaining 46.2% is a significantly greater share for US downloaders than for the average TV-show release.
Although the number of downloads for Obama’s speech were way above that of an average TV-show, it didn’t come close to the numbers of the Olympic opening ceremonies earlier this year. Despite the massive file size of 5GB, the opening ceremonies were downloaded over a million times, mostly by Chinese. The IOC, who owns the right to the broadcast wasn’t too happy about this, and went as far as contacting the Swedish Minister of Justice, to try and get the .torrent file off The Pirate Bay.
Unlike with the Olympics, we haven’t heard about any takedown requests for Obama’s presidential acceptance speech. In fact, if we could ask Obama if we can download a copy for personal use, he will more than likely answer with popular campaign slogan, “Yes we can.”