For those who are not familiar with EZTV. They are the ones that do the initial seeding for the TV-torrents indexed by sites like Mininova and The Pirate Bay. They also have their own site, with useful tools like a TV-calendar, an episode list, and a countdown list that shows how many days you will have to wait until your favorite TV-show returns.
We had the chance to do ask Boggibill, a member of the EZTV crew, some questions.
TorrentFreak: When was EZTV founded? and what was the main reason to start a TV-torrent distribution group?
Boggibill: EZTV was founded a short time after TVTorrents.tv and btchat went down (Spring 2005). Their disappearance left a void in the “market”, and someone decided to fill that void. That being said, we have no affiliation with these pre-EZTV era groups.
TorrentFreak: Do you think that distributing these (copyrighted) shows is morally wrong? That is, do you consider sharing shows to be the same as stealing?
Boggibill: In no way is this wrong. There is absolutely no way what we are doing would have any negative effect on the TV industry whatsoever – I’d refer you to an “old” Piracy Is Not A Crime article on TV torrents, but I’ll just give you the short version here. The Nielsen ratings system, from which all TV companies make their money, is based on so-called “Nielsen families” that have a special box attached to their TV sets. This box basically reports what they are viewing, and Nielsen then “blows up” the numbers to account for the whole population. It is an idiotic system, but IMO it works to our advantage (and the TV industry’s) – the chances of one of the Nielsen families being an active user on our site is *low*. This means that our download numbers will have absolutely no negative impact on the ratings.
TorrentFreak: Do you think that sharing TV-shows might have a positive impact on the TV industry?
Boggibill: Yes I do, the only possible impacts I can see are positive ones; free publicity, which may lead to higher ratings when people “discover” new shows and also larger numbers of DVD purchases – it is my understanding that many of the people that download TV shows from us are avid TV fans and will usually buy DVD boxsets of shows they like. Many of these are foreigners, that can’t view the shows normally. This is free money for the industry. I don’t understand why they would be upset with that. Moreover, the BitTorrent way of distributing material is the future, not only of filesharing, but of information distribution in general – be it television content, movies, games and other software. We firmly believe this to be true.
TorrentFreak: How many people are working with EZTV at the moment?
Boggibill: We have a small but dedicated team who works for EZTV. they are very good at what they are doing.
TorrentFreak: Where do you get the shows? And how many people seed these shows initially for EZTV?
Boggibill: We get our shows from “the scene”, a very secretive lot… and we have quite a few initial seeders. The amount varies from torrent to torrent, though. Also, we could always use more – come on IRC and talk with an op, if you have more than 5mbit upload bandwidth and want to help out!
TorrentFreak: What are the most popular shows distributed by EZTV?
Boggibill: We have tracker scrapes on our website, so this is easily accessible information. The most popular shows are obviously Heroes, a show that has gained a LOT of steam lately, btw), Lost, 24, Prison Break, Battlestar Galactica, Greys Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and the Stargates.
TorrentFreak: How many visitors does eztvefnet.org currently have? and did you ever expected that the site would be such a great success?
Boggibill: We recently peaked 210 000 unique visitors, and 600 000 page views per day. We didn’t really expect it to be as big as it is now, to be honest. At least not all of us did. We figured there’d be other groups that would show up and compete… if you can call it that, I guess the only thing we’re “competing” about are bragging rights and they’re not really worth much are they? Anyway, we soon realized that that wouldn’t really happen and began preparing for ever-increasing traffic… still working on that.
TorrentFreak: Are there any future plans or developments for eztvefnet.org you want to share with our readers?
Boggibill: We always have future plans, this is part of what makes us good I think. We always strive for perfection. What those are… well I can’t really say :)
TorrentFreak: What makes EZTV stand out compared to other distribution groups like VTV? Are you in contact with other groups?
Boggibill: We aren’t really in competition with VTV, we cooperate on many levels. Having too many overlapping releases would just be stupid, so there’s some coordination going on there. And what makes us good, I’d say dedication, organization and experience. We also have a good relationship with The Pirate Bay, they’ve been of great help many times – well, PRQ, really.
TorrentFreak: What do you think the future of TV, and TV-torrents will look like?
Boggibill: I think BitTorrent.com is on to something. Right now, their biggest issue – possibly the only significant one – is the DRM one. Of course, this is “the big one” isn’t it… but yes, I do believe we will see more “legal” alternatives in the future. The torrent model is the most efficient distribution model available, it is just a matter of time before the industry realize this. Another solution with a lot of potential is Joost, that one will be interesting to follow.
TorrentFreak: Thanks for this short Q&A, anything you want to add to this?
Boggibill: Keep fighting the good fight, TorrentFreak people :)
**UPDATE 28/05/08**Â Â -Â theÂ linkÂ originallyÂ on thisÂ site,Â www.eztvefnet.orgÂ is no longer that of EZTV, but is a scam site now. Their siteÂ isÂ atÂ www.eztv.itÂ andÂ theÂ linkÂ aboveÂ hasÂ beenÂ changedÂ accordingly.