Technically speaking, it is impossible to steal something when you are using BitTorrent, as the original files always stay intact. Nevertheless, the entertainment industry likes to label BitTorrent sites as evil places, where thieves gather to steal music and movies. In reality, however, not all BitTorrent users are the same or so easily labeled, and neither are their motivations to share files.
A recent post by isoHunt founder Gary Fung inspired us to run a poll. We know that TorrentFreak readers might not be representative of the average file sharer, but we would love to find out why you use BitTorrent. The following poll has four answer options, based on the four types file-sharer, as described by Lawrence Lessig in his book Free Culture.
The options are as follows.
1. Because it’s free
Some use BitTorrent to download music, movies and software so they don’t have to pay for them. Instead of purchasing a CD or buying a DVD, they prefer to download it for free on BitTorrent.
2. To ‘try before I buy
The second type uses BitTorrent mainly to sample content and try before they buy. They download music to discover new artists and might end up buying the album if they like it. Similarly, they try software or download movies but buy them when they live up to their expectations.
3. Because I can’t get it elsewhere
The third group mainly downloads content they can’t get elsewhere. The TV-show that it not on TV in your country yet, or that song you can’t buy easily online without having to deal with all kinds of digital restrictions.
4. To download ‘legal’ torrents
The last type of file-sharer mainly downloads content that the creator wants to share for free, often indicated by the misleading term ‘legal torrents’. Music from Jamendo for example, or films that are ok to share.
So where do you fit in? Let us know.