The popular file-sharing technology, BitTorrent, has been slowly working its way towards legitimacy (no, not legilmancy
, Potter fans).
It's managed to whip up $8.75m in venture capital from DCM-Doll Capital Management. It plans to use the cash to grow its infrastructure, employ some people with credibility, and go after the legitimate movie downloads business.
This from USA Today:
“The piracy business is not something anyone can make money on,” says Ashwin Navin, who co-founded BitTorrent with Bram Cohen. “We want to distribute paid and ad-supported content, using this technology.”
BitTorrent is the second-most-popular file-sharing program, with 33% market share, according to research firm CacheLogic, after eDonkey's 50% share. BitTorrent specializes in helping users nab huge files quickly.
Navin concedes that some users download movies without paying for them but says BitTorrent isn't the only technology that can be used illegitimately. “You can also use a browser to view child porn and Microsoft Word to cut and paste and plagiarize,” he says.
He says the company is meeting with movie studios and other copyright holders to negotiate use of BitTorrent to distribute content.
Very interesting. This has got to be a dream for those guys - two guys who, by all accounts, just sit around a bunch, come up with a decent bit of softare and then get almost $9m of investment. Bonus!
On the plus side, this should also put an end to the 'Donate' popups on BitTorrent!
Is it right that would-be pirates are now being rewarded and sent into the mainstream? Or are Cohen and Navin just incredibly shrewd guys? Give us your thoughts in the forums.