BitTorrent Inc.’s new Bundle format may put up a fight against torrent piracy, and give content creators a way to monetize and control torrents with a built-in gate.
BitTorrent Inc. has announced a new preliminary format called BitTorrent Bundle, which will allow content creators to release their content in a sort of walled torrent. These Bundle torrents will work exactly like regular torrents – peer to peer downloads, shared wherever, whenever. The difference is, the content contained in a Bundle torrent is locked behind a sort of gate that the consumer must first get through.
"The strategy here is to give content creators the tools to publish into the ecosystem on their own," said BitTorrent's director of communications, Christian Averill. "We're creating a new kind of torrent, the gated torrent, and the idea is that this will be pervasive once it gets out there."
This gate is in the form of an HTML webpage, where a user must enter the information of the torrent creator's choosing. The content of a Bundle torrent can be free, but require an email address to access. Or, the creator can choose to monetize his Bundle Torrent, and require users to pay before viewing its content.
While BitTorrent did not mention piracy in its video advertisement of the new format, it doesn't take a genius to read it in between the lines. As convenient as torrents are, their potential to be abused has been the headache and bogeyman of many a copyright owner. Presumably, these Bundle torrents are intended to eliminate the potential for such abuse, taming the torrent into a safe, legal method of file distribution.
But of course, the problem is, torrents have always been safe and legal. The problem is not torrents themselves, but what people choose to do with them. It is obvious to the lay person that if people wish to download pirated content, they can simply ignore an influx of Bundle torrents, and go for the non-bundled kind – as long as pirates exist, so will they.