Friday, April 4, 2008

If File Sharing Is Illegal...

... then how do companies like YouTorrent get funding and survive?

If record companies and movie companies alike find file sharing akin to theft, then how do companies like this get a following and become part of the cultural zeitgeist? I'll tell you how. The consumer likes them. The stats are impressive; live for 3 months. 2.7 million unique visitors in February. The cost to run the site; $500 per month.

I did a quick search on YouTorrent for Pearl Jam (which is my default first search on everything) and it came back with 319 results ranging from concert videos to albums to DVD-copies, some of which were posted 5 years ago and some within the last hour. Why would I do a search like that, other than to test the service? Because I can. It's that simple.

The company was written up in Business Week in an article on March 24th. Business Week is a pretty main stream publication so it's not a matter of some obscure little company finding a way to beat the system. This is the system. As long as consumers want access to information for free, these systems will survive and thrive. Personally, I pay for all my music and movies. I'm really old-school like that. Thats why iTunes is now the number music retailer in the US.

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