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Download Revolution Busted
July 1, 2008
Thomas Mennecke
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There’s an ominous shift in the copyright enforcement tactics used by the entertainment industry. While BitTorrent busts seem to come cheap these days, a significant number of the entertainment hungry populace have abandoned this protocol in exchange for file-sharing communities that use upload sites such as MegaUpload.com and RapidShare. Such was the case for DownloadRevolution.net, where nearly 30,000 individuals traded prime entertainment in a forum environment.

The diversification of file-sharing towards centralized, upload based websites like RapidShare has its benefits. Because these sites are download only, there is little concern for the end user. Downloaders have historically faced virtually no enforcement action – an action generally reserved for uploaders. Secondly, there are no upload bandwidth considerations, allowing the end user to download rather large files without consuming tremendous amounts of bandwidth. And because the files are stored in a centralized repository, there’s often times little concern whether the file will download in a manageable amount of time. Like Usenet, if the file is viable, it will download as fast as the end user’s download speed.

These incentives have driven many individuals away from BitTorrent and P2P and towards centralized resources such as DownloadRevolution.net and Usenet. However this convenience comes at a price. Today, Italian police raided the home administration of DownloadRevolution.net, arresting 4 individuals. According to one translated Italian report, 3 of the 4 individuals were “children”, however, their ages weren’t divulged. The raid on the administration’s home resulted in the seizure of 17 computers, 3 external hard disks, 1 memory card, 486 CD-ROMs and DVDs and, according to the difficult to read translation, about 5,700 unauthorized duplications. According to the police and the prosecution, their investigation revealed that over “6,405 works protected by copyright between music files, videos, games, software and various movies” were traded, most of which were music files.

The raid and closure of DownloadRevolution.net highlights the benefits and deficiencies of P2P networking. Although P2P and BitTorrent can be slow at times, its decentralized nature ensures its longevity. Centralized trading sites like DownloadRevolution.net can provide blazing speeds and near-guaranteed downloads, however, once the head is cut, the remaining community loses its cohesion. DownloadRevolution.net is gone forever, yet the desire for entertainment isn’t going anywhere.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Unauthorized Distribution :: Digital Piracy

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