Fostering Internet piracy is not the goal of uTorrent and BitTorrent, says the file-sharing giant that owns both platforms, BitTorrent Inc. Despite having millions of internationally registered users and a green logo that’s been a favorite target of copyright enforcers, BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker denied the charge.
“We hear this question all the time,” Klinker told TorrentFreak. “We hear we’ve killed film, the radio star and the content industry. We hear we’re the Web’s dark matter, and the Internet’s seedy underbelly. We are not.”
BitTorrent - and especially uTorrent - has been on the short list of websites that the Motion Picture Association of America and Recording Industry Association of America have been unable shut down, despite all efforts. The site enables online pirates to download copyrighted media by downloading a uTorrent client, which then acts like a search engine for shady websites that illegally host music and movies.
Users are not able to download torrent files from many of those sites without the use of uTorrent or similar clients. Technically uTorrent doesn’t host any files, but there are more than 150 million registered uTorrent users, most of whom regularly download content illegally. That amount of activity has not gone unnoticed, with the MPAA and RIAA naming uTorrent on their list of “notorious” websites.
That perception is what Klinker is trying to change, though, with the launch of DoesBitTorrentEqualPiracy.com. The MPAA would almost certainly classify the page as propaganda, but the CEO of BitTorrent, which is based in San Francisco, doesn’t see things that way.
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“We are scientists, engineers, developers and designers committed to building a better Internet,” he said. “We are photographers, musicians, writers and gamers. We came to work here because we wanted to change the way the Internet works for us. How it works for all of us.”
While other torrent sites like The Pirate Bay, Demonoid and BT Junkie have either been shut down or have faced legal trouble, uTorrent has expanded its empire. Earlier this year uTorrent released an Android app and has increased revenue by selling advertising space, all of which Klinker thinks legitimizes the company.
“We do not endorse piracy,” he said. “We do not encourage it. We don’t point to piracy sites. We don’t host any infringing content.”