BitTorrent Boasts 124m Legal Downloads In 2012

The company that invented torrent technology says it has enabled 124 million legal downloads in the first half of 2012. But can it ever counter the illegal music piracy movement?

Ultimate Guitar

Torrent technology might have been a catalyst for the music piracy movement, but its inventors are keen to highlight its legal potential.

According to BitTorrent who invented the peer-to-peer technology which seeds files from one home user to others, their platform has been used to deliver 124 million legal downloads in the first half of 2012.

They conducted a study of 405 million music downloads over BitTorrent in 2012, though it seems to suggest that a majority of transfers were illegal. Hardly the best announcement to make, but it's a fair point: BitTorrent can move a lot of legal data if you want it to.

"What this statistic shows very clearly is there's a lot of good, legitimate content in the BitTorrent ecosystem that is adding value to the careers of the artists and publishers who decided to release their work using the protocol," BitTorrent's Matt Mason told TorrentFreak.

The company could only track legal torrents through their own system, which suggest that legal torrent use is much higher elsewhere. "Whatever that number is, one thing is certain; to say BitTorrent is just for illegal file-sharing is flat-out wrong," added Matt.

A recent report discovered that US music fans download more illegal music than any country in the world, with 405 million music releases downloaded worldwide. Today's news suggests that it's not all illegal, but piracy remains a problem for the industry and appears set to continue.

Have you ever downloaded legal music over torrents? Will it ever work at a larger scale, or are torrents too tied to illegal piracy? Let us know your view in the comments.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Many musicians officially post their albums for download via torrent - and, I think, it is a good practice.
    True, but the legal, music author posted DLs are outnumbered by the pirated music files by a large margin. Not to mention the movies, TV shows, ebooks, magazines, games, apps, programs, comic books, etc that are pirated via torrent. So I can see where torrent is seen as a pirate program.
    I think it's a good way to get the music out there, but they should come up with a way to delete the file after so many plays so you'll have to buy it after listening to it.
    That system couldn't work sadly. AN auto deleting file is too abuseable, especially when people will find the non auto delete ones. In theory it seems viable but in practice it can't...
    Pretty stupid move by BitTorrent to put out this stat, mainly for 2 reasons: (1) If 124 out of 405 million music downloads are legal, they just admitted that their service is mostly used for illegal downloading; and (2) they just showed the RIAA and all other anti-pirating groups that they have the ability to track legal and illegal downloads through their system. They basically just proved the point that their program's main purpose is for illegal downloading, and they know it.
    the illegal downloads can only be an estimate. There is no central system to bt - thats kind of the point. Especially with magnet links now...
    Well they conducted this "study," and came up with these numbers somehow. Obvioulsy they are promoting the fact that they have some sort of ability to track legal and illegal downloads. I'm sure it's not an exact nummber or science, but why release it if they didn't think it was accurate? I guess it could've been a survey, but I'd be very surprised if they had that many people volunteer the fact that they were illegally downloading.
    Can't say i'v ever downloaded music legally through Bittorrent, but I download legal stuff all the time through it. Most recently the Humble Indie Bundles, Black Mesa, and several Linux distributions. Without Bittorrent, those downloads would have taken hours via a mirror (like Mediafire) but instead they took minuets through Bittorrent. That alone proves that torrent software is good software.
    Government intervention in p2p technology and pirating simply doesnt work. People will always find a way to get around it. Look what happened with meagaupload... Im pretty sure - after the initial scare - about 50 new sites popped up to fill the hole left by megaupload's seizure/closure by the FBI
    They need to use this in more legitimate ways. That way buying lossless online music may finally become cost effective and viable on a large scale, and we won't have to use clients that force unwanted programs like Pando media booster on our computers.
    "Whatever that number is, one thing is certain; to say BitTorrent is just for illegal file-sharing is flat-out wrong," added Matt. THANK YOU!!!