You would think it would be ARRR
May 23, 2019 4:04 PM   Subscribe

 
“It is the opinion of us and our lawyers that you are fucking morons, and that you should please go sodomise yourself with retractable batons.”

Ahh, the Scandinavian penchant for understatement...
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:30 PM on May 23 [10 favorites]


Also, nice work on the title/tag combo!
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:30 PM on May 23 [3 favorites]


It is the opinion of us and our lawyers that you are fucking morons

Ahhh, an Arkell v. Pressdram for the internet era...
posted by chavenet at 4:44 PM on May 23 [3 favorites]


the continued existence of tpb is one of the few genuine cyberpunk bright spots in our otherwise benighted grimdark cyberpunk world.

people with a healthy loathing for copyright are, ceteris paribus, better than people who think that respecting copyright is good. By making it easier to circumvent copyright, tpb makes it easier for people to become better people.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 4:51 PM on May 23 [59 favorites]


RIP OiNK, is all I can say.
posted by mykescipark at 4:57 PM on May 23 [24 favorites]


I honestly thought they shut down years ago.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:03 PM on May 23


gman taught me how to use TPB back in the day. Better living through Metafilter!
posted by heyho at 5:12 PM on May 23 [7 favorites]


>the continued existence of tpb is one of the few genuine cyberpunk bright spots in our otherwise benighted grimdark cyberpunk world.

it blows my mind how much knowledge there is that i can only access thru sci hub
posted by pmv at 5:14 PM on May 23 [18 favorites]


Not just scihub, but LibGen too. Such an amazing resource. Millions of books, including many which are out of print and were never officially released as ebooks, easily available. Another point of light shining in the grimdark.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 5:31 PM on May 23 [25 favorites]


Give me Vinyl rips, or be gone.
posted by Liquidwolf at 5:53 PM on May 23 [4 favorites]


No mention of the cryptojacking TPB was doing for a while?
posted by benzenedream at 6:06 PM on May 23 [2 favorites]


“Even if I had the money I would rather burn everything I owned, and I wouldn’t even give them the ashes.”

The juvenile deliquent me, loves this sentiment.
posted by Oyéah at 6:13 PM on May 23 [13 favorites]


The thing about tbp is that it remains, hands down, the easiest, most convenient and most reliable method for getting hold of commercial content that has ever existed.

If the pay-to-view industry had a distribution method that worked as well as BitTorrent, tpb would not be anywhere near as much of a threat to their business model as it is. Because the simple fact is that it has always been the case that the most reliable method for displaying high-bandwidth content on an end-user device is to put an entire copy of that content as close to that device as possible.

When I sit down to watch a movie, I do not want to be expecting to deal with freezing and buffering and green blocky pixellation and audio stuttering. When I sit down to watch a movie at roughly the same times that my neighbours are sitting down to watch theirs, I don't want to be forced to put up with a blurry low-def picture because that's all that the backhaul out of my town can deliver during Netflix Hour.

BitTorrent is simply the correct method for achieving high-bandwidth content delivery over packet-switched networks. The end user experience is so many streets ahead of streaming as to be in the next city.
posted by flabdablet at 6:23 PM on May 23 [50 favorites]


You know how trends are cyclical? Every 20 years, things are cool again. Like bell bottoms in the 70s and then the 90s. And vaporwave aesthetic was 90s and then 2010s. And countless other examples that I don't have to list because everyone already knows what I'm talking about.

So I'm just saying: web 2.0. That shit is about to be huge. The Pirate Bay, Craigslist, and Metafilter are some hold-outs, but mark my words, early 2000s web2.0 is about to become a thing again.
posted by weed donkey at 6:34 PM on May 23 [19 favorites]


When broken down can't pirates bay like, fit in a rubber raft.
posted by clavdivs at 6:36 PM on May 23 [1 favorite]


The thing about tbp is that it remains, hands down, the easiest, most convenient and most reliable method for getting hold of commercial content

I still use it at least once or twice a month, because that's about how often I am looking for something that cannot be streamed or purchased online in whatever country I'm currently haunting. And this happens *a lot* outside the US.

I also admit to using it occasionally out of sheer frustration, when the hoops necessary to watch or obtain something legally are so painful that I just give up.

(I think this is the thing you're really addressing, flabdablet.)
posted by rokusan at 6:46 PM on May 23 [7 favorites]



I also admit to using it occasionally out of sheer frustration, when the hoops necessary to watch or obtain something legally are so painful that I just give up.


Me, I just like stealing shit.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:00 PM on May 23 [34 favorites]


Back in the days of innocence and ignorance before Louis CK had totally fucked my ability to enjoy his work, I'd buy his stuff for the $5 he asked for it because it was just easy. Click, Paypal, click, downloading, done. 1080p content that just played. No restrictions on what I could do with it afterward and no hassle.

Using tpb is pretty much exactly as easy a process as that. Search, click, check comments, click, downloading, done.

Why the fuck the major studios choose to load up their delivery processes with utter bullshit like streaming-only and DRM and monthly subscriptions and under-specified servers and all the rest is something I will never, never understand. Just sell me a fucking Magnet link using my own preferred one-click payment processor and call it done.

I would much rather just pay a moderate fee per download and consume the downloaded content on my own selection of devices running software of my own choosing than manage multiple monthly subscriptions to a forest of mutually-exclusive streaming providers in order to be locked in. The content producers would end up with more out of me than they get at present, the useless rentiers whose work exists solely to make my life less convenient would get fuck-all, and I'd be happier. But until it becomes just normal to be able to do that with everybody's content and not just that of the occasional provider who actually gets the Internet, what's my incentive to go anywhere other than tpb or rarbg as a first stop?
posted by flabdablet at 7:17 PM on May 23 [32 favorites]


Downloading from TPB these days is the fastest way to get a cease-and-desist notice relayed via your ISP. Not saying it's not useful sometimes, but it's highly monitored and in no way "safe".

The key innovation TPB made to keep things online was the magnet link. They reduced the Pirate Bay from 1-2GB of .torrent files to just a few megabytes of magnet links, hashes of those torrent files. The BitTorrent protocol provides the rest. It was a really smart technical innovation to make the site pretty much impossible to remove. The amount of data in TPB is so small it's just natural there's a zillion copies.

Still someone's operating a site that collects new uploads. And maintains user reputation. This article doesn't really delve into it; how does that all survive?
posted by Nelson at 7:32 PM on May 23 [7 favorites]


> Downloading from TPB these days is the fastest way to get a cease-and-desist notice relayed via your ISP. Not saying it's not useful sometimes, but it's highly monitored and in no way "safe".

lol yes that is true also it is true that you can’t visit wikipedia from china also there are no easily used widely available technologies that can solve both of these problems

wait that last one’s not true.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:58 PM on May 23 [13 favorites]


Downloading from TPB these days is the fastest way to get a cease-and-desist notice relayed via your ISP.

Maybe from your ISP...
posted by SansPoint at 8:00 PM on May 23 [7 favorites]


I'm just a bad human and I hate corporations. So I'm for Pirate Bay. I'm glad they're still around.
posted by evilDoug at 8:00 PM on May 23 [9 favorites]


One thing I remember hearing and believe to be true is that while they're out there (because of course they are), pirated Rifftrax stuff is relatively rare, because it's a fair price. (And I think there's something to be said for them being beloved geek icons — I don't think anyone wants to be mean to Mike and the Bots!)

And, again, Rifftrax is SUPER easy. They let you stream it from their site whenever, plus have an array of non-DRM'd file formats and resolutions to download. I think they even still sell .isos for people who want to burn DVDs!

So yeah — I think this is one of the main things the big companies don't get is that customers want what they want, and they'll get it regardless of what you want. We see this in the comic industry — trades are way more popular than floppies, yet the industry still bases their decisions on floppy sales. And we definitely saw it with the music industry as the RIAA dug in their heels, letting piracy flourish. But when they finally relented, a lot of people actually bought the stuff they wanted.

Why is it that the capitalists seem to be so bad at captialism?
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 8:02 PM on May 23 [11 favorites]


Downloading from TPB these days is the fastest way to get a cease-and-desist notice relayed via your ISP.

With a reliable VPN, it is much, much harder (not impossible, but hard enough to make it not worth doing) for certain folks to know what you're torrenting. I, personally, only torrent Gutenberg public domain classics and the occasional linux distro. I found That One Privacy Site to be a very useful compendium of available VPNs, their costs, policies, and what country they operate in.
posted by tclark at 8:02 PM on May 23 [17 favorites]


Rifftrax is SUPER easy

Bandcamp too.
posted by flabdablet at 8:05 PM on May 23 [10 favorites]


Why is it that the capitalists seem to be so bad at capitalism?

The way I see it, it's because those who self-identify as capitalist are exactly those least willing to perceive the flaws in capitalism; that their understanding of capitalism as a system is therefore very weak; so they fail to perceive that consequence-free power to coerce other people into doing what you want is not the essence of the free market they believe themselves to support.

You can hear this in the shrillness with which your typical capitalist rails against the authoritarian abuses perpetrated by Stalinist Communism and, by extension, governments in general. Mostly they just sound pissed off at being not quite able to replicate the same iron-fisted authoritarianism inside their own businesses but the attitude extends to customers as well, and the wealthier the capitalist the more strongly it's expressed.
posted by flabdablet at 8:17 PM on May 23 [29 favorites]


TPB is persistent, but half the time it's down, and all these public torrent sites are still full of ads and popups. Torrent Paradise made hacker news recently for its use of IPFS to decentralize the website itself, by encouraging users to host their own nodes. And it's very pleasing to use.
posted by mammal at 8:32 PM on May 23 [12 favorites]


If the pay-to-view industry had a distribution method that worked as well as BitTorrent, tpb would not be anywhere near as much of a threat to their business model as it is.

Earlier this evening I decided I wanted to watch a specific movie (A Thin Red Line by Terrance Malick), so I turned my Apple TV, searched for it, bought it ($7.99)*, and started watching it during a period of time that was likely shorter than it took for you to read this sentence.

Why is it that the capitalists seem to be so bad at captialism?

Consumers spent 55+ billion dollars on digital entertainment last year, so guess they aren't that bad at it.

*I probably now own this movie in four different formats. Oh well, I don't own anything that can play the other three (VHS, DVD, BlueRay)
posted by sideshow at 9:02 PM on May 23 [7 favorites]


Opening up your ports is a non-trivial operation that's critical to getting BitTorrent to work. Meanwhile, Netflix offers downloads for offline watching.
posted by Merus at 9:16 PM on May 23 [2 favorites]


Earlier this evening I decided I wanted to watch a specific movie (A Thin Red Line by Terrance Malick), so I turned my Apple TV, searched for it, bought it ($7.99)*, and started watching it during a period of time that was likely shorter than it took for you to read this sentence.

Do you think that without the continuous pressure that the pirates exert on the market it would ever have gotten than easy for you? I doubt the entertainment industry would ever have made any efforts with streaming media if people hadn't been rampantly pirating their content. In a captured market pirates create the competition that drives innovation.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 9:18 PM on May 23 [18 favorites]


Three of the last four films I was interested in watching enough to seek out turned out to be unavailable from any properly licensed distributor in the US. Not weird documentaries, just middling 1980s and 1990s films from major studios that received wide release that you'd expect to be available somewhere.

But no, not Google, not Amazon, not Vudu, not Hulu, not Netflix, not Apple, not VRV, not Crunchyroll, or anyone else.

So I go through the slightly longer process of having a particular piece of software search a wide variety of unlicensed sources and what do you know, rips of every past physical media release were available in a myriad languages with working subtitles, ready for me to watch in less than 10 seconds at my pleasure.

The only reason the unlicensed stuff takes slightly longer to get ahold of are the legal impediments placed in their way. If it weren't for that, the existing platforms would lose in a big way thanks to the catalog fragmentation and their stubborn refusal to let people download content to work around the issues that streaming sometimes brings.
posted by wierdo at 9:19 PM on May 23 [6 favorites]


Why is it that the capitalists seem to be so bad at captialism?

I just googled “young Frankenstein streaming,” was delighted to see an Amazon prime video link, and then significantly less delighted to see “this video is temporarily unavailable.” So as far as I can tell it’s not available anywhere, which is pretty good evidence that capitalism is fucking up. Add it to the list.

I wish I fucked with tpb and such. I don’t, because I don’t want to deal with the possibility of my computer getting fucked up etc (oh, I remember college), but like...damn, dude. I bet they have it.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:22 PM on May 23 [2 favorites]


yes they have it in many formats
posted by a humble nudibranch at 9:34 PM on May 23 [3 favorites]


I worry that some people may be implying (other people think) that piracy is questionable. It's not. How much human culture has already been lost because some service hosted its MP3s or whatever during the time it was briefly possible or profitable to do so? This shit is going to ALL GO AWAY very quickly, faster than flammable film in a studio basement, and much faster than monks copying Augustine over hastily-erased Celsus. IDGAF if Louis is making money on a heartfelt venture whether he's a good person or not. I wouldn't care if my own sister were failing to making money on same. #alexandria
posted by Sterros at 10:34 PM on May 23 [9 favorites]


Google "seedboxes" as one alternative to having your personal computer fucked up by a sketchy site. One similar site I use is called put.io. They handle the torrents for you. Simply copy the link / magnet link, paste it in to put.io. And their servers will handle the download for you.

This lets you get the files without risk of an angry letter, without using your personal bandwidth on seeding, and lets you use a device other than your laptop / desktop to start the torrents. I personally use my iOS devices and my chromebook since they're theoretically more resistant to whatever nasty driveby stuff might be embedded on the tracker site.

They cache files from previous downloads. This means a majority of torrents will complete instantly. This is especially handy when that rare movie turns up with few seeders. Once you have your torrent, you can stream it from their site or download it.

I like put.io for their simplicity. But there's many similar endeavors out there.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 10:42 PM on May 23 [39 favorites]


RIP Demonoid
posted by Rhaomi at 11:02 PM on May 23 [27 favorites]


I fully (morally, I don't need any criminal copyright infringement charges, thanks) support anyone copying any media whatsoever for their own personal use, and with vigor if they are making bonafide backups of things they have purchased or licensed. I also have zero qualms regarding abandonware, vaulted films, or any other media that isn't otherwise available for purchase.

As far as I'm concerned, the law should affirmatively protect individuals and nonprofits from copyright claims based on that sort of copying. More urgently, the idiotic court decisions from when most judges thought a computer was a woman sitting in front of a mechanical calculator that consider ephemeral copies that are made as the byproduct of how computers work need to be rendered moot by legislation clarifying the issue. That should protect individuals who merely download and do not distribute from ridiculous statutory penalties that are a Constitutional issue.

Where it gets a lot harder for me is the folks distributing brand new content that is easily available worldwide and who are clearly doing it for monetary gain given the sheer volume of obviously abusive ads using as networks that have repeatedly distributed malware. Copyright isn't fundamentally a bad thing. The copyright maximalism practiced in the US and most of the Western world, on the other hand, is so out of balance that it's really hard to support any enforcement whatsoever except against the corporations that are so abusive towards individual infringers of their own copyrights.
posted by wierdo at 11:34 PM on May 23 [12 favorites]


Do you think that without the continuous pressure that the pirates exert on the market it would ever have gotten than easy for you?

I left out the part where I work for the part of my company that helps make it so easy, and I got to say, the stupefying amount of money we make, and the even more money we make for the content providers, is very motivating for all parties to make things even more frictionless.

But you are you right, seems like some days we are making them all this cash in spite of what they are trying to do, instead of as a partnership.
posted by sideshow at 11:37 PM on May 23 [1 favorite]


BitTorrent is simply the correct method for achieving high-bandwidth content delivery over packet-switched networks. The end user experience is so many streets ahead of streaming as to be in the next city.

There were old Korean P2P streaming players that utilized torrents in this fashion - originally, if a million people tuned in to a stream, it would kill the streaming server. This player allowed the server to stream live to only a portion of the viewers, who then redistributed it in almost real-time to the rest of the viewers. Like a torrent service, it got faster the more people were watching, rather than getting more congested.

Then it turns out that Google / Amazon / Twitch grew so large and developed such efficient and scalable streaming architecture that this technology became more or less redundant.

Regarding that "very dark" Game of Thrones episode, I do have to say that pirates probably got the better deal with that - the original file was sent out at about 12mbps in H264, while people legitly watching on cable TV got roughly 3-6mbps in H264.

There's also the issue of slow adoption of H265 by non-pirates, I still can't believe how good it looks at extremely low bandwidth - a good 1080p re-encode at 1.5mbps still looks very acceptable and in fact comparable to the dirty 1080p 4mbps H264 encodes done by Youtube. The VP9 encodes by Youtube are pretty good though but they are very fiddly to download - best I have found is a command line interface and you have to separately download the video and audio streams and merge them yourself, because Youtube for efficiency reasons stores them separately, while their older H264 encodes are stored merged.

Stuff I would actually pay good money for: for a new digital media release, sell me a best in class quality encode using H265 or better with minimal size - surely the highly paid engineers you have can do a better job than random pirates on the internet - a superb video encode at 3mbps for example, leveraging some massive computer cluster to run the encode - and give me the file without DRM to store on multiple devices, I can't stream because my internet is horrifically slow down in Australia (hanging out at 1mbps some days and I live in the capital city)
posted by xdvesper at 12:28 AM on May 24 [4 favorites]


Opening up your ports is a non-trivial operation that's critical to getting BitTorrent to work.

It's been a very long time since I encountered a BitTorrent client that doesn't come preconfigured to do this for you via UPnP, which most consumer-grade routers enable by default.

If you're unhappy with UPnP and know enough about your router to have learned how to switch it off, you know enough about your own router to forward one port to one machine inside your LAN.
posted by flabdablet at 3:12 AM on May 24 [6 favorites]


people with a healthy loathing for copyright are, ceteris paribus, better than people who think that respecting copyright is good. By making it easier to circumvent copyright, tpb makes it easier for people to become better people.

People who say things like this generally change their tune when their own livelihood is affected by IP piracy.
posted by spitbull at 3:13 AM on May 24 [3 favorites]


For me, TBP and similar are last-resort tools for finding things I can't easily get my hands on legally. Music that's not on streaming or in print, movies and shows that have either not been released on DVD or were released but no longer available, etc. Or, admittedly, saving me the time and hassle of ripping media I have legit purchased but don't feel like ripping myself.

Now if I could only find a full series run of Benson. The first few seasons were released on DVD, but not the entire thing - and even sailing the high seas of TPB have yielded nothing beyond that.

people with a healthy loathing for copyright are, ceteris paribus, better than people who think that respecting copyright is good.

If this was "people with a healthy loathing for copyright maximalism that only benefits large corporations are..." then I'd agree with you. Respecting people's rights - and I do believe people should have some control over their creations for a reasonable period of time - is good. But, as with too many things these days, it's mainly a tool for corporations to redirect profits away from the people actually doing the work and harmful to society at large.
posted by jzb at 4:58 AM on May 24 [5 favorites]


@xdvesper - I may or may not be a staff member at a large private tracker, but....

There's still a lot of people who's set-up (either hardware or outdated media players) can't handle the h265 content. We (if I was actually a staff member!) get a lot of complaints of "iTs StUtTeRy AnD tHe AuDiO cUtS oUt!" on a large portion of the 265 encodes...
posted by kuanes at 4:59 AM on May 24 [1 favorite]


Someone in that position should probably just respond with a picture of a Shield TV and a note to stop being such a tightwad. ;)
posted by wierdo at 5:32 AM on May 24


People who say things like this generally change their tune when their own livelihood is affected by IP piracy.

As someone who knows quite a few such people: No, not generally. Only the greedy ones.
posted by IAmUnaware at 6:22 AM on May 24 [8 favorites]


It has been nice watching video streaming businesses evolve into something reasonable for consumers. Amazon, Netflix, hell even Apple all have fairly reasonable consumer products. You pay a small price and get to watch a high quality stream immediately. Even five years ago this was difficult, but the video world has finally figured out what the music world did 15 years ago; if you make it easy enough to pay, people will do that instead of pirating.

The problem (as pointed out above) is for all the content that's not on one of the major streaming services. 90s movies, documentaries, etc. Kanopy has stepped into that niche to some extent and is very useful (and free for many Americans via their local library). But there's still a whole lot of content that's hard to find legally. Even more that's hard to find at all; if something never had a digital release you probably aren't going to find a pirated copy of it either.
posted by Nelson at 6:22 AM on May 24 [2 favorites]


People who say things like this generally change their tune when their own livelihood is affected by IP piracy.

In theory my job is threatened by IP piracy. In practise, it has mostly been affected by tax credits and writers' strikes.
posted by clawsoon at 6:42 AM on May 24 [5 favorites]


It has been nice watching video streaming businesses evolve into something reasonable for consumers. Amazon, Netflix, hell even Apple all have fairly reasonable consumer products.

And, along the way, start to become cable companies. If your three favourite shows are only on Netflix, Amazon and HBO, you have to pay three sets of access fees every month. Which is quite a lot of money for three shows.

TPB and its ilk will be around for a while yet.
posted by Devonian at 6:46 AM on May 24 [8 favorites]


if something never had a digital release you probably aren't going to find a pirated copy of it either.

A couple of months ago I had a yen to reconnect with Michael Mann's flawed but rather splendid film The Keep, something or other having reminded me of happily trooping off to my local cult cinema to take it in as a callow and somewhat herbally assisted youth.

The only official consumer release has been on NTSC VHS and Laserdisc, an obsolete analog optical format. A BluRay version is unlikely.

There are a few torrents based on the Laserdisc, most of them as very nearly unwatchable as the original disc itself. Amazon Prime Video wants ten bucks for the privilege of downloading what appears to be a VHS rip that's been cropped 4:3 and looks even worse.

But at some point Netflix apparently streamed it, and some kind soul captured their stream, and now there's a 1280x546 version with a BitTorrent info hash of 0165ac71fb4d4c210e63832f6f39ab89798fe6e7 that looks better than the laserdisc did and will remain available to anybody who wants it for as long as at least one seedbox somewhere in the world has a copy.

Looks even better after using ffmpeg to cut it back from the 60fps that Netflix streamed it at to the 24fps it was originally filmed in. Still not a patch on the original 70mm cinema experience, but if anybody has done a better transcription I'm unaware of it.
posted by flabdablet at 7:11 AM on May 24 [4 favorites]


Music was de-channeled from the start -- and attempts to reintroduce exclusives like at Tidal have been dismal failures. The fact that video requires a ton of different subscriptions to get what you want will only continue to buoy the piracy market.
posted by tclark at 8:56 AM on May 24 [2 favorites]


if something never had a digital release you probably aren't going to find a pirated copy of it either.

For me this has been one of the sadder parts of the changing web - ten-fifteen years ago there were thousands of curated blogs where people were ripping their amazing vinyl collections and uploading rarities via rapidshare/megaupload/torrents.

As blogs (and presumably many of the people) died back, Mega/Rapid were killed, streaming services improved, and YouTube took over the "legitimate" video market, a lot of those deep cuts were lost, possibly forever. TPB simple doesn't and can't have the long tail of niche stuff that I actually want, and nobody is able/willing to even attempt to monetize it - it's simply unavailable to me.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:02 AM on May 24 [4 favorites]


aspersioncast: At least for music, you can find some surprisingly obscure stuff uploaded to YouTube.

And on SoulSeek...
posted by SansPoint at 9:20 AM on May 24 [3 favorites]


Music was de-channeled from the start -- and attempts to reintroduce exclusives like at Tidal have been dismal failures

Everybody still has exclusives. Hell, Spotify has even rolled out exclusive podcasts.
posted by sideshow at 9:24 AM on May 24


> People who say things like this generally change their tune when their own livelihood is affected by IP piracy.
  • It is possible to work in creative fields without one's job depending upon copyright.
  • It is possible to work in creative fields where one's job is positively affected by IP piracy.
  • Copyright is a threat to the preservation of the massive amounts of creative works that people have generated in the last 120 years.
  • Piracy is how to counteract that threat.
  • Pirate archives are the memory of the world.
  • and therefore should be enthroned as king.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 10:21 AM on May 24 [15 favorites]


It seems like Hollywood has accepted that a certain amount of piracy is just the cost of doing business today. The music industry proved that it's futile to try to eliminate it.

And I don't really agree that Hollywood is responsible for piracy by not being accommodating enough. To a certain extent that is true. But there are thousands of people downloading Netflix Originals on TPB when a Netflix subscription is as cheap and convenient as it gets.

The point of TPB is that there are people who consider piracy a political act. I get it, it's the easiest way to stick it to the Man there is. I'm not judging either, I get music off TPB instead of paying for Spotify.
posted by riruro at 10:29 AM on May 24 [2 favorites]


surprisingly obscure stuff uploaded to YouTube.

Oh I know, but at garbage fidelity, poorly curated, and subject to removal without warning.

It's nice that it's there, but 24-bit FLAC with nice scans of the art and liner notes was . . . a lot better.
posted by aspersioncast at 11:39 AM on May 24 [4 favorites]


I'd much enjoy a decently curated torrent site dedicated to out-of-copyright works. There are some, but they seem abandoned. The last one I looked at was proudly boasting it had Zune versions.

I know archive.org is a thing of wonder, but it, like UbuWeb, is overwhelming and isn't torrenty. I want a Pirate Bay of the free and the strange, that I can leave seeding from me on my un-VPN'd connection without getting fingers wagged at me by people who spend just as much time on TPB as anyone else but are paid to be judgy.
posted by Devonian at 11:40 AM on May 24 [4 favorites]


A Pirate Bay of the free and the strange! Beautiful.
posted by aspersioncast at 11:45 AM on May 24


there are thousands of people downloading Netflix Originals on TPB when a Netflix subscription is as cheap and convenient as it gets.

Streaming through a specific client will never be as flexible as having an actual file with no DRM. I have downloaded netflix shows even when I have netflix, because the netflix stream won't get loud enough on my laptop if there's any noise in the room. With a media player of my own, I can turn the volume up in software after my laptop's sound is already at maximum, but with netflix, I'm out of luck there.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:35 PM on May 24 [7 favorites]


People who say things like this generally change their tune when their own livelihood is affected by IP piracy.

I dunno about that. For example, for a lot of musicians I know in my very specific generational cohort:

a.) it's just a given that they aren't going to make a ton of money off recordings
b.) they know the recording industry always offered a pretty shitty deal to the majority of artists anyway
c.) they developed their own taste and their own style by listening to stuff they pirated, so they don't really feel like it is a bad thing - or at least they don't feel like they can say it?

I feel like attitudes are a little different in different fields, though, depending on the expectations people had pre-and-post-Internet-piracy? And for people who significantly younger than me, well...

And I don't really agree that Hollywood is responsible for piracy by not being accommodating enough. To a certain extent that is true. But there are thousands of people downloading Netflix Originals on TPB when a Netflix subscription is as cheap and convenient as it gets.

Netflix is tremendously successful so I don't think they really care much. To be honest we are a bit past Peak Piracy. That might reverse a bit as streaming splinters further, however.
posted by atoxyl at 10:08 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]


I'm on team "sorry, this isn't what I would have chosen to expropriate first, but since we already did it I think it would take more value out of the world to try to put the cat back in the bag than to let it go."
posted by atoxyl at 10:13 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


To be honest we are a bit past Peak Piracy.

I think we're about to see its renaissance. Piracy of video games took a MASSIVE nosedive when the Steam marketplace came along. It also took a significant (but not as huge) of a dive when Netflix was effectively the one-stop-shop for streaming.

Rather than being satisfied with licensing agreements, everyone wants their own walled gardens again.

Piracy will go straight back up and the companies which are trying to gouge us by siloing their content will cry foul. They haven't learned the lesson of the music industry, and soon enough, we'll see if their short-sightedness blows as a big a hole in their profits.

They're stupid. Greedy and stupid, and these corporations deserve to die.
posted by tclark at 10:15 AM on May 25 [3 favorites]


I celebrated learning TBP still exists by downloading copies of a couple CDs I own, because why bother ripping them if someone else has already done so.
posted by aspersioncast at 7:01 PM on May 25 [2 favorites]


Did exactly the same thing with a complete collection of Prisoner Cell Block H that a friend had bought years ago, on hundreds of DVDs in what looks like a road case, and wanted to be able to watch on her tablet. Way way easier just to find a torrent for that than to rip them all myself.

Funny thing about that collection is that at 692 episodes plus extras, it's so big that just the torrent file for it is over a megabyte, which didn't fit within tpb's old size limit back when tpb was still curating torrent files instead of just magnet links. So what you actually get when you search tpb for "prisoner cell block h complete" is a magnet link for a 1.24MB download that is itself the torrent file for the series.

Now that magnet links have become the norm, availability for that intermediate download is very patchy; fortunately, merely knowing that the BitTorrent info hash value for the collection itself works out to 79a8b783e672dfdf9a0f9391d945a488745173fa also makes it redundant.
posted by flabdablet at 11:01 PM on May 25 [2 favorites]


BTW the old school utilitarian Transmission is still being supported to some degree and shows up in the Debian repos.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:50 AM on May 26


Transmission is an excellent BT client, still being quite actively maintained. My tiny home server runs the headless version with the web server UI, and I use the Torrent Control extension for Firefox to feed it magnet links with a single click.
posted by flabdablet at 10:07 AM on May 26


I pirate, but I do have mixed feelings about it. Bandcamp is great, but artists make essentially nothing via Spotify. Idk what the answer is for middle class and below artists trying to make a living off their art. And I have pirated from indie artists, which makes me particularly scummy. And yet I'm mad when people steal shit off webcomic artists' Patreons and share them to people who aren't donating. Which is ridiculously inconsistent of me.
posted by pelvicsorcery at 1:59 PM on May 26


if something never had a digital release you probably aren't going to find a pirated copy of it either.

And then there are maniacs who say buy laser discs and VHS tapes of obscure anime in Japan and create elaborate setups to rip these at the best quality possible who then release them as torrents.

As a hobby.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:32 AM on May 27 [3 favorites]


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