Remember when Bittorrent ran these outdoor ads? It began as a tease, with big brother watching you paranoia, as the line "Your data should belong to the NSA," was the show stopper. When the reveal showed it was Bittorrent, nobody was impressed. Least of all musician David Lowery who pointed out that Bittorrent does nothing for your data privacy, even TorrentFreak knows full well that regular BitTorrent transfers through uTorrent or other clients lack any form of privacy, because that's how the software works, duh. So while that straw man may have been a really dumb one to hang your hat on in a campaign, there's more.
A pro-copyright group has spoofed the billboards with banners instead, in particular the "Artists need
to play by the rules options." One banner responds with "Instead of paying artists, we spent money on banners" The banners, seen on Rollingstone.com, The Drudge Report, Mashable, FileHippo, GrooveShark, MediaFire and more places, takes you to Rightthemusic.org. Tom Megginson the ethical ad man says "It sounds like the copyright battle is coming soon to some ads near you". This does look like the firsts shots fired back since the widely mocked don't copy that floppy sequel. Since Bittorrent are trying to re-brand themselves as a decentralized, artist-owned publishing platform: a zero-cost alternative for media distribution it's only fair that people notice "zero cost" also means "Zero income" because "zero moneys" are actually changing hands. Artists need alternatives? How about one where they get paid? That alternative seems to have been taken off the table by everyone whose living does not depend on it. Checking Rightthemusic.org you'll find links to many resources and news stories demonstrating the real damage copyright infringement has done. And in other news, today the popular Canadian Bittorrent site isoHunt was shutdown, and is forced to pay $110 million in damages. Because hosting all these free innocent links delivering free music for free to people apparently makes you stinky filthy rich, while the creators and artists who made the content shared via these links get none of it. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. You know what I think artists need? Someone on their side.
Update October 19 Oh look! We were linked by Torrentfreak last night from: Angry Artists Attack BitTorrent With Spoofed Billboards, which explains why people were yelling anti-copyright clichés to @adland on twitter last night.