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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Noninfringing Torrents

Thad Anderson emails some more anecdotal data about the public interest material available thanks to via BitTorrent:

In the 48 hours since I put the Grokster decision on the BitTorrent network, 523 people have downloaded it, totaling over 28,000 pages downloaded. Over 1,624 people have downloaded the 181 MB "Return of the Fallen" torrent of Pentagon photos, representing 293 gigs of data transmitted. Another 1,300 people have downloaded the torrent of World War II documents (which includes the Surrenders of Germany and Japan, and FDR's notes for his Pearl Harbor speech), and another 630 have downloaded the torrent of American Revolution documents (includes the Constitution, Declaration of Ind., original Great Seal, etc.).

All told, during the three-month period from March 27 to June 27, the total number of pages of documents downloaded from via P2P was just over 3,000,000, along with several hundred hours of audio files (the Betamax oral arguments and Deep Throat's phone call with Nixon).

Since the Supreme Court found the Sony test did not apply where there were sufficient indicators of inducement to infringe and/or intent that users will infringe, it's not clear that any amount of noninfringing use would immunize a software maker from liability where enough of those kind of indicators are present. However, noninfringing uses certainly can't hurt, especially in close cases, and certainly in cases where it's not possible to show inducement or intent they may determine the outcome of the case. That's why it's good that Adam Curry will be supporting BitTorrent. I'm also going to create a Prodigem torrent for The Bag and Baggage Podcast as soon as I get a bit of free time in the next few days.

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