BitTorrent, and the words “legit” are rarely seen in the same sentence, but the company behind one of the world’s most popular peer to peer downloading clients is hoping 2013 will be the year this all changes. Matt Mason, executive director of marketing for BitTorrent claims he’s been working non stop with content companies for the last several years, and is looking for ways to warm relations, and create partnerships to distribute content legally. As you would no doubt imagine, this is a bit of an uphill battle given how often the company’s products are used to share files illegally.
“We’ve been trying to groom the entertainment industry to think about BitTorrent as a partner,” said Mason. “It’s a constant challenge,” he said. “People don’t even know we’re a company. They think we’re two teenagers in a basement in Sweden.”
The company tried launching an iTunes alternative back in 2008, but the company’s 160+ million users, 40 million of whom use their products daily, simply weren’t onboard with the concept. BitTorrent is also hoping to continue licensing out its protocol, Facebook being a high profile example of a company that uses this technology to quickly transfer files during server updates. The company hopes at the very least partnerships with TV and set-top box makers will help them continue to push torrents as a viable protocol for inexpensive media distribution, and not just a source of piracy.
Do you think BitTorrent can go legit? Or is the community backing this company only looking for a free ride?