What Happened To Piracy Based On Sharing is Caring

Written by Nitish Singh
Last updated July 14, 2021

When piracy took off, it wasn’t built on top of a malicious philosophy. Back then, sharing was the sole purpose of creating peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. Let’s say a person had access to one game - X. This person shared the game with all of his/her online friends, and in return, it was taken that the other receivers will also upload and share a game - Y when they have access to it. The content was the currency; a modern barter system of sorts.

Now yes, people back then used to enable advertisements on their platforms, e.g., Kazaa, and that did manage to generate revenues. But still, money wasn’t the driving motive. When the P2P networks were in its early stages, even then, developers drew their reward from getting the tracker scripts to work and having people to simply come and share something on their website. This satisfaction was priceless.

But, considering our capitalistic nature, the platform started drawing the attention of business-minded individuals. People started to question, ‘how can we make money with this?’, and the answer turned out to be pretty simple. First people targeted the bandwidth - making higher download speed available to only premium members. And so, money came into the picture.

This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing though. You should consider that running a torrent website requires access to resources as well as time. If the admin has to fund everything, soon the site would become unaffordable and will shut down. So taking donations in exchange for certain perks provided a means for the sustenance of the platform.

However, as some websites saw a swarm of overly enthusiastic donors, all the money gathered wasn’t necessary for site maintenance and some went into a savings account, to help during those rainy days. But slowly greed stepped in.

now piracy is not about sharing

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And now, considering the current legal issues involving piracy, most people argue that the money they collected are rightfully earned “danger money.” However, some of the admins are running the websites for the sole purposes of making a buck and are totally out of track from the sharing ideology that sprinted this phenomenon.

Very rarely (though there are some) do we spot a person who is such a purist that he/she refuses to monetize the platform. But regardless, it seems that this populous is drowning out, and capitalization has again won.

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