The Real King of BitTorrent

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We’ve watched the myth of Game of Thrones unfold online. We’ve seen the stories: how the season finale set a new “BitTorrent Piracy Record”, allegedly downloaded by 5.2 million people worldwide. And on that note: we’d like to set the record straight.

The idea of a “BitTorrent Piracy Record” is a complete fabrication. Because there’s actually no such thing as a “BitTorrent piracy record”. Because piracy happens outside the BitTorrent ecosystem.

We don’t host infringing content. We don’t point to it. It’s literally impossible to “illegally download something on BitTorrent.” To pirate stuff, you need more than a protocol. You need search, a pirate content site, and a content manager. We offer none of those things. If you’re using BitTorrent for piracy, you’re doing it wrong.

These so-called “records” are presumably based on numbers from pirate websites that have no affiliation with BitTorrent, Inc. If they’re corroborated using data from pirate websites, they’re “Internet Piracy Records”. They’re not “BitTorrent Piracy Records”.

BitTorrent; the open-source protocol, the company, was built for innovation. We don’t endorse piracy. We don’t tally up illegal downloads, and crown pirate-kings. But these kinds of stories give us the opportunity to tell the truth about what’s going on inside BitTorrent.

In partnership with the Internet Archive, artists, labels and studios, we’ve made more than two million pieces of licensed, legal content available for download over the BitTorrent protocol. We’ve built a legit media ecosystem designed to close the gap between creators and fans. In 2012 alone, titles from this collection have been downloaded over 152 million times.

So, we took a look the real BitTorrent numbers; the ones we can verify through our BitTorrent Bundle program. We discovered that the real king of BitTorrent isn’t Game of Thrones. With 8,626,987 downloads, hands-down-most-downloaded show of 2013 via BitTorrent is Epic Meal Time; a show -published into BitTorrent willingly and legally by the creators themselves. That’s nearly double the claimed downloads of the Game of Thrones finale.

Let’s be clear; we are huge fans of Game of Thrones, and we encourage you to watch it – legally. But the Internet has spoken. And, honestly: we can’t say we’re surprised that bacon won BitTorrent.

Matt Mason
Written by: Matt Mason

Matt Mason currently serves as Vice President of Marketing at BitTorrent, Inc. He is also the bestselling author of The Pirate’s Dilemma, the first book in the history of the world to hit the number one spot on Amazon’s economics/free enterprise bestseller list and the rap bestseller list at the same time. He has written and produced TV series, screenplays, comic strips, apps and records, not to mention award-winning, global advertising campaigns. His journalism has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, The Observer Music Monthly, Dazed & Confused, Adweek, VICE, and other publications in more than 20 countries.

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