Peer-to-peer site LokiTorrent has announced its intention to resist the onslaught of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) against P2P providers and to put out a virtual hat to finance its legal fund. LokiTorrent, which uses BitTorrent technology, posted a letter from the MPAA on its site on Tuesday. That letter states that the MPAA has filed suit against it in a Texas district court, demanding that Loki Torrent cease linking to video files that could infringe studios' copyrights. It read:
"If you've ever benefited from this site or file-sharing in general, now is the time to show your support. We are looking at a cost of $30K per month in fees".By the time this blog was posted, nearly $18,842, or about 60%of the total needed for a month, had been gathered according to a bar graph on the site.
for IP lawyers who don't know if clients can afford their fees
Sites acting as "hubs" for BitTorrent sharing of movies, TV shows and other free downloads are the most recent focus of the copyright holders' war on peer-to-peer technology. BitTorrent technology streamlines downloads by usilising a centralised server that hosts indexing information and locates the actual data files on members' computers. Someone downloading a large file will grab the actual data from one of several members' computers which previously downloaded the file. The result is a faster download that does not overwhelm the bandwidth of any single server. This technology has become an efficient way for companies to offer large downloads legitimately and economically. For example, Linux vendors MandrakeSoft and Xandros offer the free version of their operating system only through a BitTorrent download. By doing so, neither company has to pay large bandwidth fees when a large number of users download the software.
The IPKat really likes the bar-chart idea as a means of tracking contributions to a legal fighting fund: apart from encouraging (or discouraging) contributions, it also gives the other side a clear idea as to the depth of its adversary's pocket if litigation gets serious.
More on litigation funding here and here