I think that the BitTorrent protocol is a perfect example where the gun is blamed for the crimes commited, instead of the actual criminal. An escape goat, if you will. In this case, the crime is making and distributing illegal copies of games, movies, music and pretty much anything that can be turned in digital format. Obviously, such practices ended up investigated even by the FBI. But that's not the entire story. The BitTorrent protocol is used for a lot of legal downloads:
- download legal media (music, like Nine Inch Nails' "The Slip")
- download Open Source software (including Linux distributions like Fedora)
- and even free games (America's Army being the first example that came to my mind).
Further more, because of the bandwidth reduction it provides for the person distributing the file, you'd say that all organizations would switch to use this protocol. Except the fact that it's hard to charge money for each download. Because once the torrent file is out, anybody can download the game/film/music album, and the copyright holder has no controll over the distribution. And if you're trying to make some money from the game/film/music album you've released, then this is a problem. The problem is actually so big that a lot of people use the protocol to (guess what!) download copyrighted game/film/music album otherwise they'd have to pay for.
But in case of mods, you're not supposed to sell them anyway. So, how comes that you don't see that many torrent files related to mods?
"To torrent, or not to torrent", that is the Question!