August 8, 2008|
A post on ValleyWag recently announced that file-sharing uber-giant BitTorrent would be laying off 12 of its 55 employees. This accounts for the entire sales and marketing department. This decision has been made in light of the recent failure of BitTorrent's staff to sell Best Buy its Torrent Entertainment Network for a rumored $15 million.
Since it's only been a year since CEO Doug Walker replaced founder Bram Cohen, it's likely that the entire company may soon be considering a revamp. After all, Walker commented on making some changes to the store idea last March.
There is speculation that the deal fell through mostly due to the FCC and MPAA's recent crackdown on file sharing. Outspoken Chairman of HDNet Mark Cuban freshly criticized the MPAA for combating the ‘problem' with prevention instead of promotion (we've all seen those commercials with the hip teens extolling the virtues of not stealing songs).
He claims that movie theaters need to invest in a positive message about the fun of going to the actual theater to watch movies, especially with the ever-growing price of admission. Author of The Pirates Dilemma Matt Mason agrees with Cuban, saying that theaters should offer a movie-going experience and quality that will never be surpassed by file sharing.
Can you really ever defeat file sharing programs though? No matter how great the quality and ‘experience', the fact remains that file sharing is free. And "free" almost always wins. Unfortunately for them, BitTorrent also recently learned that it's hard to sell something that's free.