File sharing sites start off aiming for piracy. That's why these sites are so popular. Somewhere along the way, the same file sharing sites attempt to ward off legal troubles by becoming legitimate sites. Often, this fails, as was the case with Napster. The Pirate Bay is one of the few file sharing sites that still exists as it always was -- rebels of sorts.
Today, BitTorrent announced a new format that attempts to bring the file sharing site full circle. The new format will make the site seem more legit, but will BitTorrent founders actually succeed in this task?
The New BitTorrent File Format
BitTorrent has created something called the "BitTorrent Bundle." This format prompts creators to ask for a specific action before a file can be downloaded. For example: a creator may ask for a payment prior to download. This new file format bundle is being released by BitTorrent in conjunction with a new record release by DJ Kaskade.
DJ Kaskade is releasing a BitTorrent file in exchange for fan emails (see how this whole bundle thing works?). Those who want to download the new release can do so by entering an email address. After that address has been given to Kaskade's people, the file will become accessible. Content creators can ask fans for anything and include extra goodies in return (like exclusive software or game access, for example).
Enticing Media Owners
BitTorrent is aiming directly at content providers with the new bundles. People can still download files for free, but now those files will come with some kind of stipulation. It's easy to see why record labels and content owners would appreciate BitTorrent's new Bundle, but how will fans react?
Will This Work...and Problems With This Idea
There are some inherent problems with the new BitTorrent Bundle option. First of all, those who are simply attempting to spread malware can set up a Bundle. This Bundle might seem legit, and people may give out email or other information, but it could be filled with malware.
The other problem is that any great file will simply be obtained and then spread across the Internet. This would defeat the purpose of the Bundles. But, the new files may work for some people and for some file providers. At the very least, it's one way for BitTorrent to try and make things legit. Whether or not it will work is a different story altogether.
Will You Use It?
Will you test out BitTorrent's new Bundles? If you do, be careful about the information that you are giving out, and try to download files from trustworthy sources, if possible. As mentioned, this new file format will be a playground for malicious malware creators, so keep this in mind.
BitTorrent's new Bundle file option is available today. To set up a Bundle, head to BitTorrent's main website, and create your Bundle. The new Bundles could be a great way to market a product, but there are definitely some dangers here too.