Some BitTorrent users, it seems, are entitled idiots. The recent controversy about magnet links on The Pirate Bay is one example – people threatened to stop using the infamous piracy site because of the switch, which forced people to update their BitTorrent clients and not much else – but that doesn’t come close to the entitlement another recent story reveals.
Imagine this – you get all of your entertainment free of charge, courtesy of people who record it for you in their spare time and put it on the Internet. Then these people, who you’re not paying, change the format they are offering this free entertainment in. Would you, realizing that you’re getting free entertainment because of volunteers, just accept it? Or would you complain about it in the comments section of torrent sites?
At least some people opted for the second choice. That level of entitlement is shocking.
The Story So Far…
More and more torrent sites are offering TV shows and movies as MP4 files using the x246 codec instead of the dated Divx standard. Why? Because the organizations that rip these shows and release them are changing, for a variety of reasons outlined in a document called The SD x264 TV Releasing Standards 2012. Catchy name, I know.
Simply put, the groups that initially rip these files switched formats. These groups typically upload the files to Usenet; from there they generally migrate to BitTorrent sites across the web.
So BitTorrent users, because of the choice of strangers several layers removed from their favourite torrent sites, faced new formats while consuming their media. Instead of installing the new codec and moving on with their lives, however, people took to comment sections, representing the 99% of leechers against the nefarious 1% of uploaders.
Here’s a sample of the comments:
“LOL, why are all your new uploads MP4 format? How do we get hold of you? We need the AVI format back, really frustrating as most DVD players don’t play MP4 format which means we are back to converting format to AVI – how 3rd world LOL”
Yeah, what’s third world about that is the format offered, not the fact that you’re still using a DVD player to play pirated media. Hook a computer up to your TV – it’s not expensive. If your TV was made after 2005, it probably even has one of these:
The next quote contains excessive all-caps, which doesn’t exactly raise the level of discourse.
“MP4 SUCKS AND IS A BULL $#!^ FORMAT. AVI WILL ALWAYS BE KING. MORE TROUBLE THAN IS WORTH. TIME TO GET MY DOWNLOADS FROM A BETTER SITE THAT OFFERS AVI AND I KNOW A MAJORITY OF THE DOWN LOADERS WILL DO THE SAME”
“SO I THINK EZTV HAS A LIMITED LIFE SPAN LEFT IF THEY DO NOT TELL DOWN LOADERS TO GO BACK TO AVI IT IS PROBABLY ALL OVER FOR THIS SITE.”
Whoever you are – you are an entitled parasite, and are the reason why the height of entertainment for future generations will be entirely cellphone videos of cats. How are media companies supposed to keep viewers happy if people like you find reasons to complain about high-quality, advertisement-free content you’ve paid nothing for?
If these are the customers media companies need to make happy in order to be profitable, that chance seems remote. If they find reasons to complain about free copies of expensive-to-produce television episodes how is any company supposed to make money producing TV shows?
Users on the Internet love to complain for services they pay nothing for. Ask Facebook – they’ve turned ignoring customer complaints into an art form, and they’ll likely never pay the price for that.
Behind these complaints, however, is a certain entitlement. People believe things should be given to them, for free, on their own terms. This makes sense with social networks, all of which profit by turning our friendships into commodities. If they’re doing that, they should listen to the concerns of their users.
This isn’t the case for BitTorrent, though. You’re getting something for free. Start acting like it.
Image Credit: Child crying via Shutterstock