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Popular TV torrent site The Box is closing down on September 1st due to an “increasingly hostile climate towards torrent sites”. The Box boasts a community of over 90,000 members since their opening in 2007 and more than 110,000 torrents.
Unfortunately, the people behind the site believe it is time to call it quits. With the ever-increasing government sanctions being handed out to such sites it just doesn’t seem like a safe option to keep the site on-line.
As of late there has been a strong political focus on torrent sites in both the UK and abroad. In fact at the end of June 2013, the UK announced that £2.5 million of the public’s pocket-money shall be invested into a new intellectual property crime unit.
ISPs are now being forced to block specific websites too – or instead face fines. This brings a whole load of questions into play regarding the subject of censorship. Where does the line get on drawn on what is blocked and what is not blocked?
The UK seems to be in a predicament where by the people whom run the country carry outdated opinions that are often enforced on to the majority.
If torrent sites are so popular why not create a suitable alternative before shutting them all down?
So, why are torrent sites so popular? I believe there are a few reasons, the two most prominent of which are the lack of adverts and the fact that the material is free.
I won’t touch on the free aspect but as for the advertising…
After writing the below I realized that by re-evaluating the advertising problem you also eliminate the issue of content being free.
Many people browsing the internet today are no longer getting bombarded by adverts after the invention of AdBlock. This revelation has given blogs and other sites a chance to step back and ponder on new forms of monetization. In fact (most) bloggers seem to have gotten used to and embraced AdBlock because by nature it is just an awesome idea.
So, back to the point. If we take the same AdBlock philosophy and apply it to TV, film, music and so on – what do we get? Hopefully we get a new monetization idea. Monetization 2.0 if you like.
I have not thought in-depth about what alternatives there are to adverts, however, one or two pop into my mind immediately.
How about an idea similar to Flattr? You donate to TV shows that you wish to stay on air. This allows the audience to decipher what is bearable and then sieves crap shows off the mind control box.
I hate to say it, but, what about something like X-factor; whereby viewers call for a small price and achieve a certain goal.
Both of the above alternatives seem to make TV a little more interactive. They involve the audience, people get to decide what is good and what is not and it also filters out time filling TV which should have never been aired in the first place.
I understand that one con to both these options is the (potential) lack of money involved. Although, maybe less money means the wealth gets spread a little more.
Money can be considered somewhat of an incentive. You do a good job and in turn you get paid well. Also, the Flattr like donation option gives credit (in the form of currency) where credit is due.
I apologize for all the left-wing drivel but I feel as if the media industry needs to move with the times. The world is moving forward and it is time both our governments and copyright lovers adapt to this change.
All of this is just one mans opinion but it is indeed food for thought. Tell me what you think, am I wrong? Got any ideas that I didn’t consider?