Q&A: isoHunt founder says P2P can help create post-piracy world

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Do you think Hollywood or record companies will seed P2P networks with dud files? Yes. There were those e-mail leaks that showed MediaSentry working with Hollywood to send out fake files to P2P. It's a prime example of how the content industry sends out their own fake files to entrap users, either to sue them or annoy them into thinking P2P is not easy.

This goes back to our legal fight. They are telling us we have all of these infringing files on BitTorrent. At the same time they are contributing to this by adding their own fake files. How am I supposed to know what is fake, what is spam, and what is infringing?

I have done what I can in terms of working with content owners to take down torrents. I extended the invitation to Hollywood. If they want to work with us on taking down something that is infringing, we will gladly take it down. They have not responded to that invitation.

Has anyone? Yes. I won't say their name, but it is one of the members of the MPAA, ironically. The MPAA is suing us, but one of their members is working with us just like a normal copyright owner should. That is what we are arguing to the courts. But the MPAA simply wants to shut us down for its own PR and political reasons. It has nothing to do with actual copyright infringement or damages.

How about TV or movie studios actually seeding trailers or TV shows onto P2P networks? Like leaking a TV pilot before it airs to generate more publicity and hype? There's no definitive evidence they are doing that, but it would make sense as a marketing ploy, so I wouldn't be surprised.

There is also a lot of content that is being openly uploaded and promoted on P2P. I've been talking to a lot of independent filmmakers who make their own Webisodes.

There are also indie musicians and videogame studios that use BitTorrent. For example, World of WarCraft uses BitTorrent to distribute patches. These are big files, so it saves on their bandwidth costs.

So what would you suggest to a movie studio or a music company about how to make money from P2P? You look at the way Hulu embeds ads in TV shows that you can't skip. It's brilliant, and they are making good money.

There are a lot of different ways you can monetize that haven't been explored. And I would very much like to explore them.

I just launched a new site, Hexagon.cc, where I want to work with copyright owners to help them distribute, market and make money. It might be indirect, like MySpace, where musicians put up profiles and songs for exposure.

But MySpace already exists. Why go to Hexagon? We focus on the files, while adding more and more social features. Sharing is, after all, inherently social. In Hexagon, we let you easily create groups in which you can invite your school friends or workmates or other social contacts. That way, you only share with people you know or share the same interests. That's different than isoHunt.

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