Good post on TechCrunch about BitTorrent trying to grow up, and not just the really impressive distribution deals they’ve signed.
First, I’m impressed with the movie/TV industry that they’ve embraced the new distribution channels (like YouTube and BitTorrent) as well as they have, but then again, they didn’t have much choice. It took a long time for the RIAA to get on it, and they’ve spent more time in court than selling music. In fact, if it wasn’t for Apple, they wouldn’t be selling much music at all (and that was more of a success from the iPod, than from iTunes). The movie people saw the writing on the wall and knew they’d rather join them than beat them.
Second, I for one am glad that BitTorrent is trying to stay legit. It may piss off their users, but I think they have to do something if they’re going to stay relevant. Relevance still follows money more than anything else, and if BitTorrent can make actual $ off their network and reach, more power to them. (But it’s gonna be a tough battle; it’s only interesting right now because of the free media you can find.)
Third, I just have to bitch about the people on TechCrunch who commented on the story who said that it’s a bad idea to take out Bram Cohen, or more generally the founders of a startup from management. I don’t know Bram Cohen, I know nothing about him, but I can say that I’ve met many founders of startups and there is absolutely no correlation between the ability to create a protocol (like Cohen did) or write a piece of software or develop an algorithm, and the ability to run a business. If anything, there is probably a negative correlation. As a co-founder of a company myself, I know that success has much more to do with execution and management than it does with that one idea that one guy had that one time.