No, not intense downpours of gunge; I’m referring to file sharing. Over the couple of years that this site/blog has been running, I’ve come to realise that it has two big disadvantages: 1, the lack of forum-style discussion, and 2, the lack of any means for people to share video clips, without having to resort to third-party hosting.
As most of you are aware, my main means of posting video content to the site has been through various YouTube aliases. YouTube’s ‘unlisted’ option has been a godsend, but even this is no help against automated copyright filtering, which is becoming more and more common. As for videos posted by other accounts, the average lifetime seems to be a small number of weeks, if not days. The number of dead links on here is ridiculous.
There was great excitement at the appearance of WamTube about half a year ago – the first free, real-time WAM clip-sharing site since the WamMonkey vidshare. Sadly, it was all over far too quickly, purportedly because the storage and bandwidth exceeded what the owner was willing to pay.
I began thinking about ways round this problem, and the thought came to me – why not a Torrent site? For those unfamiliar with the term, BitTorrent is the world’s most popular peer2peer protocol. 40-70% (depending on location) of the world’s internet traffic is BitTorrent, and at any given moment, more people are ‘using’ the service than FaceBook and Twitter combined (I put the inverted comments because one doesn’t actually have to be sitting at the computer to use it).
Many of the TV shows I post on the site came into my possession via Torrent distribution. Wipeout, Killer Karaoke, AKBingo!, Idoling!!!, Coronation Street – all Torrents. You can peruse some of the sites I use under “mainstream sources” on the righthand bar.
The advantage is that there is no need to maintain the files on an expensive, vulnerable central server, because the users provide that service themselves. When you receive a copy of a file via BitTorrent, it comes from those who already have it. Every download is someone else’s upload. This means that once there are a lot of people all ‘seeding’ the file, the download speeds will be very fast. Another advantage is that if your connection is disrupted during download, you can pick up again from where you left off. And there are no captchas to enter, no annoying countdowns before you can download, no paywalls, and no copyright filters. Peer2peer is the ultimate in community self-reliance and freedom – a middle finger to corporations and governments alike.
So it got me wondering, why has there never been a WAM clip Torrent site? Are wammers less computer-literate than other online communities? Well let’s find out. Below is a link to a torrent of the Ann-Margret scene from Tommy (it took me less than two minutes to create).
TGTommy.avi – 178Mb
In the beginning, the download speed will be slow, because there’ll only be my computer uploading, and if you happen to try while I’m switched off then you won’t get anything. But, as more people complete their download, and provided they are good neighbours who seed what they have downloaded, speeds should pick up.
If this works out then it could be the first entry in a huge global library of WAM.
Well, plenty of people have had their say and we’ve heard a variety of opinions. After sleeping on the issue, I want to take a more conciliatory tone on this. I stand by the principles of what I said, but I realise I that in places I expressed myself in an sniping or immature way, so I apologise for that. As I’m sure I’ve made clear, I disagree with certain aspects of the law, but at present time it is the law and I have to recognise that.
So to be clear: The intention is to use Torrents to share WAM clips from mainstream sources such as TV shows and films (or indeed any original content that the producer wants to share). It is my impression that this has long been uncontroversial in the WAM community (hell, some people even make money from distributing these clips). It is my hope that this will improve the longevity of this site’s clip collection by getting round the problem of clips disappearing (for a variety of reasons) from streaming sites. It is also intended to encourage wider participation by providing a means for people with clips stashed away on their computers to share them.
To WAM producers: Your works have never been shared on this site, and that is not about to change. You have my word: any clips currently available for sale from WAM producers will not be posted here. Equally, however, you cannot tell us what we can and can’t do beyond that.
Anyway, here is the link where the torrents will appear: