BitTorrent has given a sharp response to the RIAA’s open letter demanding that the company do more to tackle music piracy online. “As informed commentary in the past few days has made plain, there is a distinction between the BitTorrent protocol and piracy,” the company told VentureBeat. “Piracy is a real thing, but BitTorrent, Inc. is not the source. We do not host, promote, or facilitate copyright infringing content and the protocol, which is in the public domain, is a legal technology.”
Clear enough, except that the response doesn’t really address the direct challenge posed by the RIAA’s letter, which focused on “the software client applications developed, marketed, and distributed by BitTorrent” – its BitTorrent and µTorrent clients – which the RIAA claims were used for “75% of the over 1.6 million torrent based infringements” of its members’ works in the US in 2014 for which notices were sent. Distributing the tools that people choose to use for piratical purposes may leave BitTorrent in the clear legally, but the company has declined to respond to the RIAA’s request that it collaborate on incorporating features to block downloads of copyrighted files in those two clients.