January 10, 2007
Yesterday, Slyck wrote about the benefits of using BitTorrent to distribute large files online. It vastly decreases the amount of server overhead by distributing bandwidth outside of a central resource. It also fosters a community atmosphere, or in the case of AntsMarching.com, a Dave Mathews Band fan site, furthers an already established community.
Dave Mathews Band has separated itself from many other other artists by allowing fans to record live tapings of its concerts and freely trading and distributing them. Whether trading CDs or other digital copies, fans are permitted to distribute live sound recordings without consequence of copyright infringement.
The band has also gone to the unusual step of encouraging and educating its fans how to defeat the copyright protection, AKA DRM (Digital Rights Managment) on one of its latest CDs. In 2005, fans had reported difficulty importing content from the "Stand Up" CD to the iPod.
However this difficulty doesn't exist when trading live recordings. Fan based content doesn't suffer from DRM, copyright protection, or any of the other smoke and mirrors employed by the recording industry. Providing that fans abide by a rather liberal set of guidelines, live recordings have been traded since day one.
"All recordings must be used for personal use or trading only. Selling or commercializing any recording is illegal and will jeopardize taping privileges for everyone. Please read our Bootleg Statement for more information."
Sounds reasonable enough. AntsMarching.com hopes to invigorate this tradition by applying a new technology in the form of BitTorrent. To meet what will likely be a significant demand, AntsMarching has installed a dedicated tracker and torrent download section.
"On our fifth birthday, we again wanted to give the community something special. AntsMarching.org has embraced the concept of BitTorrent, and we've integrated a Tracker into the site for our members. The Tracker integrates into the Discussion Forum, and can also be accessed by way of our revamped Download Area. "
The site has also included a brief tutorial on the usage of BitTorrent, as this new feature is a quantum departure from the traditional web based download. AntsMarching's tracker is only for legal recordings, and has been adamant about enforcing this policy. Although most existing trackers likely already have a good collection of Dave Matthews' music, this latest addition should provide a unique avenue for sharing and discovering new live recordings.