[Marxism] BitTorrent advice

Jeffrey Thomas Piercy snail at mqduck.net
Tue Jul 13 09:51:51 MDT 2010

On 07/13/2010 06:03 AM, Louis Proyect wrote:
> Just for argument's sake, if Random House decides to sit on the memoir I 
> did with Pekar, what would be the legal and technical ramifications of 
> putting the book on BitTorrent? Contact me at lnp3 at panix.com. I really 
> don't want this being discussed on the list for obvious reasons.

I'll start with technical: If there is sufficient interest in your
memoir, it would be a simple matter of getting it out there in the
swarm: in other words, get one copy of the book uploaded and others will
take care of the rest. Doing so is simple. If, on the other hand, the
person wishing to download a copy will only occasionally come around,
it's more of a problem. There will have to be at least one person
running a BitTorrent client who keeps a copy available indefinitely.

Since I don't know your situation, I don't know if doing so would be
legal or not. You could almost certainly get away with it, though. You
might not want to have any direct involvement in doing so, in the
unlikely case that Random House decides to investigate and somehow links
it to, say, your computer (I don't know what kind of relationship you
have with them). Lawsuits based on file-sharing activity are extremely
rare. Almost certainly, anyone providing something illegally online will
simply get a demand to cease doing so.

If the total file size isn't too large, you could put it up on one of
the many free and anonymous file hosting sites. They generally limit the
size to under around 50-100MB. You can split the file(s) up into
50-100MB pieces, but it's a small hassle to download each one and you
can't cue them up to download one after another or simultaneously, so
too many pieces gets extremely irritating and time-consuming for the

You could try recruiting some people to keep your memoir in their
BitTorrent seed (ie, upload) list. I'd be willing to (I have a great
ISP, which won't give any information on you or give you any reprimand
unless ordered to by court) but I don't run my client 24/7 so,
practically speaking, you'd need more than one person like myself.
Multiple people would also protect each of them.

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