When I was managing editor at GigaOM last year, I used to look forward to the P2P posts from Janko Roettgers for the NewTeeVee site, because they were always interesting and offered a nuanced take not found in many other places. Today Janko scores again with a post about how BitTorrent isn’t just for blockbuster movies, a fact that may escape those who only scratch the surface of the P2P world.
Janko’s post is a bit of a reply to Tim Wu’s recent article for Slate, where the esteemed legal scholar came up empty-handed after searching popular P2P sites for Sundance-type films. Wu’s following hypothesis — that pirates are interested mainly in big-money films — is partially on, but as Janko points out it is possible to find artsy and niche material, but you have to look a bit harder. Maybe it’s the online equivalent of finding a cool record store that specializes in quirky stuff, as opposed to scanning the bins at Best Buy. Good thing we NewTeeVee fans have Janko around to peer down those dark alleys and find what others miss.