Back to Blog
TorrentReactor, Technobrega

The Russian Town of TorrentReactor, Technobrega, and profiting from Pirates

September 6, 2010

In earlier posts we have written about the continuing battle between file sharing members of the public and the record and film industries, covering their attempts to discouraging infringement through legal action, and digital rights management technology.  We have also reported on the seizure of domain names pointing to websites that encourage infringement.  Despite these efforts however, file sharing communities continue to thrive, and in some cases, to turn a profit.  A recent move by one of the most popular BitTorrent websites in the world, TorrentReactor, offers a clear indication that the war against file sharing is far from over.  The site announced last month that they had ‘bought’ the Russian town of Gar, renaming it TorrentReactor.

 While this publicity stunt is likely to incense many of those who have been striving to combat infringement online, in other parts of the world copyright owners have a different take on the issues entirely.  The popular Brazilian Technobrega movement, rather than taking expensive legal action against music sharing, has embraced it wholeheartedly.  Technobrega artists make money not from CD sales, but from live performances.  To encourage ticket sales for these shows they actively promote the free distribution of their works, with no expectation of receiving royalties.  They hand their material over to street distributors, who will copy and sell these on themselves, each copy acting as an advertisement for the artist’s live shows.

This is not the only illustration of differing attitudes towards copyright in Brazil.  Following an invitation for public comment on copyright legislation, proposals have been put forward in support of legalizing file sharing in exchange for levies on the provision of broadband internet connections.  While the feasibility of the proposals remains unclear, the Brazilian approach is refreshing, and even goes so far as to include sanctions to discourage the use of DRM to hinder fair use of copyright material.

It can be argued that cultural and economic differences between jurisdictions have a considerable bearing on whether or not certain changes to copyright legislation are practical, but it is difficult to ignore the widespread dissatisfaction with the traditional approach.  It will be interesting to see the impact of the Brazilian reforms once they are finalised, and implemented.