Chess Pirates: the rise of Bit Torrent, Usenet and P2P

As a website owner I can, of course, see emerging trends in terms of people’s searching patterns.  For example, since its launch a couple of weeks ago, 100s of people have been using the search terms ‘Houdini 2.0 chess engine free download’ – and various combinations thereof.

As of today, though, another trend is developing; that being, people searching for Houdini 2.0 engines on Bit Torrent, Usenet and other peer 2 peer (P2P) file sharing websites.  As a publishing veteran myself, both print and digital, I’ve mixed views on such technologies.

On one hand, it’s not unreasonable to share a scanned image of 100 year-old book; long out of print, and outside of copyright.  On the other hand, it is unreasonable to share commercial Chess software (videos, books, etc); perhaps, even more so when said Author is a small-business owner, that’s given much to the world of Chess.

I, for example, publish a small range of commercial Chess PDFs.  I’ve invested $100s, to develop the website, to help chess enthusiasts. I do this for the love of the game, rather than the cash it generates; the goal is, quite simply, to cover the costs of the website (e.g. hosting, etc.).

I suspect many Chess website owners run their sites on a similar basis and so, in the long term, my opinion is that Chess piracy is a bad thing. If every commercial Chess product is pirated then, at some point, there will be fewer commercial products; surely, that’s not a good thing?

Perhaps, keep this in mind, before downloading and/or sharing commercial Chess software, sharing videos, scanning books, etc.