BitTorrent To Saturday Night Live: “We’re Not A Website & We Don’t Pirate Movies”

This is not HHS Secretary Sebelius, and BitTorrent is not The Pirate Bay.

This is not HHS Secretary Sebelius, and BitTorrent is not The Pirate Bay.

While people are always saying “I BitTorrented that movie” or “I used BitTorrent to get my hands on some sweet porn,” they’re not talking about a website or a service. Instead, they’re talking about the method through which the shared file was obtained. This distinction was apparently lost on the writing staff at Saturday Night Live this weekend.

The show’s opening segment poked fun at the glitch-tastophre that is Healthcare.gov, with an actress playing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius suggesting ways for consumers to get healthcare-related information while the government’s website is bogged down.

“How about BitTorrent, where you can download pirated copies of healthcare-related movies like Patch Adams?” asks the faux-Sebelius.

This appears to have gotten under the skin of the folks at BitTorrent, who pointed out this morning that they do not operate a website nor do they pirate movies, songs, or anything else.

“BitTorrent is of course a protocol, not a website,” reads a post on the official BitTorrent blog. “It is a way for machines to talk to each other and the most efficient way to move large data sets.”

The post also clarifies that BitTorrent is “not a piracy website and has never hosted pirated content or promoted copyright infringement in any way.”

Blaming BitTorrent for pirated movies would be like blaming the creators of SMTP for all the spam e-mail you receive. Or blaming FedEx because you didn’t like the sweater you ordered from LLbean.

The BitTorrent folks also say it’s ironic that SNL brought up BitTorrent in relation to Healthcare.gov but not with respect to how the protocol could actually be used to ease some of the strain on the site.

If you’re bored, here’s the actual clip from SNL: