Today I needed to get a mp3 file for a certain band fast, no it wasn't Norma Jean. The file I needed was actually released royalty free via Creative Commons license so I am allowed to download and distribute for free. I found a torrent tracker that hosted the album the mp3 was in so I downloaded the .torrent file and proceeded to open. Upon doing so, I learned that my distro of linux doesn't have a pre-installed torrent software so I headed over to download.com. I was sad to learn they didn't have a linux version of uTorrent, but I saw something else. It was right in front of my face. The #1 site to get the tools to download torrents, rip DVD's, and all sorts of other illegal activities is owned by C|Net. C|Net is a large geek based media company and their parent company is none other than CBS Interactive / Viacom. Viacom, along with CBS, is the top sponsor of SOPA and has had thousands of lawsuits filed on their behalf over movies and music piracy.
Why would this company that is so against piracy allow people to download the software to do so? Of course you can download legal files as I was looking to do, but Viacom has stated that the main reason people use the software was for illegal purposes and therefore the software shouldn't exist. MGM stated in court records that "one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is LIABLE for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties regadless of the device's non-infringing uses." So basically that means C|Net and parent company Viacom are guilty of the infringement of their media.
Viacom isn't the only company guilty of this. Time Warner had a partnership with Kazaa a few years ago and distributed a co-branded version through AOL and Time Warner affiliate's. Disney had a version of Limewire available through ESPN and Go. I love these piracy circlejerks.