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  1. Newbie
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      • China
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    • Join Date: Nov 2013
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    What does "plumbing" mean in this context?

    Hi teachers,

    This dialogue was part of an interview between a BBC reporter(A) and the inventor of BitTorrent Bram Cohen(B) in a TV show:

    B: We've never been sued, so that's good.
    A: Why is that, do you think?
    B: Because we are technology venders. And also...
    A: So you are just the plumbing basically.
    B: Yeah, and I've also never been like rah-rah piracy...

    I don't quite understand what "the plumbing" mean here and I don't see anything to do with plumbing in the context, but since this is what I heard rather than read so if I misheard something please help to point it out.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Key Member
    Interested in Language
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    Re: What does "plumbing" mean in this context?

    not a teacher

    Normally "plumbing" refers to a system of pipes and fixtures used to carry and supply water or gas. In this case it is used as an analogy for the carrying of digital information on BitTorrent. He is saying that they don't get sued because they are not actually stealing the digital information, they are merely carrying it, they are the "plumbing".

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