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BitTorrent Community Running For Cover? 740

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the fun-and-games-over dept.
govatos writes "Bandwidth issues and DOS Attacks brought Bytemonsoon, a popular BitTorrent page down, but now pages are closing for scarier reasons. Torrentse.cx 'recieved a cease and desist letter during the day of Wednesday, July 16, 2003 for copyright infringement. The entire website has been removed and will not return.' Will corporate pressure kill the BitTorrent movement, or will it keep flying from site to site before it settles somewhere 'safe' like Sealand's HavenCo?"
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BitTorrent Community Running For Cover?

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  • Well, on the plus side, the summer movie season is almost over.

    Mike
  • by Samir Gupta (623651) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:08PM (#6467432) Homepage
    The BitTorrent protocol apparently relies on a single "tracker" to keep track of hosts currently in the "torrent". Therefore, all the *AA has to do is shut down that tracker. Even Kazaa and Gnutella is more decentralized with their "supernodes".

    If only they combined the decentralization tracking of other p2p protocols with BitTorrent's distributed and simultaneous upload and download, we'd have a winner.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:17PM (#6467490)
      Decentralization was never the point. It's just a really cool download method.
      • by gfody (514448) * on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:29PM (#6467574)
        give parent more informative points, parents parent thinks bit torrents suppose to be like kazaa or gnutella. its not.

        use a torrent when you have something you want to 'host' on your site but can't bank the bandwidth necessary for everyone to get a decent download rate.

        theres no trying to thwart the *aa built in whatsoever. interesting the poster says some site was shutdown but doesn't say WHY - I'd guess it has nothing to do with the method of hosting but the content
    • by batkiwi (137781) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:26PM (#6467549)
      Bittorrent was not designed as a way to anonymously get files, or to trick the RIAA, or anything like that.

      It was designed as a way for people to distribute large files without paying gobs for bandwidth.
      • So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by twitter (104583) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @11:07PM (#6467827) Homepage Journal
        Bittorrent was not designed as a way to anonymously get files, or to trick the RIAA, or anything like that.

        It was designed as a way for people to distribute large files without paying gobs for bandwidth.

        Wonderful.

        So who do you think shut them down? Why? Because the RIAA will destroy any alternate distribution channel, regardless of content carried. If you have not noticed, the "promotion" business is mostly about suppressing other content. If a DoS won't do it, the **AA's will put their own content up and then send a cease and dissist letter.

        The **AA are going to fail sooner or later. Their technology is simply obsolete and others are starting to produce too much for them to squash. They don't have the resources to fight everyone, and that's what it's comming to. They have enough money and resources to make a few people sorry before they go away. You have to wonder why they bother.

        • Re:So what? (Score:3, Interesting)

          By the way, You aren't seriously insinuating that the RIAA/MPAA placed all of the infringing material on torrentse.cx just so they could cease and desist them, are you?
        • Re:So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Robotech_Master (14247) on Friday July 18, 2003 @10:35AM (#6470513) Homepage Journal
          Oh, come on! This isn't about "alternate distribution channels." This is about blatant copyright infringement, pure and simple. This is about people putting up entire movies, TV series, and bundles of CDs for download on a website. A website with a totally laughable "We don't have any control over what people upload, and upload of copyrighted materials is strictly prohibited!" disclaimer, I might add. (It didn't work for Napster, what made torrentse.cx think it would work for them?)

          Regardless of what we might think about the morality of downloading unauthorized content (and though I do like downloading the stuff as much as the next guy, I don't think that the fact that a big corporation put it out makes it right), copyright infringement is against the law, and the copyright-holders are perfectly within their rights to shut them down.

          In my opinion, the torrentse.cx people, and all the other ones who use something so blatant as a public website to distribute copyrighted and widely available media--TV series, movies taped out of movie theaters, and so on--are just asking to be prosecuted. I mean, with Kazaa at least there's a veneer of anonymity--they have to subpoena your ISP to find out who you are. But with a website, about all you have to do is whois the domain. A website is still a website, and for crying out loud nobody's distributed copyrighted mp3s from unobfuscated websites for at least five years--they learned their lesson the last time the RIAA sued mp3 distribution websites. Quite frankly, I'm surprised torrentse.cx managed to stay around as long as it did.
  • Safe? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msimm (580077) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:08PM (#6467434) Homepage
    I don't think so. Bittorrent is just going to go back to be what it was really designed as: a great way to distribute legal files. The Torrentse's and the Bytemonsoon's where just taking advantage of a hole in the media companies radar. I'm surprized they lasted as long as they did.
  • So? (Score:5, Informative)

    by fobbman (131816) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:08PM (#6467435) Homepage
    I took a look at Torrentse.cx the other day when someone linked to it in a /. comment. The whole thing was pretty much full of illegally-traded software, movies, music, the whole 9 yards.

    Bittorrent is a great application for those situations when large downloads like the Red Hat ISOs are hard to get through the normal servers. Piracy is piracy, and it should be shut down. End of story.

  • real story (Score:3, Informative)

    by rabtech (223758) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:11PM (#6467449) Homepage
    Torrentse.cx died because the lawyers CC'd the co-loc provider and THEY pulled the plug, before torrentse even had a chance to respond. In other words, presumption of guilt.

    Doesn't shock me though - they were getting such a cheap rate that it looked like one of those cut-throat co-loc operations anyway and they aren't much into protection of customers.

    Just another bit of the mentality of the DMCA: assume guilt, ask questions later.
  • by SuperDuG (134989) <be@ec[ ].tk ['lec' in gap]> on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:11PM (#6467450) Homepage Journal
    Until the price meets the demand. The demand is for unlimited multimedia, the price is waiting for it. So until the "copyrighted" material meets what the market sees as fair, then there will be a desire for p2p copyright exchange. Let's face it, most of the stuff on p2p is absolute shit because if they like what they have they'll invest in it, just kills time to have multimedia you don't want to waste money on.

    Don't know how much sense that made, but p2p is too big to stop now, even with a million bazillion lawsuits.

  • by cait56 (677299) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:12PM (#6467460) Homepage

    I've used BitTorrent once or twice myself, and found it to be a good system. That's only once or twice, because there just isn't that much legally distributable material that can reach the required "critical mass" for BitTorrent to be effective and necessary.

    Nevertheless, the fact that there are proven legitimate uses of the code should be enough to prevent the code from disappearing. That, and all the copies that are already downloaded.

    The real question is whether people will feel safe to post BitTorrent links even when they are distributing something that is 100% legit.

    BitTorrent has one major advantage/disadvantage relative to Freenet. You can control what material you are involved in the re-distribution of to match whatever your defintion of "fair use" is. With Freenet you distribute everything or you distribute nothing because you don't know what anything is.

    Personally, I prefer the BitTorrent approach. It would be a shame if the RIAA dogs force everyone to the "know nothing" approach.

    • by Xzzy (111297) <sether@tr u 7 h . o rg> on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:40PM (#6467651) Homepage
      It is a bit of a niche, but it serves that niche REALLY REALLY well. It's a shame all the illegal file sharing is wearing it down.

      The past month I've been using bittorrent to distribute a 500 meg DivX of someone playing a game, basic jist of it was they ran around kicking ass with a VCR running, and they decided to edit it up and distribute it. I put it on my site.. in less than 12 hours I had run up about 20GB of outgoing traffic. Poor server was doing so much I/O working at a shell was almost impossible.

      After panicing (thank someone I don't have bandwidth metering) I threw up a bittorrent tracker and told people what to do. I've been running it since then, maybe 3 weeks now. Been averaging about 100k/sec output since then (sometimes much higher, sometimes much lower). Bittorrent doesn't give me a way to look at how many completed downloads the file has had, but judging from the feedback I've recieved several hundred people have the movie.. who knows how many downloaded it that never said a word.

      Bittorrent amazes me far more than napster ever did.
  • by andy_from_nc (472347) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:13PM (#6467466)
    According to my server Slashdot is the most sophisticated Denial Of Service attack ever written... Distributed no doubt!
  • Simple Solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by joel8x (324102) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:15PM (#6467478) Homepage
    More artists are going to have to offer their creative works themselves. I decided to put all of my former band's work as well as stuff I'm working on now up for free (the site is 8x7.org [8x7.org] if anyone cares), and I have actually started getting interest from other bands I know that want to contribute their music for free. The truth is that the chances that you are going to see any real profit off of a recording is slim to none, so why not just let people listen to it for free? Most musicians make money off of live gigs and merchandising, so why not cut out the middleman (the recording industry) entirely?

    The same thing goes for other content. Look at Homestar Runner [homestarrunner.com]. They offer the content for free, and make money off of the merchandise - its a great formula. Just this week they introduced a set of figurines, and in the first day brought in over $15,000!
    • True, however, remember that ths is the very reason why Indie music labels were founded in the first place - to bypass the middleman while making profit at the same time. As a matter of fact, this approach has become extremely popular.

      Remember that not all people are as generous as your group is, and they want to make profit off of their creativity and music.

  • A Better Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 1000StonedMonkeys (593519) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:21PM (#6467507)
    A better question would be: "Will the continued use of bittorrent by warez kiddies destroy its reputation as a good way to get legitimate files?"
    • Will the continued use of bittorrent by warez kiddies destroy its reputation as a good way to get legitimate files?

      No. It's like asking : "Will the continued use of guns by criminals destroy its reputation as a good way to protect oneself ?"
  • Duuuh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wan23 (636995) <wan23.email@com> on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:22PM (#6467517)
    Does this come as a surprise to anyone? Now, don't get me wrong - I love it. Some sites post the coolest stuff, including stuff you'd never find (or would take years to dl) on any of the popular p2p networks. Though, that being said, have you seen some of these sites? It's the most blatant piracy ever! These guys are just begging to be shut down. It's kinda like the way it was when Napster first got popular and everyone was like "woah! free stuff for the taking!" This is the same thing; once again the ability to steal stuff has been taken to a new level and it's only a matter of time before the rest of the world notices... I just hope someone comes up with a better way to let ppl know about torrents besides posting them on easily shut down web sites.
  • by cca93014 (466820) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:25PM (#6467538) Homepage
    I'm sure the last thing the site needed whilst it was in its death throes was a good slashdotting... ;)

  • pretty pix (Score:5, Informative)

    by vrmlguy (120854) <{samwyse} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:29PM (#6467570) Homepage Journal
    I notice that the link to Torrentse.cx redirects to http://www.redcoat.net/pics/tubgirl.jpg, which is as cheerful a pic as goatse.cx. Am I the only person to follow links?
    • Re:pretty pix (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Zillatron (415756) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @11:09PM (#6467841)
      I notice that the link to Torrentse.cx redirects to http://www.redcoat.net/pics/tubgirl.jpg

      Your kind words were too late for me, but I've never updated my hosts file faster.

      Hey, look at it this way: I'm no longer interested in that unneeded late night snack now...

  • by ThePolemarch (653788) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:29PM (#6467572)
    I did and an appalling picture is there, don't know how the hell I got redirected there, but I am offended beyond belief.
  • Uhm... (Score:4, Informative)

    by rjoseph (159458) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:32PM (#6467593) Homepage
    ...has anyone noticed that the Torrentse.cx linked has changed, a *bit*? I think the editors *might* want to remove that...just a thought...
    • Explanation (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:34PM (#6467605)
      Back in the day, Slashdot linked to them (when they were still up) crushing their server... so, the admins used mod_rewrite to send any Slashdot referred folks to a different site (with a similar url).
  • HavenCo isn't safe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TerryAtWork (598364) <research@aceretail.com> on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:35PM (#6467613)
    The Brits can take it back with a section of Royal Marines anytime they want.

    They're just not motivated to, yet.

  • by enota (592686) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:36PM (#6467620)
    Editors should remove the link to torrentse.cx, it goes to the tubgirl picture. yuck.
  • by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:43PM (#6467676)
    go to a p2p client and type

    .torrent

    into the search option.

    You'll find all sorts of stuff..

    BTW, that was just an observation.
    I use torrents to get new distros, getting them from the official
    ftp sites is impossible when they are hot off the press.
    BT lets me download 3 ISO's in less than three hours..
  • actually... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hfastedge (542013) * on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:43PM (#6467677) Homepage Journal
    the torrentse.cx folks are pure grifter-fucks, plain an simple. They got away with a new server, and probably a boat load of cash on top of that to burn.

    They are selfish shits who didnt even release their code (which bytemonsoon did).

    The least they could have done is stand up to the DMCA , i mean, theres a very notable and recent case that streamcast/grokster won against RIAA/MPAA http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/04/25/18 46251&mode=nested&tid=141&tid=97&tid=1 23 [slashdot.org]
    that applies perfectly to them.

    Could have hired some lawyer time with the money....instead they blow it like the children they are.
  • by Myself (57572) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:47PM (#6467705) Journal
    Even if you don't want to share your content on Freenet, which it might not be big enough to handle yet, you could always share your torrent files. Replacing the centralized part with a totally decentralized network.
  • by Buzz_Litebeer (539463) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:51PM (#6467723) Journal
    Why does Bittorrent always get posted up as a "FILE SHARING" program, its no more a "fire sharing" program than windows IIS. Bittorrent happens to make it convenient for a single distributor to allow access to his files without incurring a major bandwidth costs.

    IN fact to find out someone who does just that, go to gametab.com, or redvsblue.com

    they have saved craploads of bandwidth on there completely legal files. Bandwidth has made it so files can be available that would otherwise be completely unavailable otherwise as the main host went down.

    Bittorrent is being abused as a file distribution method for movies and such, but so is IRC, and so are chat programs and e-mail for christ sake.

    Are we going to ban file send capabilies from chat now because someone might send the HULK over it?

    How about just ban the entire internet? You can argue that Bittorrents greatest use is for downloading large, illegal files,and I might agree with you. But the internet, by your same thinking, is just a big illegal file sharing network too, all you have to do is prove taht more than oh 50% of the bandwidth USED on the internet is used to download illegal content, or hell if your the RIAA just try to prove 20%, and then you could say "well the internet is just a havent for filesharers we should see it shutting down"

    what rediculous bullshit. I have loved bittorrent, I use it to download licenced anime, and to download redvsblue episodes and the odd movie that gets slashdoted.

    The main difference between bittorrent and kaaza, is bittorrent is not an anonymous fileshare program, there is always a single point of distribution, and thus a single person that can be tracked down to have started it.

    why is this a "good" thing? because its not a filesharing program, using bittorrent is not an excercise in your fair use rights, you may be using it as such, but it has a very powerfull, very real legal use for it.

    Unlike kaaza, with a littlle tweaking, bittorrent could be the "big" thing patches and such being distributed, even by companies such as IDSoftware, your not going to do that with a program like Kaaza, because you have no trust of what the file is going to be. On bittorrent since it comes from a single original source file, you have complete trust of the content being sent to you.

    I dont know, i am repsonding to the few threads i saw "but bittorrent is illegal" and i started in a new thread cause i could easily see them getitng modded down.

    Buzz OUT
  • by Lelon (443322) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @11:01PM (#6467786) Homepage Journal
    First off, it's very important to note that bittorrent isn't a P2P network; it is a completely new protocol, fundamentally different then anything that has come before it. In that regard, the "movement" so to speak will not die. The technology will continue to be improved on and it will continue to be used by people who love to get distros the second they come out. Hopefully, we'll finally see bittorrent get some commercial use. There is no reason every game company shouldn't be releasing their betas/demos with bittorrent. It is perfect for these companies that use very little bandwidth, but then every so often require HUGE amounts of bandwidth that force them to use mirrors, which are becoming increasingly annoying. Bittorrent is really a revolutionary innovation, IMO.

    But, it has some serious shortcomings that need to be addressed. For a technology that promises infinitely scalable bandwidth, the tracker isn't very scalable at all. Multi-tracker functions (both the interconnectivity of trackers and the use of multiple isolated trackers within the torrent) are an absolute must for this technology to prosper. Also, an apache mod where you could simply upload the file to your web server and not have to worry about running a bittorrent "seed" would be great. From the companies standpoint nothing has really changed, but instead of everyone flooding your website to get this file, the file is only accessible by your bittorrent tracker, so your bandwidth remains consistent. And the company doesn't need to run a separate seed process for the thousands of files it may be serving, the apache mod would only open connections for files that are requested by the tracker (which would only request the file if the full file wasn't already being distributed by those connected).

    As for the piracy aspect, I don't really see it going anywhere but I also don't see it growing. There is always going to be some site where you can upload torrents, and that site will always die within 6 months only to be replaced by another.
    • by Majix (139279) on Friday July 18, 2003 @02:34AM (#6468725) Homepage
      Also, an apache mod where you could simply upload the file to your web server and not have to worry about running a bittorrent "seed" would be great

      I've been thinking about a project like this for a while. Everyone who wants to help out, please see http://mod-torrent.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] and get in touch with me.

      If the seeding of files can be fully transparent (that's the easy part) and the tracking be made less resource intensive (the hard part) why would a company not want to distribute their own legal content with BitTorrent? Sure, the client must be installed first, but more and more sites are already requiring special download managers. The BitTorrent client is small and simple. It, or something like it, could easily become a standard requirement or the funtionality integrated into existing download mangers.

      I have a T3 connection. Some might think that's fast but when you distribute content on even a moderate scale it won't cut it. With BitTorrent I've suddenly got a T3+whatever upload bandwith is not otherwise used by the people downloading from me. If even a couple of college kids with 10Mbit connections in their dorms download from me my effective serving capacity is multiplied. The base service, the T3, remains the same, the added capacity is pure free bandwith. Mini-Akamai networks for everyone!
  • by TheSHAD0W (258774) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @11:16PM (#6467888) Homepage
    BitTorrent is NOT meant to handle pirated data! The tracker servers for the torrents are fixed targets, easy food for governments. BT is meant to distribute legitimate content. Frankly, I've been taking advantage of the pirate sites while they've been up, but I'm not surprised they're going kablooey.

    Depending on the sort of illegitimate content you're looking for or distributing, try some other protocol. Freenet, or Gnutella2 or something else based on supernodes, will work a lot better than BitTorrent.
  • HavenCo (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shippy (123643) * on Thursday July 17, 2003 @11:18PM (#6467897)
    Actually, HavenCo is no longer a safe haven. Ryan Lackey will be doing a talk about the events that transpired in 2002 at DEFCON 11. Here's the text from the DEFCON Speakers Page [defcon.org]:

    HavenCo: What Really Happened

    HavenCo, an attempt at creating an offshore data haven, was launched in 2000 by a small team of cypherpunks and pro-liberty idealists.

    During 2002, the Sealand Government decided they were uncomfortable with their legal and PR exposure due to HavenCo, particularly in the post-DMCA and post-911 world, and regulated, then took over the remains of the business, forcing the remaining founders out. While HavenCo continues to serve a small number of customers, it no longer is a data haven, and has exposed the ultimate flaw in relying on a single physical location in one's quest for privacy.

    Ryan Lackey was with HavenCo from inception until late 2002, and will tell exactly what happened (not the PR-friendly whitewashed version) from day one until the end, what lessons were learned, and how similar goals can be achieved in the future by motivated individuals and groups.
    • Re:HavenCo (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rdl (4744) <.ryan. .at. .venona.com.> on Thursday July 17, 2003 @11:59PM (#6468146) Homepage
      Yep. I'd be happy to do a slashdot interview or write something for people to link to about this, either before or after defcon.

      There is still hope for secure hosting -- I'm doing distributed hardware tamper-resistant location in a multiplicity of jurisdictions, which I think is ultimately a much better solution.

      Sealand is still physically there, but I'd no longer consider HavenCo a "data haven" after the events in 2002 and 2003.
  • BitTorrent's use (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bramcohen (567675) * on Thursday July 17, 2003 @11:33PM (#6468001)
    I, as the author of BitTorrent, would like to make it very clear than I have nothing to do with any of the BitTorrent sites, and that BitTorrent is not and never will be designed to be good for illegal distribution. In particular I'm not doing anything to decentralize the tracker or add anonymity. It is in fact quite anonymity-unfriendly. BitTorrent is also used for a lot more than just TV shows and movies, which people would find out if they bothered doing any web searching. I keep telling people that running warez sites is stupid, and they keep doing it. If you wanna brazenly run a massive warez site, that's your prerogative, but don't be surprised when the long arm of the law comes down on you.
    • Re:BitTorrent's use (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Lelon (443322) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @11:47PM (#6468067) Homepage Journal
      I think its a mistake to categorize tracker decentralization with "warez". Frankly, at this point tracker decentralization is absolutely necesary if bittorrent is going to thrive in a competitive (legal) environment. This is true for 2 reasons: 1.) 2 really cheap servers can do the same job as 1 really really expensive server and 2.) redundancy is necesary to achieve stability. If my downloads (or my clients downloads) are mission-critical, I can't depend on a single tracker, regardless of how cheap it is.

      As for anonymity I totally agree with you, however you're already too late. I can already turn off my upload (and the *AA's seem preoccupied with only those who are serving).
      • Re:BitTorrent's use (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mikelieman (35628)
        you state:

        "tracker decentralization is absolutely necessary if bittorrent is going to thirve in a competetive (legal) environment."

        What do you mean by 'thrive'? Seems to me, bittorrent is working quite well. How do you grab .isos and fansubbed anime?

        What 'products' does bittorrent compete against?

        Gnutella? Kaaza? Furthernet?

        Nope.

        Those are filesharing network tools. They need cataloging, searching, and distributed control.

        Bittorrent is not a fileshareing tool. It's a software/data distribution t
    • Re:BitTorrent's use (Score:5, Interesting)

      by majcher (26219) <slashdotNO@SPAMmajcher.com> on Friday July 18, 2003 @02:54AM (#6468771) Homepage

      I, as the author of BitTorrent, would like to make it very clear than I have nothing to do with any of the BitTorrent sites, and that BitTorrent is not and never will be designed to be good for illegal distribution.

      The spirit of this statement seems to be in stark contrast to what you say on your website at http://bitconjurer.org/a_technological_activists_a genda.html [bitconjurer.org] :

      I further my goals with technology. I build systems to disseminate information, commit digital piracy, synthesize drugs, maintain untrusted contacts, purchase anonymously, and secure machines and homes.

      So, which is it?

  • by schnablebg (678930) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @11:44PM (#6468049)

    Maybe there was a lot of unauthorized content on BT, but there is a large group of users using it to download legal, live music. Look at Etree's Box of Rain forum [etree.org], Groove Salad [groove-salad.com], and Sharing in the Groove [sharingthegroove.org] as just a few example of the many message boards that have gigabytes of 100% legal, 100% lossless (.shn and .flac) music posted daily.

    When the Phish summer tour aud sources come out, BT is going to be key. It sure beats trying to log in to someone's 3-slot FTP.

  • The bigger picture (Score:5, Interesting)

    by heff66 (561254) on Friday July 18, 2003 @12:30AM (#6468280) Homepage
    First and foremost, this is about free access to tools and technology. Remember that copyright infringement is already illegal. The heavy handed tactics of attacking any technology that MIGHT be used for infringement misses the point completely. It's not the technology...it's what you do with it.

    You can use a chainsaw to cut your winter firewood, or you can use it to commit a Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Does that mean we should outlaw chainsaws? No, of couse not. The act of killing is already against the law and has nothing to do with chainsaw technology. It is about actions and not tools.

    So too is it with technologies like BitTorrent. Yes, certainly a large community of cheap-ass slackers who want goodies for free have exploited this great content delivery system for their own purposes. But to be sure, there are so many other legit uses for it. The LEGAL online music trading community has also taken up BitTorrent to distribute high quality live recordings of bands that permit taping. (The Dead, Phish, Dave Matthews, Pearl Jam, etc to name even a few!) Sites like Sharing the Groove [sharingthegroove.org] and eTree [etree.org] provide legal lossless audio in FLAC and Shorten format to fans of the music. These lossless files can be quite large and the demand for them can be quite strong the night after a good concert. Well, gosh... This is Just the sort of thing that BitTorrent does and does well. It serves high bandwidth and high demand files with grace and ease. This isn't about piracy. It's about access to technology. The Supreme Court ruled in the betamax case that there were enough legit uses for the technology that it couldn't be outlawed simply because some people were using it to copy porn tapes. I reserve the right to use this technology in a lawful fashion despite what others may choose to do with it.

    More than once I have turned to a Torrent link to get a copy of some content that was in high demand at the time. (Animatrix previews, Gollum's Acceptance speech, etc.) All were legit downloads when the normal methods of acquiring the content were under heavy /. effect.

    Let's try to keep this in mind during these troubling times of heavy litigation by big media. They killed Napster, they'll try to kill BT and any other centralized system they can find. The chilling new bill introduced in congress should be a warning to us all. The concept of p2p itself is under attack. Fight for your rights to these tools.

    (Stepping down from my sagging soapbox.)

  • Use Freenet! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tracy Reed (3563) <treed AT ultraviolet DOT org> on Friday July 18, 2003 @12:47AM (#6468345) Homepage
    Freenet [freenetproject.org] does not have this centralization problem. And a very good new version just came out. I have been using both but because torrents are such a pain to find I have found freenet to be more useful. The freenet guys said bittorrent would run into this problem. I am surprised it has happened so soon.
  • by nakedbonzai (618338) on Friday July 18, 2003 @02:18AM (#6468676)
    I noticed bytemonsoon has been resurrected into zenith-net [zenith-net.co.uk]. Same layout and all.
    Of course they have a disclaimer "...The administrator of this site (www.zenith-net.co.uk) cannot be held responsible for what its users post, or any other actions of its users. You may not use this site to distribute or download any material when you do not have the legal rights to do so."

    Uh yeah... I was shocked to see almost all the posted torrents were illegal.

  • by Maul (83993) on Friday July 18, 2003 @02:45AM (#6468744) Journal
    ... so I don't see how these sites going down affect BitTorrent for legit uses.

    BT is decentralized, so taking down trackers that just have warez doesn't take BT down for trackers that have legit files.
  • by Xtifr (1323) on Friday July 18, 2003 @04:06AM (#6468953) Homepage
    Insofar as there is a "bittorrent community" (seems a little bit like saying the "ftp community" to me), this should be a good thing for it. This should help make it obvious that BT is not a very good choice for distributing "WareZ" (whether software, music or video), as it's too easy to find these sites and shut them down. Which in turn means that all the people using BT for legit purposes won't have to worry about being slandered by association with these types any more.

    And geeze, does everything have to be a "community" these days? BT is more like FTP than it is like much of anything else. Why does it need a "community"? Can't it just be a tool that people use for various purposes?
  • kill BitTorrent? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SleezyG (466461) on Friday July 18, 2003 @07:58AM (#6469549)
    I am an avid BitTorrent user when it comes to downloading LEGAL stuff like Linux distros. But Bytemonsoon got what was coming to them. A quick glance at the first few entries showed "Win XP Key Generator.rar" and "X-Men 2." To answer the question, "Will corporate pressure kill BitTorrent?" My answer is no, but idiots like the Bytemonsoon webmasters will.

    To put it another way, too many people with technical knowledge to create or expand upon something wonderful such as BitTorrent allow their greed to cloud their judgement. It is possible to be greedy over non-physical posessions. Just think about how many people you know that horde movies and music, just to have them, most of which they have never even bothered to play.
  • by Eminor (455350) on Friday July 18, 2003 @08:14AM (#6469603)
    Before p2p file sharing, people searched websites and ftp servers for files. Because the files were at a fixed address and were easy access, many sites got shut down. That is why when p2p came along, it was such a hit. Since p2p is distributed, there are no fixed locations to 'shut down'. It is much harder to go after the masses of file sharers than those who explicitly share music on web sites.

    BitTorrent was a step back towards the days when the web and ftp was the main source of getting MP3s or whatever content.

    I know BitTorrent has technical advantages when it comes to handling load. But in terms of anonymity, it is easier to find the person sharing on the web (or giving an access point) then it is via a peer to peer network. The site is always there. It is hosted by someone who is associated with the owner of a domain name.
  • by Mawbid (3993) on Friday July 18, 2003 @08:24AM (#6469659)
    ...just like there's no FTP movement or IRC movement. There is however an already substantial, and rapidly growing, movement of spoiled techno-brats who not only think they can enjoy the fruits of other people's labor for free, but also that they're entitled to.

    This is me announcing my opposition to that movement, that way of thinking. One datapoint to be counted against all the others and a reminder that not all Slashdotters (and not all spoiled tehno-brats ;-), think alike.

  • by danila (69889) on Friday July 18, 2003 @03:14PM (#6473197) Homepage
    As always, I am surprised by a lack of recognition for eDonkey2000 at Slashdot. The ed2k is, I believe, technologically superior, it has better clients (and larger variety, and the leading ones are also open source [emule-project.net]). The system is also provides prolonged availablity much better.

    In addition to this, ed2k is better protected from "anti-piracy" attacks. There is additional server layer, very resistant to servers being temporarily shut off and requiring (I believe) less traffic. A lot of negotiation is performed directly between clients - the Overnet [overnet.com] model does not require servers at all. Finally, the actual links are in the form of short text links that can be e-mailed, printed and even spelled over the phone, not in the form of .bittorrent files that have to be hosted somewhere. This is also the reason why ed2k-link sites are more resistant to lawsuits.

    P.S. This seems to me just one more case of an inferior technology receiving an unfair share of coverage. Like MS dominates the media, BitTorrent seems to dominate Slashdot...

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