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BitComet Banned From Private Trackers 447

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the salt-for-my-leeches dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Slyck news is reporting that because BitComet does not recognize the 'private flag' on torrents originating from pirate BitTorrent trackers, this client is being banned from these communities. Private trackers are finding their torrents spread via the private DHT layer, allowing leechers to bypass ratios and download content freely."
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BitComet Banned From Private Trackers

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 11, 2005 @07:29PM (#14235303)
    Is there a way to change the 'user-agent' of bitcomet to make trackers think it's another client?
    • I don't know much about bit comet, but there is a part of the bittorrent specification that sends an identifier that is supposed to indicate the bittorrent client during the handshake. You might have to change bitcomet in source and recompile to be able to change it though. Im not sure if these private trackers rely on this, or if they do some other analysis to double-check the value given them by the client.
    • by InvalidError (771317) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @08:27PM (#14235579)
      The BC people could simply generate bogus agents or no agent at all.

      Trying to enforce artificial tracker-centric limits is pointless. Leeches and "freeloaders" can mod Azureus and other OSS BT clients to bypass/ignore artificial restrictions like 'private flag' and ratios. For ratios/leech-ban, anyone can mod an OSS client to make it report an arbitrary yet plausible upload count, a simple form of which could be U(n) = U(n-1) + k1 * (0.5+rnd()) * (D(n) - D(n-1) + k0). (where 0 = rnd() = 1 and k0/k1 are used to tweak the simulated traffic profile)... or even simpler than that, append an extra random digit to the upload volume and the ratio magically goes from 1:10 to 1:1.

      BT is one of the dumbest KISS protocols out there, keeping things locked up is one of the many things it was not designed/intended to do. Banning BC will only cause people to mod other BT clients to achieve their desired results and send BC-ban-happy sites back to the drawing boards.
  • In English? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gbulmash (688770) * <semi_famousNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Sunday December 11, 2005 @07:30PM (#14235305) Homepage Journal
    Private trackers are finding their torrents spread via the private DHT layer, allowing leechers to bypass ratios and download content freely.

    And that means what in English?

    Actually, it becomes a bit clearer when you read TFA. Apparently there are private torrent sharing communities that don't want to broadly distribute files, just share amongst themselves. This one BitTorrent client, BitComet, does not respect the keep-out signs, so such communities are having to be more proactive about keeping BitComet users from trespassing.

    Or at least that's what I think it means.

    - Greg

    • Re:In English? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bacon Bits (926911) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @07:50PM (#14235428)
      DHT = "Trackerless". The P2P traffic is not managed by the tracker, like it normally is, but by the clients. This enables faster transfer, but interferes with the tracker's ability to manage piece distribution.

      Private = "Tracker only". Well-behaved clients see the private tag and ignore trackerless requests. Usually for sites that have download ratios or other mthods that force users to upload a certain amount of content in order to continue to download.

      The problem with using DHT on a private torrent is that the data in the torrent file you download that identifies who you are (for your account ratio) gets passed to other users. That screws up your ratio because others are downloading with your account info. You can very quickly find yourself below the enforced limit if you don't disable DHT.
      • That screws up your ratio because others are downloading with your account info. You can very quickly find yourself below the enforced limit if you don't disable DHT

        This sounds like a broken protocol rather than a broken client. Being able to use someone elses account info? The security shouldnt be implemented client-side, thats stupid.
        • Re:In English? (Score:3, Informative)

          by wolrahnaes (632574)
          I don't think the grandparent poster understands private tracker security. Every private tracker I've ever used handles everything by IP, not some arbitrary tag embedded in the torrent file. You log in to the tracker via HTTP and it "OKs" that IP for an X amount of time.

          It makes things interesting for users of larger trackers who try to access them from public internet behind a NAT router, since you can end up with two users of the same tracker unknowingly sharing the same outside IP, and from the tracker
    • DHT = Distribute Hash Tables (a method used in a lot of P2P apps actually)

      See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_hash_tabl e [wikipedia.org] for more

      "Distributed hash tables (DHTs) are a class of decentralized distributed systems that partition ownership of a set of keys among participating nodes, and can efficiently route messages to the unique owner of any given key. Each node is analogous to a bucket in a hash table. DHTs are typically designed to scale to large numbers of nodes and to handle continual node a

  • Pot? Meet Kettle. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    allowing leechers to bypass ratios and download content freely

    Does this strike anyone else as an ironic, considering that all the people that are downloading *aren't* the owners of the content to begin with?

    • by CyricZ (887944) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @07:38PM (#14235360)
      Does this strike anyone else as an ironic, considering that all the people that are downloading *aren't* the owners of the content to begin with?

      That's a very bold generalization to make. It is almost RIAA-esqe.

      There could very well be a family wishing to share a large collection of digital family videos that they have taken at holidays and birthdays, for instance. They want them to remain fairly private while sharing the content that they own.

      BitTorrent has many, many legitimate uses. It is completely incorrect to claim that all users who wish to limit the sharing of their data are pirates.

      • by heinousjay (683506) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @07:58PM (#14235461) Journal
        At least give downloading Linux distributions as an example. The one you gave was tortured so effectively I have to wonder if you work for the White House.
        • At least give downloading Linux distributions as an example.

          Not necessarily. Recall, we're talking about the restricted distribution of copyrighted material. Most Linux distributions and open source software do not really fall under that classification, even if copyrighted.

          You should specify commercial Linux distributions, if you're going to use that as an example.

          But even then, that is not necessarily a very good example to use. A typical Linux distributions includes the work of hundreds, if not thousands,
        • tortured so effectively I have to wonder if you work for the White House.

          If it was done effectively, the White House had nothing to do with it.
      • by mph (7675) <mph@freebsd.org> on Sunday December 11, 2005 @08:01PM (#14235468)
        There could very well be a family wishing to share a large collection of digital family videos that they have taken at holidays and birthdays, for instance. They want them to remain fairly private while sharing the content that they own.
        What kind of family worries about "leechers bypassing ratios"?

        "Grandma, we love you, but it's about time you seed some vids of your own!"

        • Hey, that gives me an idea. Let create a new P2P app and call it "Grandma". Just imagine a few years later of kids using this software. Eventually, one of them gets busted in court and goes before the judge...

          "Your honor, Eric is being prosecuted for supporting Grandma!

          Ya, right, that will go over well with the court. ;)
      • by Fearan (600696)
        To be fair to the poster, these trackers are private for a reason. Well, more than one actually, but it's not so a bunch of people get together to share pictures of the trip to NYC. More like, they want to restrict how many leechers are trying to get access to all the free copyrighted material.

        If you've surfed private trackers, you'll know there are VERY few legitimate files on these sites. Of course, the occasional demo or freeware is posted, so everyone can get them quickly, but a large percentage of th
        • Actually, the main reason the sites are private is to enforce a higher standard of sharing. By limiting registration and banning people who don't share you get a community where everyone shares.

          The fact that there is mostly illegal files on these sites are mostly coincidental. It is just that most peer to peer sharing on the internet is illegal and private trackers aren't any different.
      • There could very well be a family wishing to share a large collection of digital family videos that they have taken at holidays and birthdays, for instance. They want them to remain fairly private while sharing the content that they own.

        Then they shouldn't use a public p2p network then...

        BitTorrent has many, many legitimate uses. It is completely incorrect to claim that all users who wish to limit the sharing of their data are pirates.

        Other than the above example, tell me WHY someone would not want to share
        • by Wildclaw (15718)
          Then they shouldn't use a public p2p network then...

          They aren't. By including the private flag in their torrent file they expect it to be a private p2p network. BitComet however doesn't acknowledge the flag. It is much the same as a search engines that doesn't acknowledge robot.txt.

          WHY someone would not want to share amongst everyone.

          Because some people don't like sharing with people that doesn't share back and the best way to make sure that everyone is sharing back is by making it a private commun
    • by FreakyGeeky (23009) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @08:01PM (#14235467)
      Maybe the video-trading family example is weak. I'll offer you a real example instead: Mandrake Club. Mandrake Club members pay an annual fee for access to expanded versions of the Mandrake distribution. This depends on the level (read: cost) of your membership. In all cases, the content that members can download is different from the freely-available Mandrake content. Now, why would Mandrake or its club members want non-members using their private bittorrent distrubution method? In this case, they certainly own the content.
      • So they are using a distribution method that in effect can not be controlled and for their purpose is not secure. Sounds like they need to find a different distribution method. Or modify the protocol so they can restrict access. Probably not something that can/will happen.
    • I guess you've never heard of torrent distribution for Linux distros or OSS games (TA Spring's installer & patches)
    • Although ofcourse there are legit uses for bittorrent and it is even used by some commercial companies the majority shall we say of content shared via bittorrent does not agree with some peoples interpretations of copyright laws.

      Personally I am an anime fan wich means fansubs wich are in a grey area because the japanese companies that own the copyrights in general don't give a toss about smelly gajins. I do however find it ironic(?) that most of the fansub groups put stuff like "XXX is proud to present". I

  • by Bazman (4849) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @07:32PM (#14235315) Journal
    First slashdot article I've seen for a while that has read like total gibberish. Anyone got a link to what half those terms mean?

    Does anyone with a slashdot id under 5000 understand it?

  • ...but it isn't. I'm part of a private tracker group that banned Bitcomet 3 days ago... I've been using BitComet since, and nothing at all has changed. I'll change clients when things actually change.
  • private/pirate (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chmarr (18662) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @07:33PM (#14235327)
    The title says "private trackers", but the text says "Pirate trackers" once... Is this a typo, or fruedian?? :)
  • BitComet does not recognize the 'private flag' on torrents originating from pirate BitTorrent trackers
    Nice Freudian skip there.
  • Private torrent communities are the lifeblood of the BitTorrent scene. They are the only thing standing between BT and the sort of vast, content-less wasteland of Kazaa/Edonkey type systems. Yes, that means individual users need to be held accountable and poor quality clients that enable cheaters and leechers will unfortunately have to be banned. Such is life.
    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @08:26PM (#14235575) Journal
      Why those bitcommet users, they just cheat to get content they didn't pay for. HOW DARE THEY, I should call the MPAA/RIAA depending on what you are sharing. The number of private trackers that share legal content can be counted on the fingers of one hand. I mean why would say a linux distro give a fuck who gets their content and at what share ratio? There are probably enough die hard fans to keep the seeds populated without enforcing it with ratios.
  • Yarr! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    BitComet does not recognize the 'private flag' on torrents originating from pirate BitTorrent trackers

    Ye means 'pirate flag', ye rumpity old skalliwag! Th'old skull and cross bones! Yarr!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 11, 2005 @07:35PM (#14235340)
    People who think they're a good idea really oughta read up on Pareto Efficiency.
  • by bobertfishbone (897122) <(bobertfishbone) (at) (gmail.com)> on Sunday December 11, 2005 @07:37PM (#14235351)
    Bittorrent private trackers are sites that depend on a healthy share ratio for success. If you download something, it's tracked, and you must then upload a comparable number in order to stay a member of that site or receive certain benefits of membership. This creates a healthy environment of seeders--not like many public trackers, which have an inordinate amount of leechers. Bitcomet doesn't recognize or follow the conventions that enable such private trackers to exist. It can bypass that, and enable anyone to download from a private tracker site without worrying about a ratio. This is extremely detrimental to the private tracker. I'm in favor of this move by the private trackers; Bitcomet is misrepresenting itself as a fully-functional BT client.
    • Thank you for finally explaining to everyone what this means.

      It's nuts to sign up for one of these sites anyway. Users must create uniquely identifiable userIDs for the site to track their stats. If and when the site is busted for whatever reason, the administrator will no doubt surrender the list of userIDs and corresponding IP addresses to the authorities, as has happened in the past.

      Up with privacy! Down with elitism! Never ever sign on to a torrent tracker that maintains user ratios!
    • by Julian Morrison (5575) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @09:34PM (#14235867)
      The thing with BT is: if you have say 10 seeds, then your torrent is fine. If you have even 1 seed, it won't die. It doesn't matter that some folks leech and then run. So, the core premise of these private sites is bunk. Worse, it's immensely counterproductive. DHT can keep a torrent alive and supplied with seeds. Barriers to access mean fewer downloaders, hence slower torrents and fewer seeds. I wouldn't be surprised if torrents on these sites died at least as often as on fully public sites.

      Really, it seems to me that these folks want some sort of private domain to boss around and feel elite. The rest is just their rationalization.
      • by The Raven (30575) * on Monday December 12, 2005 @06:27AM (#14237369) Homepage
        This could have been insightful... but, you see, I've been on those private sites, and I've been out in the public Bittorrent sites. Surprise surprise, the public sites are a lot slower.

        Sure you'll be able to eventually get a torrent anywhere, as long as you keep one seed out. But who wants 'eventually'. Private torrent communities almost always have fewer broken torrents, faster downloads, and less stalls. So real world experimentation seems to prove your theory wrong. Time to make a new theory.
        • I thought the whole idea behind BT was that it had built-in economics? If somebody is downloading and not uploading (say by using a hacked client, or highly limiting upload rate), then other clients will deprioritize traffic to them.

          As long as you're uploading anytime that you're downloading - who cares if you're contributing files or not?

          My guess is that the reason for the higher speeds on the private trackers is that the elite community becomes a selection filter for folks who like to nurse their BT clie
  • Somewhat ironic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by acslat3r (848858)
    Gosh someone accessing their trackers for pirated movies and software WITHOUT their permission. I guess circumventing the adwords on their registration pages is a big no-no. Oh the horror...
  • by springbox (853816) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @07:44PM (#14235388)
    BitComet does not recognize the 'private flag' on torrents originating from pirate BitTorrent trackers

    BitComet was also found to ignore the "evil bit." [faqs.org]

  • by mr_stinky_britches (926212) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @07:50PM (#14235425) Homepage Journal
    What is the DHT Layer? I would consider myself as being torrent savvy, but I have no clue what this means.

    A little bit of research later...

    DHT stands for Distributed Hash Table ... DHT is a networking protocol that enhances the scalability and efficiency of decentralized networks by creating a virtual index rather than broadcasting search queries. Decentralized networks that utilized DHT technology are able to search and locate files significantly faster than networks that do not use it.
    source (non-authoritative): http://www.slyck.com/news.php?story=772 [slyck.com]

    DHT is a layer added on top of the BitTorrent network to assist in Azureus' performance. BitTorrent is a distinct networking protocol, of which is specified by creator Bram Cohen. Anything existing outside of those specifications is not BitTorrent.

    source (non-authoritative): http://www.unitethecows.com/forums/showthread.php? t=10991 [unitethecows.com]
    (So DHT is not part of the bittorrent specification; At least, it wasn't in May 2005, but who knows now...)

    So basically, my understanding now is that the DHT Layer is what allows for the decentralization of torrents. Thus, by not respecting the "private" flag, the clients can leech all day without it affecting their ratio. Slap me if I am wrong or missing something, but aren't most (re:99.999%) of these "communities" that care about leechers, ratios, and keeping their torrents to themselves going to be trading/torrenting copyrighted content/material? Call me crazy, but I just have this hunch that this isn't exactly the latest Knoppix torrent. And then you can call me crazy again, but I must ask why we care what these "communities" ban or don't ban?

    But then again, this is slashdot where anything that approaches conservative or rational gets modded down by the mob.
  • About Azureus... (Score:2, Informative)

    This is the message from one of the private trackers I frequent:
    # Show 2005-12-10 - BitComet

    We are following the example led by other private bittorrent trackers and we have banned all BitComet clients. Perhaps having so many sites banning it will encourage their developers to do something about it.

    The reason why: BitComet, like Azureus, allows the sharing of peers via a DHT system. Azureus implemented SecureTorrents into their client, which we coded into our tracker. BitComet followed and implemented a sim
  • hypocrisy anyone? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nr (27070)
    Uh, so thieves are angry that other thieves are stealing their lot? how funny..
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 11, 2005 @07:52PM (#14235439)
    Here are the bittorrent stats seem by my mldonkey bittorrent client for the last month(non-stop)

    According to this they are banning 60% of bittorrent traffic... not a intelligent move IMHO.

    BitTorrent Total Uptime: 29 days, 20h:10m 2578216 seconds
    Brand Seen
    Total 88212 (100%)
    BitComet 52601 (60%)
    BitLord 30318 (34%)
    Azureus 2392 (3%)
    Mainline 839 (1%)
    BitTornado 466 (1%)
    MLdonkey 433 (0%)
    ABC 345 (0%)
    uTorrent 334 (0%)
    Shareaza 206 (0%)
  • by Jepler (6801) <jepler@unpythonic.net> on Sunday December 11, 2005 @08:03PM (#14235478) Homepage
    If this "private" flag relies on cooperation from clients, then it is broken.
    • The private flag indicates that you should not share the torrent with people outside the tracker. The only way of preventing this without client cooperation is DRM, and if torrent communities begin using DRM systems on their content, I think the irony will finally just be too much for me.
  • If someone uses BitComet and some of their upload winds up going to DHT, who cares? It just means that user will have to upload more to maintain their share ratio to the main network, which is a Good Thing for everyone but that user.

    It also means that if the tracker craps out, it might take less than 24 hours for the torrent to recover, which is a Good Thing. Getting to 99.8% on a torrent and having the tracker crap out on you Really Sucks, especially when it takes nearly 24 hours of not being able to con
  • Priceless. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @08:43PM (#14235645)
    Peer-to-peer sharers thwarted in their ability to control who participates in sharing by a peer-to-peer protocol.
  • If they are saying what I think they are saying is that the people using particular bittorrent clients are being banned from trackers that provide pirated files because they are leeching. he he he he No, really, I think that is what they are complaining about. The pirates don't want people STEALING files from their systems. He he he he hah hah hah No really, the pirates don't want people stealing from them.... I really think that is what they are saying.

    OW! My sides are hurting! he he he stop
  • Cry me a river (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Julian Morrison (5575)
    These "private" sties IMO exist basically to screw over the BT community in one way or another. I mean, WHY take registration, require ratios, limit users, etc? Do these people not grok the essence of BT? If there are enough seeds then the leechers don't matter. No, it seems to me that what these people are doing is trying to enforce unnecessary and ridiculously anal rules, ripping people off for their saleable demographics, and then getting huffy when (get this) an uncooperative program pirates their pirat
  • by Mike Buddha (10734) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @09:31PM (#14235853)
    It amuses me to read all the slashdotters that have no concept that just because these people may be pirating software, there are standards for behavior. It's this same lack of understanding that drives some "ne'er-do-well" to come up with a Bitcomet. These people who claim there is no honor among pirates are the very people who would use this as a rationale for using this client.

    Just because you're pirating doesn't mean that there aren't any community standards, kids. You CAN and WILL be excluded if you break the social contract.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 11, 2005 @09:55PM (#14235941)
    Okay, Admittedly, I'm taking a logical leap here, let's hope that I land on safe ground.

    Doesn't this Private Flag seem a lot like the Broadcast Flag? It prevents people from getting content. So, in a way, you've just legitimized DRM for the movie industry. Haven't you?

    I know it sounds like an odd argument, but you're essentially wanting the same abilities that the RIAA/MPAA want -- to control the distribution of content. And when a client doesn't respect those rules, you ban it. How silly is that? You want to pilfer xbox games and mp3's, yet, you don't want to give others the same rights that you claim for yourself.

    Didn't you get the memo? There's no honor among thieves.

    Besides what's to stop BitComet from doing something like this:

              #define USE_PRIVACY_FLAG 1

    Since all you need is one client it might be possible to modify the original BitTorrent client to achieve the same ends. All it takes is one misbehaving client to publish the torrent to the DHT and then many people can leach.

    Good going losers. You've just started an arms race in the BT community. There's no way to prevent the forking of clients now into incompatible clients.

  • by DeHackEd (159723) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @10:53PM (#14236175) Homepage
    This whole DHT (trackerless) thing has broken private clients from the start.

    The 'private' flag was introduced probably by Azureus when they made their own DHT. People should have banned it (it = Azureus) right then and there because adding the 'private' flag broke every torrent in existance that wanted to keep private.

    Mainline/official supports their own DHT, but only uses it if a torrent is explicitly marked as trackerless. This is probably best for sites that want to stay private, but people have been bitching that "if the tracker goes down, I can't download. Therefore DHT rules."

    So personally they can all go to hell for breaking our stuff. (Well, except for mainline).

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