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The Internet

Bram Cohen to Release BitTorrent Search Engine 420

AI Playground writes "Within two weeks, a BitTorrent search engine will be available at BitTorrent.com. From the Wired News article: 'Bram Cohen and a small cadre of developers and entrepreneurs are in the final stage of launching an advertising-supported search engine dedicated to cataloging and indexing the thousands of movies, music tracks, software programs and other files for download over Cohen's popular BitTorrent protocol.'"
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Bram Cohen to Release BitTorrent Search Engine

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  • by Palal ( 836081 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:03PM (#12614544) Homepage
    This [google.com] is not sufficient. I totally agree, release a search engine!
  • by BJH ( 11355 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:04PM (#12614561)
    ...BigTarget, sorry I meant BitTarget.
  • by mspohr ( 589790 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:04PM (#12614562)
    ... should give them enough time.
    • by irving47 ( 73147 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:05PM (#12614581) Homepage
      We should start a pool. When do they get their first cease and desist? When do they get shut down for good? When do they go to court... The potential for profit is staggering!
    • Does anyone else wonder what's going on in Bram's head right now? I thought they were trying to legitimize Bit Torrent as a perfectly legal tool for bandwidth sharing....but with the decentralized version and now this it's starting to look more and more just like another File Sharing system, and as the parent said, expect the **AA to have a field day with this...
      • by lambent ( 234167 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:23PM (#12614886)

        A lot of people said this sort of thing when DeCSS hit. To sum up:

        Cat's out of the bag, and ...
        You can't have your cake and eat it too.

        That is ... BitTorrent is either a file-sharing system or it isn't. It obviously is.

        There's nothing anyone can do about it anymore. He's not fooling anyone. Dude obviously needs to eat, and he's making a sponsored search engine. All I can say is "kaching".
      • I don't know yet, but I'm getting the torrent of his brain right now. I'll tell you when it's done downloading.
      • Its the final step in totaly decentralising bittorrent , giving it massive redundancy .
        You upload your file and let it propagate and if your server ever goes down then no need to fear as you have most likely hundreds if not thousands of people hosting it for you .
        I think its just a logical step ,

        bittorent does not need legitamising ,it is legitamit. The people who try to tell you otherwise are wrong .
        A tool is a tool , you can use a tool set to build weapons or you can use it to help construct a shed .

        The
      • I think what's going through his head is:

        "They wanna call me a thief, I'll *show* them a thief."

        Honestly, they're going to demonize Bittorrent no matter what he does. They control the mainstream media, remember? For instance, take the Star Wars 3 piracy -- every single article I read on that very prominantly mentioned Bittorrent, often several times.

        It doesn't matter that Bittorrent itself is legit, they don't want us even thinking about ways we could possibly subvert their hold on entertainment.

        As fo
    • by MoonBuggy ( 611105 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:17PM (#12614783) Journal
      I'm interested to see what is and isn't worthy of a lawsuit. This search engine is now three steps removed from the (assumed) copyright infringement.

      Uploading music from within a country where that is outlawed seems to be fair game for legal action now (although countries where a fee is paid on blank media have a fairly strong case for to say they've already paid) and it's been that way for some time.

      More recently sites like Suprnova and BTefnet, who provide no copyrighted content but do provide information on where to get it in the form of trackers, have been subject to successful legal action.

      This search engine will now provide no copyrighted content. It will not tell users where to get copyrighted content. It will (presumably) tell users where to get information (.torrent files and their associated trackers) on where to get copyrighted content. Is this enough for a case? I'm really not sure it is.
      • Minor nitpick: I think you mean "information on unauthorized copyrighted content". Unless a content creator explicitly enters his work into the public domain, it is copyrighted. However, he may choose to allow for free distribution of his content via a method such as BitTorrent. Examples of this situation abound. (OpenOffice, Mozilla, Star Wars Fan Films, Privateer Remake, OSS OS Distos, etc, etc, etc.) The illegal part only comes in when content is distributed without permission from the content holder.

        So
      • by LFS.Morpheus ( 596173 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @05:49PM (#12618168) Homepage
        More recently sites like Suprnova and BTefnet, who provide no copyrighted content but do provide information on where to get it in the form of trackers, have been subject to successful legal action.

        No, they've been subjected to legal blackmail, i.e.,"shut down the site or we'll sue you for $XXX,000." There has not yet even been a lawsuit of copyright infringement against an individual in the US. (IANAL, but at least with respect to "modern" copyright infringement, i.e. sharing via P2P, I believe I am correct.) And until someone significantly rich is threatened with a lawsuit, we probably won't see one.

        Maybe you call this "successful legal action." I call it bullying. Give me your milk money or I'll beat you up.
    • by bad_outlook ( 868902 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:20PM (#12614848) Homepage
      They could get it out faster if they release it as a .torrent

      bo
    • Actually... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Spy der Mann ( 805235 ) <spydermann@slashdot.gmail@com> on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:37PM (#12615104) Homepage Journal
      according to the wired article, the search engine will allow "RIAA and friends" to target the uploaders directly and sue them.

      So the search engine will actually become a benefit for the RIAA. Which I'm perfectly OK with, since Cohen never intended BT to be a pirate tool.
      • Re:Actually... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Almost-Retired ( 637760 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @05:12PM (#12617797) Homepage
        according to the wired article, the search engine will allow "RIAA and friends" to target the uploaders directly and sue them.

        So the search engine will actually become a benefit for the RIAA. Which I'm perfectly OK with, since Cohen never intended BT to be a pirate tool.


        I'm firmly in this camp here. For instance, downloading a copy of ROTS is patently illegal. Ditto for the rest of the **AA stuffs.

        If, with this 'search engine', the **AA folks actually have a better tool to be used to go after the infringers, and it leads to a general cleaning up of the currant situation by virtue of the takedown notices that sites that do have the material will receive, and the filing of suits for a *reasonable* level of damages against the receivers of such material, then I see this as a net positive development.

        BTW, my view of reasonable, provided the receiver hasn't passed on any further copies, is no more than 10 times the cost of a theater ticket to see the show, times the number of people living in that household.

        That, and court costs, but no attorneys fees. Costs will probably exceed the damages that **AA will recover, and it will send a strong enough message to the average person, but it will not be a significant item in the **AA members bottom line. Net losses could well eat any profits from doing the civil suit, so it turns into a CODB for them, and something to minimize.

        OTOH, the takedown notice should be delivered in the form of a site-wide machine seizure, then followed up with a civil suit, based on the forensic data recoverable from the site that would give a good picture of how many times it was downloaded from that site. That would often lead to a net profit making it a worthwhile item on the quarterly report. This of course mixes the criminal and civil aspects, so its not that simple. Really, it should be, but combining that would put a lot of expensive legal people on the bread lines so the chances of that happening are somewhere between zip and point double ought (excrement).

        However, if the **AA make the mistake of going after the program itself, then I would hope the courts have sense enough to toss it out. That however, would appear to depend on how many judges they have on a leash, and what the leash is made of.

        The program has the potential to do much good, and I cannot see that true justice is being served in any venue that attempts to control 100% of its use.

        --
        Cheers, Gene
        "There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
        soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
        -Ed Howdershelt (Author)
  • by Andreas(R) ( 448328 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:05PM (#12614574) Homepage
    Hollywood film studios are to sue people who swap pirated copies of films over the internet. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) [bbc.co.uk] said the civil suits would seek damages of up to $30,000 (£16,300) per film.

    Doesn't Bram Cohen see this coming?

    • Isn't it a little perverse that the penalty for making a copy of a physical object is much greater than the penalty for stealing it outright?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:05PM (#12614577)
    Bram Cohen found beaten to a bloody pulp.

    The mysterious letters 'RIAA' An 'MPAA' were found branded on his still quivering bottom.
  • Wonderful idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    In two weeks we'll have an updated article on Slashdot informing us that the MPAA have shutdown a new BitTorrent search engine. This sounds like Napster all over again except with legal precedents in place it'll happen much quicker.
    • Re:Wonderful idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <akaimbatman.gmail@com> on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:13PM (#12614730) Homepage Journal
      This sounds like Napster all over again except with legal precedents in place it'll happen much quicker.

      Nonsense. With Napster the problem was that it was a device for exchanging illegal content. The judge found that the small amount of legal content was nothing more than an excuse to allow for illegal wares.

      In the case of BitTorrent, it has a LOT of uses that are perfectly legal. That is what this search engine is targetting. Want the entire Mozilla source tarball? BitTorrent it. Trying to get the latest 180MB release of Privateer Remake? [solsector.net] BitTorrent it. OpenOffice, Mozilla, FreeBSD, Linux, America's Army, Doom III demo, Star Wars Fan Films, Star Trek New Missions videos, the list just goes on and on. BitTorrent is a response to the ever growing size of these files more than a method of distributing illegal wares. It just happens to work well for the illegal stuff as well.

      The result is that a judge will no more condemn it than he would condemn the entire Internet.
      • In the case of BitTorrent, it has a LOT of uses that are perfectly legal. That is what this search engine is targetting.

        might i recommend that you read the article?

        But Navin isn't worried -- because the new search engine indexes every torrent it can find without human intervention, the company can't be held liable for results that happen to point to infringing content, he says. Lemley says that's probably right, at least as a matter of law: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides safe harbor for "
        • might i recommend that you read the article?

          I did. Note how the CEO used "Mozilla" as an example, while Wired blathered on about illegal content.

          Their business model is to make money by displaying advertising on their search results page (hmmm, where have we seen this before?). They couldn't or shouldn't care less about what they index as long as they draw the traffic. In the long run, they might change their attitude due to legal harassment, but the existence of a single authoritative search engine has
          • One other thing to remember is that under the carrier status, the original content holder has a right to ask them to remove infringing links. As long as they follow that procedure, they are safe.

            Which is why i mentioned possible legal harassment - basically being bombarded by "un list this torrent" mails. Of course they could do the google thing and link to copies of the complaints on chillingeffects.org. I remember (in a vague and non-url backed way) stories about people receiving automated cease and des
            • Re:Wonderful idea (Score:5, Interesting)

              by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <akaimbatman.gmail@com> on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:45PM (#12615229) Homepage Journal
              On the other hand, if they do provide a truly unbiased service we may get (for the first time) some interesting feedback on what percentage of torrents represent legal downloads...

              Indeed. Although one has to wonder if it wouldn't become a feedback loop? i.e. As torrents become more accessable, it will probably encourage some types of content creators to use it. Which would only lead to more tools (perhaps a built in Torrent download manager in Mozilla?) which would then encourage even more content. If things do look bleak at first, it may be a very short time before they don't. :-)
      • Excepting that everything you say there is conjecture, based on what any random judge will do with any random example set of circumstances.

        The fact is and remains you have no idea what cases and tactics the MPAA will draw on, and have no clue what decisions and legalities a judge could rely upon.

        A judge very well could shut the thing down. Just as easy as I write this sentence. He or she may or may not, but claiming that "a judge will no more condemn it than he would condemn the entire Internet" is a
      • Unless the judge is uninformed and the **AA can put enough negative spin on it to convince him otherwise...
      • Re:Wonderful idea (Score:5, Interesting)

        by rpdillon ( 715137 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:30PM (#12614990) Homepage
        Further, as was pointed out in one of the first posts, this would be akin to suing Google for indexing sites that link to (possibly) infringing material. That case has never happened, and if it did, it would set an odd precedent, to say the least.

        I think Bram is going to seek the same protections most search engines enjoy. No doubt if a suit came out, he would argue that he is only linking to files that link to peers. This is no more illegal than the "filetype:torrent" option on Google, and that has never been challenged. It would essentially be akin to outlawing .torrent files.
      • ### In the case of BitTorrent, it has a LOT of uses that are perfectly legal.

        The problem is that you don't need a special torrent search engine for the legal content, google does fine, you only need one for the illegal content. So unless they are working really hard on blocking all obvious illegal content I don't see how this should survive for more then a few weeks, other torrent indexes have already been targeted for exactly that reason.
  • Sue Me Please (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:05PM (#12614586)
    The only reason he hasn't been sued yet is because BitTorrent is a protocol. Now that this guy has a search engine going, he has painted a huge target on his head. Only a matter of time now...
    • This is what I brought up in the last Bittorrent article. Now that the client also handles tracking, it's putting a bulls-eye on Bittorrent itself when the bulls-eye was originally on the illegal trackers.

      Now that it's going to have torrent search, that chest size bulls-eye is now a bomb size one. It won't be long before the AA's Come knocking on Cohen's door with a CAD or a Lawsuit now.
  • At a reporter's request, Navin ran "The Interpreter" through the search engine, and the top result was an illicit copy of the Nicole Kidman film -- still in theaters -- offered on The Pirate Bay

    way to open yourself up to legal liabilities
  • by Marnhinn ( 310256 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:07PM (#12614618) Homepage Journal
    As nice as this might be, to be able to simply search various torrents, I have a feeling that this will not do anything to enhance Bittorrent's image with the media. If anything, they will use it as a tool to show that people "pirate" tons of stuff over BT. (As mentioned in the article - when the "reporter" requests a search done for The Interpeter.)

    It's a good idea, and probably going to be a nice piece of software... but right now is probably about the worst time you can release something like this.
    • Enhance BT's image?? I think it's safe to assume by now that Bram Cohen doesn't give a fuck about whether BT is used for legal purposes or not. As long as more people get to use it, he recieves more donations, so the more the merrier, whatever the purpose.

      And yes, that's a real shame. The original concept of using BT as a legitimate load balancing method was good, but nowadays it's unfeasible since BT is being constantly labeled as a piracy application, and therefore many places block it and because they t
  • by Teckla ( 630646 )

    "...dedicated to cataloging and indexing the thousands of movies, music tracks, software programs and other files for download..."

    Wow, way to troll, Wired "News".

  • Already been done? (Score:4, Informative)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:08PM (#12614632) Journal
    First, a printer friendly page [wired.com]

    Second: Torrentsearch.us [torrentsearch.us]
    this site already indexes torrents and even has an option to search multiple torrent sites @ once. (beware the enormous java ad)

  • torrent searches (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:08PM (#12614643)
    Right now I use ISOhunt [isohunt.com] and Bitoogle [bitoogleb.com].

    Any other good ones out there?
  • I wonder (Score:4, Funny)

    by datadriven ( 699893 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:09PM (#12614646) Homepage
    if the RIAA & the MPAA would be interested in buy ad space?
  • What's brought down the other Bittorrent torrent providing sites is the lawsuits challenging their legality - will Mr. Cohen be filtering out such movies/music/books/etc which violate someone's intellectual property (such as "Star Wars"), or does he have some legal angle that will make him immune?

    IANAL (which for years I thought means "I am ANAL", but that's neither here nor there), but Usenet folks can get away with downloading since downloading copyrighted material is not technically illegal - but uploading, or, probably more accurately, distributing copyrighted material without the consent of the intellectual property owner is. So Usenet folks can download Episode III (though why they would is beyond my ken) without fear of lawsuits, but Bittorrent folks, from the second they activate the torrent and upload a packet to someone else, can be considered a distributer under the eyes of the law.

    Which is why web sites such as Suprnova.org are now out of business - MPAA came a callin' with their trucks full o' lawyers claiming that giving people access and hosting torrent files is itself a violation of copyright distribution. I guess if Mr. Cohen doesn't host the files himself but merely links to where the files may be found, he could wiggle through that legal loophole.

    Either way, good luck - I see a lot of good use for Bittorrent as a method of distributing large files for the masses such as Podcasts or the eventual Video Podcasts that are now popping up, perhaps even as a way to protect against slashdotting (just build bittorrent into web servers and form "unions" to spread the bandwidth or something like this), but I'm not so confident that such as business venture will work out without some legal challenges (whether appropriate or merely standard M/R/IAA "death by lawsuit" tactics).
    • IANAL (which for years I thought means "I am ANAL", but that's neither here nor there)

      For all the IANAL lovers, you can download lots of it on the new search engine. Even DP! (which I always thought was Divorce Proceedings)

    • Well, if it's going to be in the US, I would hope that they've been extremely careful to comply with all the relevant provisions of 17 USC 512.

      Usenet folks can get away with downloading since downloading copyrighted material is not technically illegal

      Yes it is. See 17 USC 501 and 106(1) for the statutory law, and cases such as Napster for the caselaw.

      I guess if Mr. Cohen doesn't host the files himself but merely links to where the files may be found, he could wiggle through that legal loophole.

      No, t
    • It's interesting to think of it this way. It is almost giving the legal groups a direct way to find the tracker and attack the distributer. Maybe over time this will cause the illegal trackers to disappear and Bram will have a protocol used for legit, commercial and non-profit reasons.
    • By the way, downloading absolutely IS a infringement of copyright. It is simply easier to seek astronomical damages if you sue an uploader.
  • Next Napster (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    So is this going to search the distributed DB or just a bunch of different trackers? I should hope its not the first since that would give the RIAA/MPAA/etc a door into finding "illegal" file swappers.

    I like things how they are, ask you friends, or try torrentsearch.us...
  • by Vamphyri ( 26309 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:09PM (#12614667) Homepage Journal
    Is the author of that article the same Kevin Poulsen [wikipedia.org] as the Pac-Bell phreaker in the Watchman book? [amazon.com]
  • by costas ( 38724 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:11PM (#12614687) Homepage
    Has anybody tried/implemented distributing .torrents (not the payload, the .torrent file itself) over Usenet? It seems that with trackerless torrents, Usenet would be the perfect distribution medium for the torrents themselves, just as decentralized as BitTorrent itelf... TorreNTSP so to speak...
    • so sayeth costas:

      Has anybody tried/implemented distributing .torrents (not the payload, the .torrent file itself) over Usenet?

      It's already been done, but no-one that I know on usenet really uses it - when I do see them, in a high-traffic group, they end up being lost in the noise, probably due to the small size of the torrent itself. .torrent files would more than likely survive usenet better in a 'lower' traffic group that's seen by more ntp servers.

      they might be able to survive the higher traffic

    • Actually.....

      You would'nt have to distribute the torrent file. A one liner with a Magnet URI address of a torrent swarm managed by the distributed hash schemes networks now in use would be all you would need in the Usenet post.

      In fact, I'm rather surprised since the latest version of Azureus supports it (and it's easy to find out what the URI address is of the torrent you are part of..there is an option to copy it to your clipboard in Azureus) that I have'nt seen Magnet URI addresses on websites on web si
        1. Here's a magnet link for "Stargate SG1 Season 8 (TV Rip)": magnet:?xt=urn:btih:3PSCDQCDORU3MONAE5C3XTF6IKO5WM AY
        2. Psst, you can buy weed down at the park (if you don't have any friends).
        3. pop quiz: which of those two harmless pointers is currently "more illegal"? :)

  • Sinking feeling (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Leviathant ( 558659 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:11PM (#12614691) Homepage
    I'm getting the same sinking feeling reading this news that I got when I first read about my.mp3.com ... something that worked decently enough hastily steps too far into the wrong territory, and suddenly gets sued into nonexistance.

    I don't know how it will be justified yet, but it seems like this is exactly what needs to be done to get the lawsuit ball rolling.

  • Can someone explain how this will differ from sites such as suprnova (etc)?
  • by the_macman ( 874383 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:12PM (#12614702)
    This should provide a good show to watch. I'm all in favor of Bram Cohen winning but he will definately face some fierce resistance and he knows. I'm sure they've had meetings about how they're gonna beat this. From TFA

    This creates something that BitTorrent has until now lacked, which is a centralized node to target....But Navin isn't worried -- because the new search engine indexes every torrent it can find without human intervention, the company can't be held liable for results that happen to point to infringing content, he says. Lemley says that's probably right, at least as a matter of law: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides safe harbor for "information location tools" if administrators promptly remove links to infringing content upon notice by the copyright holder."

    Also doe anyone have any technical details on how this works. I mean how do you index a torrent automatically. i.e. If I start a torrent how will the search enginer know?
  • It's already live! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Deaper ( 659229 ) * <deaper&gmail,com> on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:14PM (#12614738)
    You can wait two weeks for them to link it on the homepage or you can search now at search.bittorrent.com [bittorrent.com]
  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt&nerdflat,com> on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:14PM (#12614746) Journal
    If you know what torrent you are looking for, and the torrent is legally redistributable, you should probably also know where to download the torrent file from. Although one might say that a torrent search engine has legal uses, that argument is somewhat specious, IMO.
  • Search != Napster (Score:5, Insightful)

    by asv108 ( 141455 ) <`alex' `at' `phataudio.org'> on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:15PM (#12614754) Homepage Journal
    I've noticed quite a few posts already mentioning napster and that the RIAA would shut this down, but based on what law? A search engine specializing in torrents is completely different then a centralized P2P file sharing network(Napster) or the common torrent portal.

    The MPAA has maneuvered to get some torrent sites pulled offline, almost all of the sites are places where users publish content to the site manually.(PUSH) A search engine pulling content from existing locations (PULL) is a completely different type of system.

  • by loggia ( 309962 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:18PM (#12614810)
    I predict.
  • by Nytewynd ( 829901 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:21PM (#12614858)
    I wonder if they are going to make it super easy for the FBI, and just let them type in "Illegal Downloads". The only saving grace is that the list will be so long it will probably freeze up the FBIs network.

    A search engine is a decent idea, but if you can't find your files already, you aren't doing something right. I'm not sure BitTorrent is the kind of thing that should be catering to the dumb computer user. Part of the reason it hasn't been locked down totally is because the masses haven't figured it out. Make it as easy to use as Napster, and it will be shutdown as fast as possible.
  • by techstar25 ( 556988 ) <techstar25&cfl,rr,com> on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:21PM (#12614862) Homepage Journal
    From the article...The MPAA slammed BitTorrent last week for accelerating the spread of a pirated copy of Revenge of the Sith -- a leaked studio workprint of the third Star Wars prequel debuted online even as fans queued up for Thursday's theatrical release. The organization had no immediate comment on the upcoming search service Friday.

    I don't think anybody feels sorry for the MPAA. The fact that they had the balls to use "Sith" as an example was both moronic and ironic. I mean, Sith went on to have the 2nd most profitable opening EVER. [cnn.com] How do they have the balls to keep making these claims that bittorrent is hurting them?
  • if said engine displayed the torrents with the highest amount of seeds that it was tracking... i have a feeling they wouldn't all be linux iso images but you'd be more likely to have the mpaa interested if joe sixpack can get the new starwars movie without too much difficulty, and with loads of help from the creator of the protocol...

    if this is a quick cash grab on brams part i hope he's considered how quickly legal fees can kill even the most profitable business...
  • Double edged sword? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ashayh ( 636057 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:23PM (#12614876)
    Won't this also make it easier for MPAA/RIAA to write custom programs to hunt down torrents and trackers ? Make it easier to send their armies of lawyers behind those pillagers and rapists on the high seas?

    Or instead they could invest in good stories, believable plots, decent actors, cheaper popcorn, to attract people in cinemas.

    Who am I kidding.

    I just saw XXX-2 and my brain is still recuperating.
  • RIAA/MPAA (Score:4, Funny)

    by WCityMike ( 579094 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:24PM (#12614895)
    RIAA and MPAA jointly going apeshit in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ...
  • by hacker ( 14635 ) <hacker@gnu-designs.com> on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:27PM (#12614930)

    As contradictory to the "Cause" as this may seem, doesn't anyone see that Bram is probably doing this because the RIAA/MPAA and other major industries are blaming his project, a project that produces a protocol, for the rampant copyright infringement on the Internet?

    The irony here in recent news is that the RIAA/MPAA are directly blaming BitTorrent for the Star Wars EP3 leak, but its been repeatedly shown that the leaked copy came from inside, and was released before the movie hit the public.

    ...and somehow BitTorrent is to blame?

    Are we blaming Boeing for the 9/11 tragedy too? Or blaming Kabar for making high-quality blades, because someone killed with one?

    This is ridiculous, and I personally applaud Bram's efforts here to absolutely saturate the mainstream media and dark corners of the Internet with as much media as possible, using his legitimate tool. I personally don't care for any of the copyrighted dreck on television or the radio these days, but others might.

    Also, whenever you can, please keep correcting people who regard this as "piracy", "stealing" or "theft". It is nothing of the sort. It is "copyright infringement", plain and simple. If I "steal" your bicycle, I have deprived you of something you previously owned, which I now posess. Making digitally-perfect copies of a work is not "stealing" or "theft", though it is very much illegal in most countries.

    You can't steal profits that weren't already earned. You can't steal "projected" profits. Keep up the pressure on these companies who continue to misunderstand the terms they're spewing in public. There's a certain Heinekin commercial that is grossly misrepresenting the nature of copyright infringement.

    I corrected a Wall Street Journal reporter for a front-page article in the Marketplace section of the dead-tree version for promoting the "sharing of music" by burning copies of music and handing it out.

    He wrote a story that included how some woman (which he named), was bored with the looping music playing in her resort in the Caribbean islands and decided to use her laptop, complete with burner, to burn several CDs of her favorite music to give to the resort to play instead. He was promoting the "advance of technology" for "enabling" people to do these things. This is disgusting.

    THIS is where we need to start directing our angst... at the mainstream media misrepresenting these technologies.

    • You can't steal profits that weren't already earned. You can't steal "projected" profits.

      And even if, as the content industries would like us to do, we considered it "stealing projected profits" when someone discourages others from buying copies of a CD or movie (which is the only way illegal copying can affect profits at all), what would that do to the First Amendment?

      When Roger Ebert or any other reviewer publishes a negative write-up of a movie, that must have more effect on ticket sales than any sing
    • The irony here in recent news is that the RIAA/MPAA are directly blaming BitTorrent for the Star Wars EP3 leak, but its been repeatedly shown that the leaked copy came from inside, and was released before the movie hit the public.

      The initial file came from inside, but widespread distribution was only possible with such tools as BitTorrent.

      Of course they are wrong, but they will grasp onto anything they can. The main thing they don't seem to get is the difference between BitTorrent and P2P things like Na

      • Your example of the woman at the resort does fall into the realm of 'public performance', and as such probably needs to be paid for/licensed as required.

        Only if the unnamed carribean nation has implemented US-style copyright laws. I bet they have not, which would make what the lady did completely legal.
    • by duffbeer703 ( 177751 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @02:19PM (#12615773)
      Are we blaming Boeing for the 9/11 tragedy too? Or blaming Kabar for making high-quality blades, because someone killed with one?

      In the US, this is a pretty common occurance. Victims of gun crime are now suing gun manufacturers and there have been a few cases against hunting knife makers that have been settled out of court.

    • Also, whenever you can, please keep correcting people who regard this as "piracy", "stealing" or "theft". It is nothing of the sort. It is "copyright infringement", plain and simple.

      Use of the word "piracy" in place of "copyright infringement" has been commonplace for decades, if not longer. See for example here [cambridge.org] and here [reference.com].

      No, it isn't accurate. Yes, it was almost certainly started by content producers to try to provoke a negative emotional response in people. But just like the "hacker vs cracker" debate,
  • just a thought... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by torrents ( 827493 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:29PM (#12614974) Homepage
    will the search engine be open source???

    if the source is released under an open source license it would make it nearly impossible for a "gold standard" bittorrent search engine to emerge...

    getting the community to help with the development would spread out not only the work, but the blame if it ever comes down to litigation...
  • Originally, Bram Cohen intended BitTorrent to be used for personal/commercial content distribution by the content creators, or when permitted by copyright, such as Linux distributions. All of those are legal uses. For anexample of personal content distribution, consider when a person creates their own videos or songs, and wants to give some of it away for free online, but doesn't have the bandwidth to serve a full copy to each downloader. The decentralization, and especially the addition of a search engine,
  • by jlseagull ( 106472 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:55PM (#12615399) Homepage
    The storage industry is going to have a second coming. I just placed an order for 2 more 300GB drives for my home media server. :)
  • Napster got into trouble primarily because it provided transfer medium plus directory service. BitTorrent was probably in the clear for just having the transfer medium, but Bram's name on a directory service is probably a mistake.

    Then again, Napster got sold for umpteen millions and is now a pay service... maybe what Bram is doing is good in the long run for him but not for bitTorrent as we know it.
  • by aggies11 ( 833909 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @01:59PM (#12615481)

    You have two choices when it comes to torrents. Either disown the sharing of copyrighted material "Piracy is Bad. We don't support piracy at all. Torrents can be used for GOOD!".

    Or, you can try to legitimize "piracy" itself. Ie. Make the downloading of copyright material, so widespread, and so common, that the content providers have NO CHOICE but change their business models. Essentially force a revolution.

    I'd guess, thats what Mr. Cohen is up to. The MPAA and RIAA aren't going to be convinced that Torrenting is "good" or "just a protocol". So rather than try in vain, he's gonna play by their rules, open the gates wide open, and legitimize piracy.

    Remember, content providers are not gonna change by choice, they are not going to do the right thing because we ask nicely. The only way they will smarten up is if they are given no choice "change, or die".

    So the plan isn't to deny piracy. It's to embrace it, make it so big it's unstoppable, to induce a paradigm shift in the industry. To bring on the revolution.

    Heck, it might even work.

    Aggies

  • Bitoogle (Score:3, Informative)

    by Teja ( 826685 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @02:06PM (#12615579) Journal
    While you can just access it already by going here [bittorent.com] you can, in the meantime, use Bitoogle [bitoogleb.com] it has been around for quite some time now. It is okay I suppose, personally I just prefer Torrentspy [torrentspy.com]. It has a much larger contribution and a large userbase.
  • by Dammital ( 220641 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @02:19PM (#12615779)
    Quoth the poster:
    "dedicated to cataloging and indexing the thousands of movies, music tracks, software programs..."
    Puh-leeze. The engine indexes everything it finds, just as the dozens of webcrawlers on the 'net do. Bram Cohen's system isn't "dedicated" to indexing illegal stuff. It's mindless; it can't tell the difference.

    By listing only the illegal things that appear on the P2P networks, you help perpetuate the notion that they are inherently bad, and become a willing stooge for the MPAA [slashdot.org] and its lackeys. It wasn't germane to your post, anymore than mentioning

  • advertising-supported piracy. Sounds sweet. Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that P2P is in itself bad or anything. I'm not saying that P2P *is* piracy. What I'm saying, though, is that probably 90% of all users will be searching for pirated stuff (software, movies...). And if the searching is advertising-supported, it all becomes extremely rotten - that's what it seems to me.

    In extreme scenarii, we could even envision people looking for a pirated Photoshop version while looking at an Adobe advertisement

  • by UnapprovedThought ( 814205 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @08:21PM (#12619372) Journal

    If this helps create a situation where unlawful content drops into the noise in comparison with all of the lawful content, BT will be seen less and less as a tool for pirates, and it will be more obvious the value that (practically all of us here know) it provides.

    I would say that if everyone just decided to start posting torrent links everywhere -- especially now that it can be done trackerless -- this is exactly what will happen.

    So, my recommendation: post appropriate, well classified, well keyworded torrent links, and download only legal content, so that any of the usual poisoning attacks will fail.

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