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A History of BitTorrent

A HISTORY OF BITTORRENT BITTORRENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR 27-55% OF GLOBAL INTERNET TRAFFIC 45-78% OF GLOBAL P2P TRAFFIC (Depending on geographic region) In April 2001 American programmer Bram Cohen designed the BitTorrent protocol. Frustrated with how long it took to download large files using existing Peer-to-Peer services, he devised a new method to share files. In other P2P applications, when a user downloads a file, they are downloading that file from one person only, and the speed is limited by that person's connection. FILE The BitTorrent protocol differs from this, allowing users to download from multiple sources. Every person contributes whatever piece of the file they have, and it is assembled by the user's torrent application into a usable whole. FILL FILE FILE FILE FILE This means that even if all of these people can only upload at slow speeds, combined they allow the user to download a file much quicker. Cohen released the first beta versions of Bit Torrent in the summer of 2001. Bit Torrent's widespread adoption was not immediate, however. "For the program's first successful public trial, Cohen collected a batch of free porn and used it to lure beta testers." WIRED MAGAZINE By the summer of 2004 Cohen had a 5-person company working on a search engine for his protocol. This search engine allowed people to search for files to download. It is no coincidence that this is the time when BitTorrent starts to become very popular. Since then new websites serving as search engines for Torrents have become popular. Websites like: THE PIRATE BAY WHO IN SEPTEMBER HAD 6,912,029 VISITS & 2,140,240 UNIQUE VISITORS THE 109th MOST POPULAR WEBSITE ON THE INTERNET MININOVA.ORG WHO IN SEPTEMBER HAD 5,657,228 VISITS & 1,505,132 UNIQUE VISITORS THE 108th MOST POPULAR WEBSITE ON THE INTERNET TORRENTZ.COM WHO IN SEPTEMBER HAD 2,241,092 VISITS & 988,123 UNIQUE VISITORS THE 192nd MOST POPULAR WEBSITE ON THE INTERNET SOURCES: ALEXA & COMPETE.COM ANOTHER POPULAR TORRENT TRACKER, ISOHUNT, CLAIMS TO HAVE 9857 TERABYTES OF FILES BEING SHARED However, these websites which track torrents and allow users to search for files to download have come under fire from associations like the MPAA (MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) and RIAA (RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA). A majority of popular music, movies, and television are available to download as torrents, and mainstream torrent trackers like The Pirate Bay make it extremely easy for users to find the content that they are looking for, legal or illegal. TRACKER FILE SEEDER USER The Pirate Bay was taken to court in Sweden and charged with "promoting other people's infringements of copyright laws" through its use as a torrent tracker. Defense attornies for The Pirate Bay argued that it could be used for both legal and illegal purposes, and that it is the users and not the tracker who should be held responsible for illegal content. The TRACKER itself never handles any illegal content, it simply coordinates the file sharing between users who have the files already (SEEDERS) and useRS who want the files. THE SITE'S FOUR OPERATORS WERE FINED $3.5 MILLION EACH AS ACCESSORIES TO CRIME AGAINST COPYRIGHT LAW One of the defendant's lawyers expressed shock at the verdict along with his client: "It's incomprehensible that he has to pay for the crimes committed by other file sharers." PER E. SAMUELSSON - DEFENSE LAWYER Many people fear verdicts that frame BitTorrent as a tool for illegal piracy will cause a useful and innovative protocol to go unused. Even now some ISPS and networks block the BitTorrent protocol because of its perceived use for illegal activity and its large bandwith use, Some companies, however, still choose to integrate Bit Torrent into their products. "As you all know, the World of Warcraft beta test is just around the corner. While we plan on having several ways available to distribute the files to everyone, our primary method will be through the Blizzard Downloader program, which uses BitTorrent technology." BLIZZARD, WORLD OF WARCRAFT DEVELOPER Companies like Valve and Blizzard, who distribute video games online, lead the way in legally using Bit Torrent to the benefit of their users. As the use of the protocol increases, many predict that it will become harder for network administrators to justify blocking the use of BitTorrent on their networks. Whether this is a victory for pirates or consumers depends on how the protocol is used. USER USER SEEDERS

A History of BitTorrent

shared by Kristofferson on May 24
BitTorrent is a revolutionary data sharing tool that has made many people happy (free music, movies, and software!) and some people very upset (executives who want everyone to pay for music, movies, a...




E.J. Fox


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