Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Media The Internet

Legal Torrent Sites Help Legitimize BitTorrent 257

Posted by timothy
from the salvation-for-the-buzzword-deficient dept.
Jeff writes "In today's Seattle Times, technology columnist Paul Andrews highlights how legal torrent sites such as CommonBits may lead to wider adoption and acceptance of BitTorrent. With reports that illegal torrent usage may be more than a third of Internet traffic, sites like LegalTorrents, Torrentocracy, Prodigem and bt.etree may offer a compelling defense to future legal attacks while simultaneously promoting fair use rights. Andrews goes on to argue that the future of television may be no further away than integration of podcasting, RSS, tagging and BlogTorrent."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Legal Torrent Sites Help Legitimize BitTorrent

Comments Filter:
  • Legal torrent sites? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bigtallmofo (695287) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @07:44AM (#11875827)
    Doesn't that imply that the mere (former) existence of sites like Lokitorrent and Suprnova was illegal?

    I'm not sure if that was ever decided by a court - rather it appears that scare tactics caused them to be shut down. For that reason, I personally don't feel comfortable declaring linking to content hosted on other systems illegal.
    • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @07:49AM (#11875861) Homepage Journal
      Saying that these sites are legal or illegal is like opening a legal knife shop.

      The torrent protocol isn't illegal, the sites running them aren't illegal, the content distributed from different places however can be illegal in most countries.
      • by Haeleth (414428) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:40AM (#11876163) Journal
        Saying that these sites are legal or illegal is like opening a legal knife shop.

        Er... no, it isn't.

        You can take any knife and commit a crime with it, and likewise you can take any knife and use it in a perfectly legal manner. However, you can't make downloading FreeBSD into copyright infringement whatever you do, and you can't stop downloading a cam of a Hollywood movie being copyright infringement whatever you do.

        Therefore, a single knife can be used both legally and illegally, but downloading from a single torrent can only be legal or illegal. Therefore, your analogy does not work.

        The sites running [illegal torrents] aren't illegal...

        Regardless of whether hosting links to illegal torrents, or running trackers for illegal torrents, is legal or not (given that the people who run these sites inevitably settle when sued, the implication is that THEY don't believe it's legal!), the concept of a "legal torrent site" - being one which hosts only torrents which it is legal for anyone to join - is a useful one.
        • by Heisenbug (122836) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:12AM (#11876468)
          Therefore, a single knife can be used both legally and illegally, but downloading from a single torrent can only be legal or illegal. Therefore, your analogy does not work.

          Incidentally, I'm pretty sure that's not true. Depending on the jurisdiction, there are knives that are legal to possess, and knives that are illegal to possess -- switchblades, pocket knives over a certain length, etc. The act of acquiring the knife, like the act of acquiring the file, is itself illegal.

          I don't have the patience to figure out whether either of you is making sense otherwise. Please continue.
        • by araemo (603185)
          Well, actually...

          There are very narrow circumstances where downloading a torrent of a movie is indeed 'legal'(If you can't copy the DVD you bought, but want a backup copy anyways.. damn css. ;P).

          Likewise, it is possible for a torrent to be 'legal' to download sometimes/by some people, but 'illegal' for other times/people.

          Also, running a torrent site is not legal or illegal. Providing torrents(Or, perhaps more accurately, running a tracker) for copyrighted materials is quite likely contributory infringem
          • by Anonymous Coward
            "For backup purposes only" has been a myth of the warezmonkey world since the 80s. Please don't perpetuate it.
            • Ok, why do i seem to be the ONLY person in the world that does back up my media??? How many times have we had damaged products because of misuse or lending? I backup my media, so should you!
          • I suspect that this doctrine is questionable with regards to common practice. A true backup copy would be an -exact- replica, whereas unless both client and server have incredible bandwidth, any movie download would seem likely to have been recompressed or otherwise modified. Likewise if it has been de-CSSed -- it's no longer a true archival backup, but a different version and possibly a derivative work.
        • Some countries have fair Use?
        • given that the people who run these sites inevitably settle when sued, the implication is that THEY don't believe it's legal!

          Or that they don't have the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to defend themselves in a lengthy court battle with an inevitable series of appeals, or that they don't have the time to do so even if they have access to a pro bono defense team. Getting sued is a big pain in the ass.

          I have personally fought back against a bogus claim of intellectual property law infringement -

    • by huge colin (528073) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @07:50AM (#11875871) Journal
      I think the point is that these sites are unquestionably legal, even to boneheaded organizations like the MPAA. (It's necessary to make things very, very simple such that they can understand.)
      • by Tim C (15259) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:53AM (#11876306)
        It's not that they're boneheaded - quite the opposite. Bittorrent and similar apps are (they believe) a real thorn in their side at the moment. They believe that if they can show that these apps have no significant non-infringing use, then they can have them outlawed. That would make their jobs much easier - rather than having to be able to prove that a user was violating their copyrights, they'd just have to prove that they were using the apps at all.

        Let me put it this way - why should they care that people like us use these things for perfectly legal file trading, if enough people use them in ways that do infringe? We're not their concern - preventing you or I from getting the latest Linux ISO isn't going to impact their profits at all. Hell, *personally* they may care, but *professionally*, it's not even a consideration, as long as they (believe that they) stand to lose more money by doing nothing, than by seeking to outlaw p2p apps.

        They're not boneheaded, they just have a different set of priorities, and you're never going to be able to effectively work against them by dismissing them and their actions in this way.
      • " I think the point is that these sites are unquestionably legal, even to boneheaded organizations like the MPAA. (It's necessary to make things very, very simple such that they can understand.)"

        I don't think this explanation is necessary to the MPAA or anybody else. The MPAA has taken down the Torrent sites that trafficked largely in pirated material, but they are ignoring the legal sites.

        The confusion might lie in some of the responses to the takedowns of the pirate sites. Remember how Lokitorrent

    • I think the phrase "legal torrent sites" could be interpreted to mean "sites that host legal torrents" in addition to "legal...sites" and until someone tells me otherwise, lokitorrent and suprnova were not illegal in my opinion*, though they may have assisted in illegal activities such as copyright infringement.

      *One should note that this is my opinion only so far at it is meaningless. If I thought my opinion were actually important, I would do more thinking and less /. posting.

    • Hmm, I must have missed the point where BitTorrent was declared illegitimate.

      Do items like this help? This basically says to me, "BT is somewhat illegitimate, but with the right direction, it could be made ok!"

      BitTorrent, itself, is already 100% legitimate. There's nothing wrong with it. In fact, its one of best things that has happened for content distributors.

      I personally like the gun analogy (from my relative safety in .au) - if guns are made, and people use them illegally, do the gun manufacturers ge
    • "personally don't feel comfortable declaring linking to content hosted on other systems illegal." Idiots like the Microsoft "investigator" James Young do not understand the difference between linking, hosting a file or running a tracker, if James Young (or RIAA/MPAA for that matter) finds something he does like he will send http://static.thepiratebay.org/ms-loveletter.txt [thepiratebay.org] a takedown demand regardless of who is tracking the file or where they are actually hosted - even if it is perfectly clear they have gr
    • Bittorrent is a protocol.

      OK. You cannot sue http is someone downloads something illegal on a website, and good websites do not legitimise http.

      If slashdot was around all-those-years-ago:

      "Legal ftp sites may defend/legitimise ftp protocol!!11"

      Of course, the world is a much different palce, but it would be crazier than a female to try and block a protocol...

      Perhaps I am just to scared to admit the truth of the situation... but please, saying legal torrent sites are legal, and then asking if this means
    • I'm not sure if that was ever decided by a court - rather it appears that scare tactics caused them to be shut down. For that reason, I personally don't feel comfortable declaring linking to content hosted on other systems illegal.

      It can be illegal. A significant part of what Napster did was to provide links for downloaders to information that was hosted by uploaders. They didn't host mp3s themselves, but could still be held responsible for their users.

      First, there must be a direct infringement. For exam
  • Not Really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @07:45AM (#11875830)
    It only takes 1 illegal site to put BitTorrent in the crosshairs of the *AA groups. In fact, the fact that we are celebrating some legal sites speaks volumes to where BitTorrent currently stands.
    • by oliverthered (187439) <oliverthered@hotma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:45AM (#11876835) Journal
      Instead of saying , the MPAA this, the MPAA that have you ever tried sending them an email and actually asking them what their position is? Jesus it takes someone as stupid as me to make an informed post.

      Dear Oliver,

      Thanks for your e-mail.

      While Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks allow for a great deal of opportunity
      for distribution of entertainment, P2P networks unfortunately enable
      massive amounts of pirate activity.

      When people upload or download others' copyrighted works, that is, in
      fact, illegal. There is nothing illegal about P2P technologies, if
      you're sharing work that you have the rights to share. But, most
      commercial works you find available on P2P networks (e.g., albums you
      find in stores, movies you find in theatres or stores) were not posted
      there legally.

      It is only this illegal activity that the MPAA is fighting against. We
      will continue to embrace technology and the opportunities it offers
      responsible citizens using it legally.

      Thanks again for writing, and please let me know if you have additional
      questions.

      Anne
      • If only it were that easy. Last I checked, human beings were quite capable (nay, proficient!) at lying. However, there are times when they tell the truth also. So which is it? Is Anne lying, or telling the truth? Or is it some mixture of the two?

        I guess in those instances you have to look at the actions, not the words. The MPAA hasn't done a whole lot, but they are very similar to the RIAA, and the RIAA, at the least, has shown NO respect to P2P networks. They've done everything they could to shut
    • Rubbish! (Score:3, Insightful)

      In fact, the fact that we are celebrating some legal sites speaks volumes to where BitTorrent currently stands.

      As an avid fan (and failed evangelist) of bt.etree.org, I have to point out that some of us are more inclined to celebrate *awareness* of legal uses of networks such as BitTorrent. I don't think this speaks volumes of where *BitTorrent* stands so much as where the general *perception* of BitTorrent (and P2P in general) stands.

      I've been worried about BitTorrent being squashed by the ??AA, no

  • Sure... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fyz (581804) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @07:45AM (#11875833)
    But is be legal to download anything that I'm ever going to have any interest in?
    I somehow doubt that the content of these sites, and by extension the sites themselves, are going to be popular in the long run.

    Just to state the bleeding obvious, of course.
    • Re:Sure... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by carpe_noctem (457178) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:16AM (#11876503) Homepage Journal
      Maybe you should check out the sites before passing judgment about them. Actually, I was about to reply to your comment with another snarky jab, but I decided to check out some of the sites and I actually found a bunch of movies that I can't wait to watch once I get home from work.

      Granted, I'll still probably go to other torrent sites too, but don't knock it until you try it. =)
    • Re:Sure... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cowsandmilk (824602)
      etree.org has been popular for a long time as it holds concert footage of a number of bands that are well liked by a portion of America. While they may not have the popularity of pop music, noone is going to argue with downloading legal Dave Matthews, Grateful Dead, Phish, and other bands. The bands on that site are quite akin to the ones that one sees at Bonaroo each year, which has been a bigger success than many people imagined. I don't know much about the others, but as a long-time etree user, I can
    • Popular doesn't always = good.

      Lots of isos available, slackware even distributes via torrent now.

      checkout
      http://www.slackware.com/getslack/torr ents.php

      its an inexpensive way to distribute the project and a great idea.

      You don't always have to get just movies and mp3 from torrent. People downloading that stuff are the reason the RIAA/MPAA are even paying attention to torrent
      • Bittorrent is also the fastest way to download Knoppix [uni-kl.de]. I can never find a mirror that provides over 100kB/s, but through Bittorrent I get 650kB/s (My ISP's limit, not Bittorrent's) within seconds of adding.
    • Download the torrent from the South by Southwest music festival at CitizenPod [citizenpod.com]. 2.6 gigs of musicians who want their music to be heard by the widest audience possible.

      I'm listening to it now and it's incredibly diverse with everything from punk to hiphop, country, singer-songwriter, etc

    • Sure, the stuff linked here may well be of great interest to you! There's lots of music, released both by independent labels and artists, and by "bootleg-friendly" labels and bands. There's public-domain (or otherwise legally/freely distributable) videos, books, photos, music, and text strewn about all over the place if you know where to look, and this article links to plenty of great places to start. Download some music and have a listen. You may like it. I was stunned by how much good stuff is out there t
  • by Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @07:45AM (#11875834)
    TPTB at my school have unilaterally blocked BitTorrent, characterizing it as a rogue protocol. The argument the admins make is that any legitimate product will have plenty of bandwidth to be downloadable via http. The administration supports the sysadmins, because they don't like getting C&D's from the *AA, so the power of the technical folks is unchecked--the faculty, traditionally the guardians of freedom on campus, don't even have the issue on their radar.

    Examples like this can only help the cause, though I'm not sure by how much.

    • Make sure you tell your school this! It may never go anywhere, but mail your school's administration, your district administration (I'm assuming this is a high school-type place), and your student-run media (newspaper, A/V club) and student council (class president, etc.). Show as many people as you can in that school (and those who support and help run it) that BitTorrent isn't a "rogue protocol," and make them look foolish (they're stifling creativity and even committing censorship by preventing the distr
  • Defense (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @07:46AM (#11875839)
    With reports that illegal torrent usage may be more than a third of Internet traffic, sites like LegalTorrents, Torrentocracy, Prodigem and bt.etree may offer a compelling defense to future legal attacks

    MPAA: I'm suing you for you website with links to Torrents of all our movies.

    Pirate: Look, that other site over there offers torrents of non-infringing material.

    Court: Because other people are using torrents lawfully, this guy can pirate all he likes. Case dismissed.
    • Re:Defense (Score:5, Informative)

      by lachlan76 (770870) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @07:50AM (#11875873)
      It's not about attacks against pirates, it's against legal attacks against the program creators (ie. holding the owners of a p2p network responsible for its users).
      • Re:Defense (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DaHat (247651)
        You are half right, and this doesn't really apply to Bram Cohen the way it does Kazaa and the old Napster which both of the latter are networks were the principal purpose is copyright infringement, such is not the case with Bit Torrent. BT was designed from the beginning with other purposes in mind and has effectively been hijacked by illicit users. The technology is not to blame, just the network owners, and this is why the makers of Kazaa and other 'piracy' networks have been hauled into court repeatedly
      • "It's not about attacks against pirates, it's against legal attacks against the program creators (ie. holding the owners of a p2p network responsible for its users)."

        Huh? The MPAA has gone after the pirate sites like Lokitorrent and Suprnova. They are not going after the sites that take the care to provide only torrents of material released with the creators' permission. They are not going after Bram. They are not trying to stop BitTorrent from being distributed.

        You may be thinking of MGM v. Groks

    • Re:Defense (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SithGod (810139)
      These sites aren't a defense against people who run pirate sites, but against outlawing the actual bittorrent protocal
    • Re:Defense (Score:2, Insightful)

      by PyWiz (865118)
      I don't think anyone is talking about the people who do the actual pirating of the software (i.e. serve it via bittorrent). We're talking about the future of the bittorrent protocol itself.

      While it may seem silly to believe that a protocol for file transfer could be in trouble because a few people used it for illegal file sharing, think about what happened to Kazaa. Sharman Networks wasn't necessarily distributing any copyrighted material on their own, they were merely providing a method of hooking up wi
    • Sorry, but that defense sucks. The best defense is, of course, the Chewbacca defense:

      Ladies and gentlemen of the supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider: this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk, but Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now, think about that. That does not make sense!

      Why would a Wookiee -- an eight foot tall Wookiee -- want to live on Endor with a bunch of two foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense!

      But more importantly, you have to ask

  • What? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @07:48AM (#11875849)

    With reports that illegal torrent usage may be more than a third of Internet traffic

    The reports state that BitTorrent use may be more than a third of Internet traffic. They don't state that illegal BitTorrent use may be more than a third of Internet traffic.

    You've just gone and assumed that BitTorrent is exclusively illegal, while moaning about the fact that others do it too. Way to go, dickhead.

    • Actually i don't believe this is correct.

      I heard numbers around 2-5% (total bittorrent traffic / internet global trafic)
      • I think the report most frequently cited is CacheLogic's one [cachelogic.com] (news article [slyck.com]). They give a figure of 53% of P2P traffic, and their graphs show BitTorrent overwhelming many other forms of traffic, compared to the wider internet. I can't find the actual "one third" figure, but I did see 35% in a couple of places while looking for this.
        • Yeah and i also would note that CacheLogic is something to p2p as antivirus companies to virus writers - not an independent source.
          • Yeah, I should've actually mentioned that, the report reads like (and is) and ad for their software. It's been reported enough places to be given at least some credence, although whether that's due to the sensationalist figures I wouldn't like to comment.
        • Please don't mod "under/overrated" if a post hasn't yet been rated by anyone.

          I actually don't have a problem with under/overrating anyone before anyone else has rated them.

          There are a few users that are exdtremely low rated, due to past behaviour. Doesn't mean they don't have anything worthwhile to say now. Or, the reverse can be true. Some come in rated higher than what I would currently rate them.

          It's all about the mod's opinion. Thinking differently is only kidding yourself.

  • by nbharatvarma (784546) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @07:49AM (#11875859)
    Internet provides a very powerful way to reach a lot of people. Like how companies should embrace opensource, TV and Movie companies should learn to embrace the internet.

    When the article says the intent is to provide otherwise inaccessible content to Internet "viewers", it only applies to the novice users and those who don't read /. But I must say this is a start. If the companies can support this actively, it would be better.

    • I totally agree with this view, in fact I recently wrote a whole essay on the topic of what media companies can learn from the open source movement (see my sig if you're interested).

      The biggest lesson, in my view, is that people will take matters into their own hands if corporations don't play fair. This is what happened with open source: programmers got so sick of companies like Microsoft bullying them that they banded together and created a whole new IT infrastructure of their own.

      What's to stop artis

  • by theoddbot (520034) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @07:49AM (#11875860)
    BitTorrent 4.0.0 was released today.

    Get it from http://www.bittorrent.com [bittorrent.com].

    The license has changed to the BitTorrent Open Source License [bittorrent.com]

    Release Notes:
    All new queue-based user interface

    Many options are now modifiable from the interface

    Lots of other interface improvements

    Extra stats are visible, for those who like it

    Remembers what it was doing across restarts

    New .torrent maker "btmaketorrentgui" replaces "btcompletedir"

    Better performance, as always

    License has changed to the BitTorrent Open Source License

    Torrent fields are correctly created and interpreted as utf8

    Too many little things to list

    Single port: launchmany can seed and client can download many files from a single port and thread

    Interface now uses GTK instead of wxWidgets

    BitTorrent packets are marked as bulk data to make traffic shaping easier
  • by l33t-gu3lph1t3 (567059) <arch_angel16@@@hotmail...com> on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @07:54AM (#11875894) Homepage
    The only problem with "legitimizing" bittorrent's image is that, as a protocol, it's still the most popular one for illega filesharing. We admins quite frankly don't give one hoot about its benign uses: we KNOW that the second we stop filtering BT traffic, our bandwidth usage is gonna go up.
  • by spoonyfork (23307) <spoonyfork@NOSpAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @07:54AM (#11875897) Journal
    I missed last week's episode of Lost. None of my friends had recorded it so I found the torrent and downloaded it. Hurley's crazy. Anyway, I would rather have gone to the ABC site, paid like a $1 or something, and downloaded it from them. I want to support stuff I find interesting but there is no way to do that with TV episodes. What do I do, wait for the DVD next year? Please. ABC and the like could use BitTorrent to distribute Pay Per View content. I'd like that very much.
    • by BridgeBum (11413) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:42AM (#11876184)
      As would many on Slashdot. I even think the studios want this too...so long as it can be done their way. What's the point of DRM if not to be able to offer content for a fee with the 'comfort' of knowing that the content can't be then shared with 100,000 of your closest friends.

      I'm not a fan of DRM by any stretch, but I think DRM is the missing ingredient to see the *AA embrace new media.

      Of course, if you can come up with a way to avoid all the DRM nonsense and still make the *AA execs comfortable that they will still roll in the dough...
      • by override11 (516715) <cpeterson@gts.gaineycorp.com> on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:43AM (#11876809) Homepage
        The only reason I would donwload off BT network than off the TV studio web site: They will charge far too much for the video, cripple it somehow (DRM), or include commercials. Just charge a reasonable fee, dont screw over the file, and people will not have a problem paying for it.
      • Well pretty much every single show gets ripped into HDTV quality anyway, so they wouldn't be losing anything by selling DRM-free shows. They're not having any success in stopping DRM free content being [btefnet.net] out there [tvtorrents.ws], so... why not make some money selling this content. They can always try and switch to DRM at a later stage, though I suspect consumers would find that a bitter pill to swallow (which I suppose is why they're not doing it).
      • As would many on Slashdot. I even think the studios want this too...so long as it can be done their way. What's the point of DRM if not to be able to offer content for a fee with the 'comfort' of knowing that the content can't be then shared with 100,000 of your closest friends.

        Good point. I guess I don't see video files any different than music files from a consumption point of view. Through iTunes one can buy a la cart mp3s acceptably encumbered. Why couldn't the same be applied to videos, e.g. unlimit

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @07:59AM (#11875916)
    they got slashdotted already :/ anybody got a torrent?
  • by Baal Sebub (797455) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @07:59AM (#11875923)
    Why exactly is there a need to "legitimize" the Bittorrent protocol?
    AFAIK there never was an initiative to outlaw the protocol itself.
    Talk about paranoia.
    • That's incorrent. Orrin Hatch and those like him have attempted to outlaw peer-to-peer technology repeatedly. First they tried to stigmatize it by saying that it is only used by pedophiles and that it transfers viruses and then they attempted to push through the INDUCE ACT [yahoo.com]. I would've put a google link, but I seem to be having touble connecting to google today.

      When the non-infringing uses are brought to the forefront, most sane people would agree that it's absurd to outlaw technology. Unfortunately, t

  • by WIAKywbfatw (307557) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @07:59AM (#11875925) Journal
    With reports that illegal torrent usage may be more than a third of Internet traffic...

    Sorry, but how the hell are the people who come up with the numbers able to differentiate between legal and illegal torrents?

    First of all, how do you tell between traffic that's due to Linux ISOs and traffic that's due to the latest movie release? Secondly, how do you differentiate between copying of material that may be legal in one country and copying of the same material that may be illegal in another one?

    I'm not saying that legal torrent usage is greater than illegal torrent usage (any more than I would say that more drivers stick to speed limits than break them) but it seems to me that there's no real way of differentiating between the two, so all those reports are arguably just speculation.
    • by PigleT (28894) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:13AM (#11875999) Homepage
      Well, you could plant a fake site and use their stats to see what people go for.

      I find it quite weird to think that people will actually write to me and ask if I "still have a torrent for [movie] lying around". Who in their right mind would advertise the fact they're looking for something which to download would be a violation of copyright?? And yet I've actually seen exactly this happening... (Background: I run a small tarpit [spodzone.org.uk] to trap illegal seekers, idiots, the MPAA and spammers - with success on all counts.)

  • by davidoff404 (764733) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:04AM (#11875950)
    This is another example of how an ostensibly useful and forward-thinking resource is blighted by terrible factual errors and rank amateurism. In the case of CommonBits [commonbits.org], what looks like an excellent resource for politically related material is turned into a nonsense with mistakes like the opportunity to listen to the first presidential debate of 2004 between Bush and Dean [commonbits.org] [sic]. And that's just the first error I found.

    Thanks, but I think I'll stick to my nytimes.com [nytimes.com] and news.bbc.co.uk [bbc.co.uk].
  • For looking the other way while I use my residence internet connection to catch up on missed TV shows.

  • by sckeener (137243) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:10AM (#11875987)
    I find it hard to think of torrent as anything other than another transmission protocol.

    I know it isn't since it is acting at another layer, but for all purposes how is it different from tcpip?

    I think if it was bundled with a browser websites would start using this for load balancing. People that love /. Would start torrent/mirroring it.....

    I know it wouldn't work like that, but I can see a lot of potential in bittorrent for legal purposes
  • Slackware... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sierpinski (266120) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:11AM (#11875989)
    Slackware has been using BitTorrent for a while now. You have the option of using that, or the normal download methods. You can visit them here. [slackware.org]

    I've seen many other legitimate uses for BitTorrent, since there are a lot of things to download that are of considerable size.

    Guns are sometimes used to commit crimes, yet we do not outlaw them. Bongs are being sold at the local Waterbeds N Stuff. Knives that aren't practical for neither hunting or home protection can be purchased in lots of places. Why should software be any different?
    • Guns are sometimes used to commit crimes, yet we do not outlaw them. Bongs are being sold at the local Waterbeds N Stuff. Knives that aren't practical for neither hunting or home protection can be purchased in lots of places. Why should software be any different?
      because the crimes committed with guns and knives don't result in the percieved loss of product by major lobbying groups of congress. the can only end in the loss of a human life. and we know how much that is worth.

    • Bad analogies.

      Guns _are_ banned, to varying degrees, in lots of places - in the UK people are now talking about banning airguns.

      Bongs may get you into trouble as "Drug Paraphernalia" - varies by country.

      Knives also sometimes have restrictions, eg. here in the UK: no sales of anything sharp to kids, flick-knives / switchblades, balisongs and a few other types banned, carrying any fixed (or lockable) blade in public without specific reason is also illegal.
  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:18AM (#11876022)
    Everyone remembers that article about privateer 1.0 remake?

    My university sits on 2.5gbyte/s pipe, i have control over around 500mbyte/s.

    I decided it would be cool to help share the wealth and let around --max_upload_rate 20000 for a few hours. It was maxed out ;)
  • "With reports that illegal torrent usage may be more than a third of Internet traffic"

    I wish I had a link, but I have also heard that spam accounted for two thirds of Internet traffic.

    So, the entire bandwidth of the Internet is taken up by illegal traffic?
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @08:39AM (#11876162) Journal
    I downloaded the fairly recent Unreal Tournament patch yesterday from 3D Gamers here [3dgamers.com] and their "World" download is a .torrent. When download sites like these start using BitTorrent, I really think it has become a mainstream technology.

    I also downloaded the Linux version of the same patch.

    Needless to say, the Windows version downloaded at 200+ KB / sec, and the Linux version was restricted by their slightly loaded server at ~80 KB / sec.
  • Ok, so some sites offer torrents with a proper license so as to remove doubt about their legality vis-a-vis copyright regulations... And ?

    This won't change the fact that the MPAA and RIAA are going against sites like Suprnova or Lokitorrents, and rightly so. I don't think no one ever questionned the protocol itself. Why this sudden urge to "legitimize" it. It's already legitimate, big corps use it themselves (see Blizzard and their modified version).

  • It's a shame.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:02AM (#11876381)
    that Bit torrent has been given such a bad name by the MPAA and RIAA. Bit torrent is an amazning technology that deserves acceptance by the mainstream media.

    I still remember how cool I thought it was that Blizzard used Bit Torrent to distribute the beta for World of Warcraft. At least one company understands its potential...
  • News Flash (Score:2, Funny)

    by ZehFernando (848954)
    In a shocker announcement, Common Sense LLC announced today that HTTP, FTP, TELNET, email and other protocols can also be used for piracy.

    MPAA has already announced it plans to sue the creators and maintainers of such protocols and its clients. Other associations are expected to follow suit shortly.
  • And it proceeded to patch itself by downloading the patch executable using bittorrent, I thought to myself, "Finally, something that isn't illegal that bittorrent is perfectly suited to!"

    I have to give Blizzard credit, it's an amazingly great use of the technology.
  • by hooded1 (89250) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @09:15AM (#11876492) Homepage
    I know this is a bit far off but it would be interesting ot see google run a tracker for legal files. If anyone they make bit torrent legit. Two years ago i never would have considered it, but given google's expansionist policies recently it sounds plausible if still unlikely
  • Don't forget that the authors of the I Love Bees Anthology DVD chose BitTorrent to distribute their DVD online [slashdot.org]! AFAIK this was the first commercially produced DVD to be legitimately distributed via BitTorrent-- an important first that I think didn't get enough attention.

    If that's not legitimizing BitTorrent then I don't know what is!
  • Mandrake was the first distro to use BitTorrent on a mass scale for distributing its distro ...

    Can't get any more legal than that

    Sunny Dubey
  • Since when was a *technology* illegitimate? Since when was a site that posts nothing infringing illegitimate?

    Talk about a biased statement... Helping to perpetuate the public's perception of all the 'evil pirates and their tools'.

    Must be a laywer.
    • If a technology is judged to have insignificant legal use, it's much more vulnerable to being regulated or prohibited outright with regards to possession or distribution, let alone use.

      Quite a few jurisdictions prohibit such things as tinted windows that prevent LEOs from seeing into your car; the possession of any automatic firearms without specific permits, or perhaps at all; or so forth. It's currently illegal in the US to distribute software that's positioned as a tool for bypassing various electronic
  • Well, the submission hits all the buzzwords. Perhaps "wiki" is missing.
    Torrent...Podcasting...RSS...Blog...

    Which of these will we use consistently in, say, three years?
  • Jamendo ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lkratz (243841) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @12:32PM (#11878589) Homepage
    *** Disclaimer : I'm one of the founder of Jamendo ***

    Reading this /. thread, sorry about this, I can't resist explaining what we're doing here in Luxembourg.

    We started jamendo [jamendo.com] beginning of 2005. The aim of Jamendo is to help artists use P2P technologies and particulary BitTorrent to get to a larger audience. We combine Creative Commons Licence [creativecommons.org] with BitTorrent to have artists publish their work, and promote a legal use of BitTorrent or eMule or Shareaza or ...

    Thanks to our jamloader [sourceforge.net] , artists put their demo CD in their PC/Mac/Linux and automagically their work get published as a torrent on jamendo and accessible with eMule. The software rips the CD to FLAC, ask to choose one of the 6 creative commons licenses and uploads the datas to our servers. On our servers we do the rip in other various formats, Ogg, MP3, AAC, and do the creative commons watermarking. We also do some kind of community moderation, in order to avoid the ones that upload the latest Britney Spears or the ones that upload the latest neo-nazy band. Bands have to link back to our website from their official website as a control ( see godon [godon.org] for exemple )

    Finally we use iRate [sourceforge.net] as our core technology to do the rating of the music, and do intelligent propositions to our audience. Our XMLRPC-iRate server ( http://irate.jamendo.com/ ) supports the latest features of the iRate protocol but today, there's not enough client software, but we have the project to write our jamplayer that will combine iRate and BitTorrent and foxytunes.

    What about the money ? Our business model differs from the one of magnatune [magnatune.com] for instance ( I quote magnatune because John Buckman made a very nice and cool entry in his blog [magnatune.com], thanks again to him). We have a more ad-centric model were the service is free for the artists, is free for the audience, but the web pages are ad supported (no popup), the streamed music may be ad-supported up to 1 audio ad every 3 songs, the published archive in P2P networks are high quality archives with no ads. The idea is : bandwidth heavy is ad-supported, bandwidth friendly (i.e. BitTorrent) is ad-free ! We are not a label but rather a "community driven music hosting company" , we allow the bands to put their paypal button to receive donation on their jamendo page, jamendo takes no margin.

    Sorry again /. crowd to present our project in this thread, but I really felt it was on topic ! So if you want to listen to indy music coming from Luxembourg, Belgium and North of France point your favorite BitTorrent client to jamendo.

    Laurent.

Never ask two questions in a business letter. The reply will discuss the one you are least interested, and say nothing about the other.

Working...