How Hollywood Misunderstands BitTorrent

from the it's-not-a-file-sharing-program... dept

The Associated Press is running yet another article about BitTorrent that (once again) spends too much time comparing it to file sharing networks. The problem is that BitTorrent is quite different. It’s simply a method for sharing a single file efficiently among many people. It’s not, as other file sharing networks often are, a system for finding and then downloading particular files. It’s only fitting that this article comes out the day that the Supreme Court has agreed to review the Grokster case, but BitTorrent clearly has many, many more perfectly legitimate uses. Also, while BitTorrent can be (and obviously is) used to distribute unauthorized files, it reveals the IP addresses of everyone involved — which isn’t a good thing if you hope not to get sued while downloading (and at the same time, uploading) all of these things using BitTorrent. The reporter even implies that the movie industry might sue Bram Cohen, BitTorrent’s creator, which is a bit like suggesting someone sue the inventor of the hammer because, beyond banging in nails, it could be used to injure someone.

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