Overhype

by Mike Masnick



Distributed File Sharing Systems Learning From BitTorrent

from the there-you-go... dept

It's somewhat amazing just how much the press has either ignored or misunderstood BitTorrent - which seems to get classified as "yet another Kazaa" type system with too much frequency. This article suggests that BitTorrent is somehow an illegal swapping network - which isn't true at all. However, it's clear that after quite some time, some companies that are trying to build file sharing applications are noticing just why BitTorrent is so powerful. It's not about a Kazaa-style peer-to-peer trading system - but about setting up a system that allows content owners to more efficiently distribute their goods. There's no "swapping" involved and no searching for files. It's just a distribution mechanism that allows anyone trying to offer up a large file to make sure that they don't take on all of the bandwidth costs themselves. Certainly there are some people who use it to offer copyrighted content that doesn't belong to them, but that's not particularly smart, since it's easy to track down who's responsible. So, while this article tries to paint BitTorrent as "illegal" and these other offerings as "legal", the reality is that BitTorrent isn't a company and the others are. I didn't think there was anything illegal about offering up free software as an individual. Update: Ernest Miller has a nice piece looking at how RSS and BitTorrent together make an incredibly powerful content delivery mechanism (basically, a really smart way to create TiVo online). Updated again: Thanks to broadbandreports for reminding me that the best explanation for why RSS + BitTorrent is a big deal is this Scott Raymond explanation. It's worth reading, just to get you thinking.

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