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The Commercial Future of Torrrents

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the inrush-of-information dept.

The Internet 314

acrid_k writes "Yahoo is covering a story from SiliconValley.com entitled BitTorrent moving uptown. From adding Ask Jeeves content in search results to investigating use of torrents for sharing bandwidth for paid downloads, the future is looking both more restrictive and more commercial. You have to wonder about a crucial part of the equation: why would internet users share their bandwidth to benefit media companies?" From the article: "BitTorrent already has struck deals with video game publishers to distribute games with its technology. Cohen's bid to commercialize BitTorrent is a measure of how far the entertainment industry has come since the late 1990s, when Napster introduced millions of people to the power of peer-to-peer technology for downloading songs -- and mobilized scores of lawyers to shut it down."

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I support it totally! (3, Insightful)

rockytriton (896444) | about 9 years ago | (#13223245)

I would say share bandwidth for video game downloads because I hate those sites that make you pay to get a fast download or wait in line for 2 hours to download for free!

--
http://www.dreamsyssoft.com [dreamsyssoft.com]

Re:I support it totally! (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | about 9 years ago | (#13223279)

This was done with the WoW beta iirc.... they had their own client which was just using BT...

Re:I support it totally! (1)

surefooted1 (838360) | about 9 years ago | (#13223412)

And goes to show, the average person doesn't know what technology they are using to download something, they just want it fast and now. They could care less if it was helping the media companies.

Re:I support it totally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223342)

Except you'd be paying EA for the opportunity to let others download from you... which means you've basically allowed EA to make more profit because not only are you paying for the game, you're paying for the bandwidth they'd normally use to send everyone the game.

The only way this seems "fair" to me is if they give you a discount on the game for hosting their torrents.

Re:I support it totally! (1)

Stocktonian (844758) | about 9 years ago | (#13223574)

I wouldn't mind hosting the torrent for a discount in the monthly fee paid for online services. If I don't rack up enough hours (or MB) of hosting a month then I pay the full whack.
I know some peple will say that those with faster connections will get cheaper gaming but they would be paying extra for the additional upload bandwith in the first place.

The critic in me says they'll just expect everyone to "play nice" and help them drop their costs with no corresponding drop in game prices.

Re:I support it totally! (1)

ilyaaohell (866922) | about 9 years ago | (#13223345)

The sad thing is that those servers are still often faster than most BitTorrent transfers, which usually max out at about 200 KB/sec. Nobody likes to seed torrents at their maximum upload speeds. However, while most of those game download servers are extremely slow (70-150 KB/sec), some actually DO give you downloads at over 500 or 700 KB/sec, which is much faster than your average torrent.

Since broadband providers refuse to increase our upload bandwidth beyond a certain point, thus limitting what the use of BitTorrent can accomplish, we must continue to rely on and support dedicated download servers.

Re:I support it totally! (1)

Stocktonian (844758) | about 9 years ago | (#13223505)

Unless those sites use their bandwidth for torrents.

Re:I support it totally! (1)

sykjoke (899173) | about 9 years ago | (#13223346)

I've downloaded 50+ demos in the last few months and I've never not been able to find a download that's on a queued site on some other site with reasonable bandwidth.

www.download.com's [download.com] usually ok, megagames [megagames.com] lists lots of alternitive download sites (and it also has no-cd patches too)

Re:I support it totally! (1)

l33t.g33k (903780) | about 9 years ago | (#13223427)

sharing bandwidth = communism yup, i'm all for it...

interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223254)

lastIndexOf

public int lastIndexOf(String str)

        Returns the index within this string of the rightmost occurrence of the specified substring. The rightmost empty string "" is considered to occur at the index value this.length(). The returned index is the largest value k such that

  this.startsWith(str, k)

        is true.

        Parameters:
                str - the substring to search for.
        Returns:
                if the string argument occurs one or more times as a substring within this object, then the index of the first character of the last such substring is returned. If it does not occur as a substring, -1 is returned.

Re:interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223289)

ActionMap getParent()
Returns this ActionMap's parent.

Parent is TROLL (crapflood) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223365)

Mod it down please, Thanks.

Self-referencing humor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223255)

"from the inrush-of-information dept."

Is that a reference to the hurried typing of Torrrrrrrent?

Re:Self-referencing humor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223271)

They're Grrreat!

Re:Self-referencing humor? (1)

TheSneak (904279) | about 9 years ago | (#13223284)

Torrrents, they're grrrrrrrreat!

The problem with going commerical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223263)

The man is always going around adding "R"s to stuff and taking away the purity. I say keep it Rreal.

Torrrents.... (0, Offtopic)

zev1983 (792397) | about 9 years ago | (#13223264)

...need I say more?

Now begin rants on /. editing.

Re:Torrrents.... (1)

viscount (452242) | about 9 years ago | (#13223291)

The Slashdot editor was merely seeding more copies of the 'r's in 'torrents' so that people can download the word quicker...

Re:Torrrents.... (1)

phenopticon (872198) | about 9 years ago | (#13223601)

They're grrreat!

toRRRents? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223267)

Note to editors: please add spell-checker to your article dupe checker!

Thanks.

Re:toRRRents? (1)

birdwax2k (787311) | about 9 years ago | (#13223532)

Therrrrrrrrre Grrrrrreat! -RIP tony the tiger

Re:toRRRents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223582)

I love torrrents. They're grrreat!

come on editors! (2, Insightful)

Doctor Crumb (737936) | about 9 years ago | (#13223272)

Spell Check. Just do it.

Re:come on editors! (2, Funny)

ReverendLoki (663861) | about 9 years ago | (#13223368)

It's part of a subtle campaign by the *AA's to further associate anything P2P with pircay. I mean, how else would you explain all the RRRRRRs?

Re:come on editors! (1)

TrippTDF (513419) | about 9 years ago | (#13223376)

I'm not a programmer, and I've never seen the /. backend, but I can't imagine it would be that hard to BUILD a spellchecker in that would highlight words not in a dictionary before articles get posted.

Common Taco, I'm giving these ideas away.

Re:come on editors! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223501)

"Common Taco"

-1: Ironic

Re:come on editors! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223511)


Why is your grammar/spelling so bad?
We're more interested in getting the stories out quickly than we are in making sure every post passes the white glove test. These days we have a copy editor who catches most of the spelling and grammar mistakes, but things do sometimes slip through.
If you see a mistake in a story, email the author. We'll get it fixed pronto.

Answered by: CmdrTaco
Last Modified: 6/8/00

Re:come on editors! (1)

Tackhead (54550) | about 9 years ago | (#13223391)

> Spell Check. Just do it.

$ ls -l /usr/dict/words
-r--r--r-- 1 bin bin 206662 Sep 1 1998 /usr/dict/words

Back in the good old days, it was short enough that we didn't need a .torrent for a spell checker!

oooh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223417)

Got Spell Check?

*wipes correction fluid from lower lip*

Re:oooh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223500)

Hi Roland, you been with Michael again?

Me doggie eats torrents during torrintenalk rain. (1)

sirkarmabad (904524) | about 9 years ago | (#13223275)

Me doggie eats torrents during torrintenalk rain.

Why? (1)

techguy911 (672069) | about 9 years ago | (#13223278)

"You have to wonder about a crucial part of the equation: why would internet users share their bandwidth to benefit media companies?"

Because they have no choice. That's the idea of P2P, in order to use the benefits of the download bandwith, you automatically contribute to the upload pool.

Hopes raised and dashed (1)

sgtsanity (568914) | about 9 years ago | (#13223290)

For a second there I thought we were going to possibly talk about the chimerical future of torrents. *sigh*

Re:Hopes raised and dashed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223420)

Heh, the extra r made me read that as the commercial future of terrorists.

BT would be good for flat rate services (2, Insightful)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 9 years ago | (#13223294)

I imagine that Bittorrent would work best economically where you pay some fixed amount to be a member of a closed Bittorrent network with exclusive content. The service could then easily track who is downloading what, then portion out your (say) monthly fee among the content producers.

Re:BT would be good for flat rate services (1)

amliebsch (724858) | about 9 years ago | (#13223398)

How about the micropay model? If you have a closed community, you can use the awesome power of supply-demand curves and free markets. A fractional transaction tax on the community members can pay for the community infrastructure.

Re:BT would be good for flat rate services (1)

toad3k (882007) | about 9 years ago | (#13223522)

This is exactly what I'm hoping will pop up. Hopefully networks will pop up with specialized programming, like science fiction or sports. Then you go to their sites, subscribe to 2 or 3 that you enjoy the most, and they provide all the media you want, when you want it and for a longer period of time.

If they do it without the drm and it'll catch on very fast, But unfortunately we're going to have to suffer through that phase.

BitTorrent a company now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223304)

I thought bittorrent was a protocol, not a company - how can it "strike a deal"?

Users don't really need to share their bandwidth (1)

FFON (266696) | about 9 years ago | (#13223309)

think of this scenerio:
a new download only video game (like HL2/steam)
several geograpahicly smart download servers seeding the download.

then the client connects using the softwares own download agent (a modified bit torrent client)

i like it.

Maybe if it's commercialized it won't suck? (1)

Inaffect (862616) | about 9 years ago | (#13223314)

Perhaps this is the most logical use for the technology. Maybe if people are commercially motivated to use the technology it will actually work? Right now it seems to be horrendously unreliable compared to regular P2P networks, but that is just my experience.

It doesn't suck and the two don't mix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223438)

Works fine for me.

Actually the scenario you are describing is a massive step backwards. BitTorrent has KILLED paid for downloading services and has made them -1 redundant. BT is conceptually incompatible with a commercial subscription service. Sure some will try but it will only go so far.

Re:It doesn't suck and the two don't mix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223524)

Wrong. Some sites already ask for donations to keep your account, and you can't connect to the tracker without a valid active logon.

But yes, you're right. Bittorrent has destroyed pay-for-download. Why pay when hundreds of friends are sharing it with you for free? :D

Could this be the beginning of the end... (2, Insightful)

AndyBassTbn (789174) | about 9 years ago | (#13223318)

...of the Slashdot effect? Sure, we now use bittorrent to distribute software over a vast, distributed network. Why not adapt it to HTTP or the like? Yeah, it would make updating news sites a bit of a problem, but more static sites could brace for a large DDoS-type-hit (intentional or unintentional) by this method.

Thats one of the more overlooked commercial applications I can think of. Not only quite legal, but useful as well.

Re:Could this be the beginning of the end... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223384)

The Slashdot effect often hits servers with database software or the like, and overloads that. If the server had to deal out torrents to incoming visitors, it's likely that it could still be crashed if an unexpectedly large number of people suddenly hit it.

This occurred to me.... (1)

nathan s (719490) | about 9 years ago | (#13223397)

...when my cable ISP capped NNTP at 32kB/s because of the binary groups. That's all fine, because I usually use bittorrent or eDonkey for downloading files, but it has the side effect of making headers require several minutes to download in some of the larger groups. I'm sure this wouldn't help small groups, but it would surely take some of the load off of the NNTP server if a torrent-like system could be used to distribute the pages.

I've posted this before, but supposedly this company [onionnetworks.com] has technology to stream HTTP torrent-style. No idea if that's vaporware or what.

Re:Could this be the beginning of the end... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223575)

Yes! Imagine if all you wanted to do was share some movie/music/website you created with the world at little to no cost to you. With no worry about covering your bandwidth costs in case your content gets popular. Imgaine dragging your files to your web browser and hitting "publish" which then sets you up as a seed, registers your content description with the search engines out there and gives you a link to pass around. (maybe also gives you a nice little warning that you should leave your computer on and connected so people can see your new content).

Re:Could this be the beginning of the end... (1)

ganhawk (703420) | about 9 years ago | (#13223611)

Dijjer [dijjer.org] already does that now.

I started a project [sf.net] to do this 2 years ago. But due to changes in JXTA and other factors, it just fizzled out like so many projects on SF :(

brilliant (1)

milimetric (840694) | about 9 years ago | (#13223321)

Every time I use BitTorrent I think of another reason to hit myself in the head for not coming up with it. It's one of those technologies, like the internet, that make you amesic about the time before it existed. Downloading regular files seems to me stupid.

That is not to say BitTorrent is perfect. I think there is tons of room for optimization and customization of a BitTorrent download session. But the important question is... why not BitTorrent?

Re:brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223425)

FYI: on a home DSL line, it took me less time to ftp the SuSE 9.3 DVD ISO then to bittorrent the Fedora Core 4 ISO DVD. so, umm... no, I'm not amesic[sic] about it.

Re:brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223429)

nope it doesnt seem stupit it's just that you are stupid.

i DARE you to download a torrent that the seeder is no longer online.

I have torrents that have been waiting for weeks for the asshat seeder to come back online. torrents are only good for a week then they are 100% worthless.

Re:brilliant (1)

cyber0ne (640846) | about 9 years ago | (#13223523)

i DARE you to download a torrent that the seeder is no longer online.

I dare you to download anything over any protocol where the uploading agent isn't uploading.

Re:brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223591)

Thats why a dedicated sever that hosts said file will always be better than any p2p system, becuse the server WILL be online when you download the file.

Re:brilliant (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 9 years ago | (#13223570)


But the important question is... why not BitTorrent?

Because BitTorrent's major strength is also its major weakness. What I mean is that since more people downloading increases its efficiency, fewer people downloading has the opposite effect. The more obscure a file is the longer it takes, which just feeds the pablum marketing machine of the RIAA. USENET and direct downloading are simply better methods for distributing out of the mainstream material.

Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223330)

From criminalising BT to making people pay for it.

Future of Torrrents (1)

fredistheking (464407) | about 9 years ago | (#13223355)

Torrrents they're Grrrreat!

Commercial use can be for us too (2, Interesting)

Iriel (810009) | about 9 years ago | (#13223338)

"why would internet users share their bandwidth to benefit media companies?"

Media companies aren't the only people who can be helped by commercial application of torrent tech. Think of this (and it's just an idea):

What if Apple integrated bittorrent into the next version of iTunes? Users that subscribe to the same podcast could be torrenting from users instead of just from the server. This way, you can get your podcasts faster, and without hogging up one server to do it.

That's just my idea. But why would we want to make things faster for us? ;)

Re:Commercial use can be for us too (1)

durbnpoisn (813086) | about 9 years ago | (#13223393)

That sounds like a good idea except for one thing... Torrents aren't really very usefull until a whole bunch of people are hosting the files. So, there would need to be some sort of distribution to all those servers BEFORE the Torrent goes live.

Unfortunate as it is, that just doesn't happen right now. So, someone out there would have to manage that process.

Even then, until a WHOLE BUNCH of people volunteer to host a popular program, the downloads will be unreliable and slow.

Answer (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 9 years ago | (#13223343)

why would internet users share their bandwidth to benefit media companies?

Because not all people think that corporations are Evil. I would share my bandwith it it helps keeps costs down, and allows me to download the product I buy faster.

Re:Answer (1)

garcia (6573) | about 9 years ago | (#13223480)

Because not all people think that corporations are Evil. I would share my bandwith it it helps keeps costs down, and allows me to download the product I buy faster.

How much is your bandwith worth to you? Would they follow a model like empornium where I would have to keep my share up? What if I didn't want to give out *any* bandwith would I still get to download?

My DSL connection costs about $60/mo. I can go out and purchase a physical piece of media for about $20 when it's new. Is downloading something in a couple hours worth me having to pay money for the blank, waste my time burning it, and then waste my bandwith sharing it as well? Perhaps you will argue you can just store it on magnetic. What's that worth to you?

My real problem w/all of this is that the media conglomorates now get to ship this media for nearly no cost, don't have to burn as much media, and will likely charge nearly the same price (ala iTMS selling albums for ~2.00 less).

Sorry, but I'll wait for DVD.

Re:Answer (1)

acrid_k (696598) | about 9 years ago | (#13223598)

FWIW: A sentence was snipped from my post which changed the tone somewhat. I asked about media companies offering discounts to people for sharing their bandwidth. e.g. 10% off for a share ratio of 1:1 or full price for a direct download. And you know what, I think the editors deliberately put typos in there. Must drive up the numbers, keeping the advertisers and owners happy. I'm normally pritty good with my spelling.

Why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223344)

would internet users share their bandwidth to benefit media companies?
I think that's kind of obvious. It'll lower distribution costs, and that will lower the selling price, so people won't mind sharing bandwidth because they're getting a lower cost than they normally would. Of course, that's just the ideal scenario, and probably wouldn't last long. At least long enough for the higher ups to realize that they can sell their wares for the same price now, but also reduce their costs.

Obvious answer... (1)

supabeast! (84658) | about 9 years ago | (#13223348)

"...why would internet users share their bandwidth to benefit media companies?"

Because it's a cheap, easy, and very scalable way to get fast downloads. I'd rather pay for less a company to provide content via Bittorrent than pay more so that they can build and maintain and infrastructure capable of hosting a huge number of http or ftp connections.

On a related note, most internet users aren't crazed slashdotters who obsess over their upstreams.

Re:Obvious answer... (1)

MultisSanguinisFluit (608373) | about 9 years ago | (#13223389)

Well said, and I agree.

Re:Obvious answer... (1)

TrippTDF (513419) | about 9 years ago | (#13223469)

Good answer. Thinking down the road, imagine this:

People start using their upstream bandwidth a lot more than ISPs intend, and they start charging more because of it.

Could it happen?

not scaleable beyond "hundreds" (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 9 years ago | (#13223503)

very scalable

Up to several hundred clients, yes. Beyond that? Things don't look quite as cheery. Try connecting to a torrent with a thousand peers and a thousand seeds. A substantial part of your bandwidth- especially precious upstream bandwidth- is spent replying to peers. I blame the third party clients, mostly, for flooding peers with requests.

Re:Obvious answer... (1)

Iriel (810009) | about 9 years ago | (#13223513)

Besides, if Internet Movie Company $foo makes a dedicated program to (legally) acquire movies built on BitTorrent technology, who's to say you can't turn off the program once you're done?

The quote we all seem to borrowing from comes off as if we have to permanently offer 1/10th of our total bandwidth at all times to the corporate giant. For one: BitTorrent is a sort of 'You scratch my back, I scratch yours' technology. Unless you want to be branded as a leech, you have to give to receive. The other problem I have with that quote is that I don't understand how we sacrifice our bandwidth for the corporate machine or anything. If we're part of a commercial service that uses torrents, then we're actually benefitting the other users, too. Once again, we all give and receive and therefore, get our files faster. Unless we'll be charged more for using 'advanced technology', then I see this as a benefit for the users more than the companies.

Re:Obvious answer... (1)

wilsoniya (902930) | about 9 years ago | (#13223573)

I'd rather pay for less a company to provide content via Bittorrent

The answer given by the parent is what you might expect to hear from the media corps.

Look me in the eye and tell me without laughing that the Man isn't just going to use BitTorrent to lower their costs thus increasing their margins.. Remember children, these are the same people who contiued charging 13 dollars for an inexpensive donut shaped slice of polycarbonate and aluminum years after they promised a price drop.

-m

Grrrrrrreat (4, Funny)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | about 9 years ago | (#13223350)

We now have Tony the Tiger posting on Slashdot.

Re:Grrrrrrreat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223496)

At least the slashdot search function will actually be able to find this article if you search for torrrents...

Re:Grrrrrrreat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223578)

But he's dead! [wikipedia.org]

Are you telling me that Tony is able to communicate with us from the great cereal bowl in the sky?

This is awesome. Now I no longer need to hold a seance, I can just read Slashdot.

The problem with bittorrent... (1)

neonenergy (888041) | about 9 years ago | (#13223353)

... is that it's completely based on whatever client someone uses. Since not everyone uses Azureus or ABC or Bit-Comet and the such, sometimes the downloads gets a little screwy. Such programs that allows people to download, lets say 1mbps, and only upload 10 kbps hurts everyone else currently on the download tracker. Then, lets say, that someone logs off as soon as hes done. This not only puts more pressure on the others seeding, but also reduces the overall speed and completeness of the torrent

Of course, if the ratio were somehow locked, such as in some other P2P program, and companies which will eventually use bt for commercial downloads, would eventually regulate BT to the point in which a new, better system would be developed.

How are they going to control commerce? (2, Interesting)

EggyToast (858951) | about 9 years ago | (#13223360)

The beauty of bittorrent is that on top of being efficient is that it's easy to use. You find a torrent link, you click it, you're good to go. If you need to pay for a link, then arguably you need to log in to a secure site and then click the link.

What's going to stop them from propagating those commercial links around the web? Arguably, I'd say that they need to force users to log into the tracker. That suddenly makes accessing those torrents more difficult.

I do agree, though, that such a setup would likely be a lot more secure than just a "pure download" method. If they DO set up some way for users to log in and access (and download) their torrents, then that means they would just need to store a list of torrents, making it easy for users to re-download stuff that's lost.

Similarly, a business could keep bandwidth and speed up by simply distributing a release among, say, 5-10 permanent seeding machines for their various releases. Most of the bandwidth would come from those, but for popular files, it wouldn't matter if you're leeching due to the increased speed of everyone on the network.

I can see how it would work for commercial stuff -- pretty much just the same as any non-commercial torrent release with dedicated distribution. What I don't see is how they're going to control access to the torrents, trackers, and the like.


I can say right now, though, that if they expect me to use my bandwidth for a download that, in all likelyhood, will take longer than a pure straight http/ftp download, I better get a "seeder" discount.

Re:How are they going to control commerce? (1)

pbhj (607776) | about 9 years ago | (#13223516)

>>> "The beauty of bittorrent is that on top of being efficient is that it's easy to use. You find a torrent link, you click it, you're good to go."

Hmm, I decided to try out bit torrents via Azureus as I had a few apps to download. The applications were Inkscape, Scribus and Audacity.

Couldn't find any torrents to use.

It might be excellent if you're after pirated commercial apps or pr0n, but I was suprised I couldn't find torrents for these OS apps.

Oh well. Perhaps I'll try again when OOo 2.0 comes out.

Interesting question (1)

dasdrewid (653176) | about 9 years ago | (#13223361)

why would internet users share their bandwidth to benefit media companies?

That brings up an interesting possible use. Let's say we have an app provided by a (nice*) media company which uses bittorrent to download movies for us to watch (how/wherever we feel like*). Now, what if this torrent app (which would probably be set up to only download torrents provided by the media company) tracked not only how many movies we downloaded, but how many MB we uploaded?

They could (assuming they're nice and cool and all that) do something like give us credits for how much we uploaded. While I might not be ok with them using my bandwidth to deliver their product for their profit at my expense, I'd be perfectly happy for them to pay to use my unused bandwidth. Be the first one to get a new movie, set up as a seeder, and earn yourself 3 other movies right there.

I just hope they don't start (like the article suggests they should) automatically blocking "non-official" torrents in the protocol itself or in the main distribution. It'd make it easier for them to license bittorrent, but it'd be a real slap in the face to everyone else.

*Yeah, I know, wishful thinking...

WTF (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 9 years ago | (#13223374)

the future is looking both more restrictive and more commercial.
... and just HOW are they going to restrict it, pray tell? Its not like you can't run it off any port you choose, or modify/extend it ... its' NOT a closed-source app/protocol, and its not like there won't be further developments, or changes that take the tech into another direction, that can't be restricted.

For example, if I decide to host a pr0n torrent server for free, I'm sure Ill get LOTS more traffic than any paid service. Free (as in cost as well as in beer) always wins.

Re:WTF (1)

FuntSHOT (567824) | about 9 years ago | (#13223491)

I think the idea is that it ges restricted by way of commercial applications which get so much more exposure than free ones, that the vast majority of the population will be ignorant of the free torrent sector for all practical purposes.

For those in the know, you(we) have never had a problem getting the information/files we want. This is newsworthy because we're at what appears to be a possible historical/policy juncture where anyone/everyone has that same ability, not just an esoteric few.

Re:WTF (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 9 years ago | (#13223581)

Well, there was a time when people actually had to PAY for a browser .... now we expect them to be free ...

There was a time when people had to pay for an office suite ... or an operating system, or a comms program, etc.

Nowadays, when something new comes out, people ask "where can I download it" ... they don't expect to pay. Witness the death of shareware.

Arr. Pirate day coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223378)

Arr! I sense pirrate day coming close! Arrr!

Why use your bandwidth for media companies (1)

mochan_s (536939) | about 9 years ago | (#13223382)

You have to wonder about a crucial part of the equation: why would internet users share their bandwidth to benefit media companies?

Simple. They will check your upload to download ratio and give you incentives to keep a higher ratio. Of course, the incentive will be far far smaller than the actual value of the bandwidth but hey, 1GB upload means 1 song or something like that would motivate people.

Maybe it's just me... (2, Interesting)

argStyopa (232550) | about 9 years ago | (#13223395)

...but I am willing to return in kind.

Torrents for files that are being freely distributed - sure, I can share my bandwidth, especially when I don't need it. Even patches for some commercial games I don't mind because it improves games I play.

Torrents for commercial files that are charging users for the download? Kiss my butt, unless you are paying me for the bandwidth.

Somebody having fun with spelling? (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | about 9 years ago | (#13223396)

I have seen Commercial in the topic change spelling 4 times now...

We have a choice? (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | about 9 years ago | (#13223405)

When did we get a choice if we use torrents or not? A lot of browsers are now able to use torrents by default. If big media companies exploit this others will follow and we're stuck using them like it or not.

Re:We have a choice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223498)

Which ones? Firefox standard does not....that I am aware of.

not a good idea for games (1)

Oostertoaster (808578) | about 9 years ago | (#13223413)

I would not be in favor of using bit-torrents to distribute games. Imagine downloading something like HL2 over Bittorrent. My bandwidth would definitely be shot for a month or two in that scenario. (Not that Steam was that much better of a distribution platform though, they never seemed to have any bandwidth either)

Pay what?? (1)

rocketman768 (838734) | about 9 years ago | (#13223415)

The trick, of course, is converting the 40 million or so people Cohen says have downloaded BitTorrent's free software into paying customers.

Ha. Torrent is a widespread open source solution. It's not like previous P2P solutions where the companies who develop them can put pay links in. As long as there is a demand for free stuff (which I'm pretty sure is a universal want), free bittorrent will always win out.

Economics of sharing (1)

ladybugfi (110420) | about 9 years ago | (#13223416)

The question was why people would share their internet connection to benefit media companies. Well, people will do it if there is incentive enough, i.e. they get other stuff faster or access to exclusive content or some other tangible benefits. The current P2P networks have already shown that people are willing to share, adding commercial beneficiaries may not change it radically. The businesses just need to invent the benefits for people for the win-win scenario.

(Argh, I actually used words like "incentive" and "win-win scenario"! I think I've been exposed to too many business proposals...)

World of Warcraft Torrent Downloader (1)

killeena (794394) | about 9 years ago | (#13223424)

Is it just me, or does the Blizzard Downloader suck when a new patch comes out? Is this an issue with BT, or an issue with the "Enhanced" Blizzard Downloader?

Re:World of Warcraft Torrent Downloader (1)

sinrtb (883199) | about 9 years ago | (#13223535)

The same person or team that "enhanced BT" also "enhanced" many of the aspects of WOW (Warlocks etc...) I would be very happy if they gave us an option to run on BT or their software, their downloader sux!

Re:World of Warcraft Torrent Downloader (1)

llzackll (68018) | about 9 years ago | (#13223553)

I've never had a problem with Blizzard's Torrent downloader. It takes a few minutes for the downloading to actually start, but after that. it's fast enough.

It's not all bad (2, Insightful)

alpharoid (623463) | about 9 years ago | (#13223467)

Though I'm not quite in favor of using torrents to help the media conglomerates save money, the implications can be positive in some respects. For one thing, it'll legitimize P2P and make it a crucial part of the Internet experience.

If the big players depend on the technology, it means we'll have an easier time defeating some of the current restrictions planned to curb P2P... such as limiting DSL upstream to a bare minimum, or charging for higher-than-average upstream.

Lots of providers all over the world are still considering this as we speak. Using commercial torrents would put enormous pressure against such measures.

Missing r (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223482)

Ah... there's the missing r from 'emergency' a couple of articles back...

This will annoy roommates everywhere (1)

chia_monkey (593501) | about 9 years ago | (#13223509)

Oh geeze...I can only imagine the roommate hell that will surface if this becomes more commonplace. Roomies slurping stuff off the net in p2p networks was bad enough. When my one roomie discovered the joys of Bit Torrent, oh my poor router...

I feel for all the self-appointed sys admin roommates who are supporting their roomie's habits.

PopCast!!! (1)

CrosbieFitch (694308) | about 9 years ago | (#13223510)

Try out http://popcast.com/ [popcast.com] for an example of BitTorrent TV.

I must be cursed (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 9 years ago | (#13223536)

I don't think I've ever had a torrent that didn't just peter out and stop, never to complete. Mac version. PC version. Doesn't matter.

Pne word... (1)

klingens (147173) | about 9 years ago | (#13223538)

Skype

They're commercial and their software uses P2P to provide the bandwith needed for all those VoIP conversations.

So what does skype have over other VoIP solutions which existed before:
Ease of use

Make the BT client easy to use and well working, and people will use their lines willingly to distribrute whatever the big media company wants.

A reason to share (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223557)

why would internet users share their bandwidth to benefit media companies?

Unless the companies in question are run by idiots (umm, oh well), the idea is that (1) the company needs to provide little actual product (cd's, boxes, books, etc) and instead just media, AND (2) don't need a powerful server to support it (which lowers the running cost of the company). So that shiny game that costs $60 at the store on openning day should cost a good chunk of change less when taken by a torrent method (at least $10 less). Since games are switching to DVD's, this saves the company even more.

So, the incentive is cost. I for one would prefer having a real instruction manual and some real media to have the game on, but realistically dvd's hardly last forever (~10 yrs would be a good start) and manuals are forsaken. (Why provide content with a game when you can just have a forum?)

Torrents....are not the end all be all. (1)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | about 9 years ago | (#13223566)

Bit Torrent sounds great, in thory....

Lots of people want to download say a Linux distro on release day and I know of no Linux company that will be able to have a server that will hold up. So, they create a torrent and when millions are all trying to download it at the same time can because bit torrent speeds this up immensly. What happens later that month? What happens in 2 months? That iso isn't ALWAYS going to be in hot demand. After a while, the torrent becomes slow since there are no downloaders. It would be nice if you can have a server or cms software atuomagically change the link to the static web site once the on coming rush is done. Bit Torrent only works well when lots of people want the file. Once the rush is over, the static link works better.

Regex (1)

killeena (794394) | about 9 years ago | (#13223572)

egrep -i gr+?eat Hmmm.

The Monster You Create (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13223605)

> You have to wonder about a crucial part of the
> equation: why would internet users share their
> bandwidth to benefit media companies?

What goes around, comes around. BitTorrent was
always about forcing people into a community
of "sharing"; even if you really were not in a
position to.

No sympathy from me...

what the headline (1)

demon4 (778594) | about 9 years ago | (#13223607)

hate to be grammar nazi but does this sentence messed up or waht


Cohen's bid to commercialize BitTorrent is a measure of how far the entertainment industry has come since the late 1990s, when Napster introduced millions of people to the power of peer-to-peer technology for downloading songs -- and mobilized scores of lawyers to shut it down."

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