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Bram Cohen on BitTorrent's Future

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the rumours-of-my-depature-have-been-greatly-exaggerated dept.

The Internet 105

Last week, BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen was rumored to be leaving the company he co-founded -- just as it landed big distribution deals with Hollywood. Can the rumors be true? What's in store for online file-sharing? According to the response, Cohen is not leaving; the piece goes on to talk in more detail about some of BT's recent announcements.

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105 comments

LAST POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17098496)

Yeah. Bet you didn't expect that.

I WANT TO KNOW THE FUTURE OF NICOLE BRAZZLE'S TITS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17098562)

"lost commercial opportunity" (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098508)

I'm all ears.

Re:"lost commercial opportunity" (3, Interesting)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098550)

I believe you're referring to this:

BC: We're rolling out with some content DRM'd, using Windows DRM, at the insistence of our content partners. We're very concerned about the usability problems DRM introduces, and are educating our content partners about the lost commercial opportunity.

For your ears, the answer would be something along the lines of:

WN: So, as it stands right now, the downloaded video content will only work on Windows software?

BC: At the initial launch, yes, the content from the studios and networks will be protected with Windows DRM.

Re:"lost commercial opportunity" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17111306)

Bittorrent is unusable with my ISP as they don't like paying for International transit bandwidth and so rate shape the heck out of BT.

So legitimate use or not, using BT is impossible.

caching (2, Insightful)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098530)

This dude sits on some serious cash. If he for example makes cache software which ISP's can use to cut long-distance bills while keeping net neutrality...

Re:caching (5, Funny)

jrmiller84 (927224) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098734)

This dude sits on some serious cash.

Or perhaps some.. cache?!?! Huh? huh? ZING!!

Come on, you know you thought it too....

Re:caching (1)

Laurentiu (830504) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099824)

This dude sits on some serious cash. If he for example makes cache software which ISP's can use to cut long-distance bills while keeping net neutrality...
Oh, I know, don't tell me! No, seriously! Is it.... NEWSGROUPS? It's not that old of a concept, right, I mean it must have been around since, I don't know, day 1 or so [wikipedia.org] ...

Seriously now, I don't think that BT can be cached in the way you seem to suggest (ISP level). Encryption aside, your assumption is that a significant part of a given ISP's clients are downloading the same thing at the same time. They don't. College dorms are not an accurate simulation of an ISP, no matter what that Physics undergrad who doubles as sysadmin told you. As far as caching is concerned, ISPs should (and probably do) rather cache YouTube or other such video sites "du jour".

Re:caching (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17102064)

='(

i am a physics undergrad who doubles a sysadmin. ... you insensitive clod.

Re:caching (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102146)

This dude sits on some serious cash. If he for example makes cache software which ISP's can use to cut long-distance bills while keeping net neutrality...

Too much infrastructure - bittorrent can already chose peers based on whatever criteria it wants - somebody should implement a network closeness [ibiblio.org] choker. That way each ISP's customers primarily feed each other, where traffic is cheap.

moron yOUR future (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17098534)

guessing that there'll be one for US?

one alternative is becoming a member of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate? really no doubt?

from previous post: many demand corepirate nazi execrable stop abusing US

we the peepoles?

how is it allowed? just like corn passing through a bird's butt eye gas.

all they (the felonious nazi execrable) want is... everything. at what cost to US?

for many of US, the only way out is up.

don't forget, for each of the creators' innocents harmed (in any way) there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/US as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile will not be available after the big flash occurs.

'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi life0cidal glowbull warmongering execrable.

some of US should consider ourselves very fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis.

concern about the course of events that will occur should the corepirate nazi life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order.

'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

Re:moron yOUR future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17098570)

No.

Zero Cost (2, Insightful)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098556)

The main advantage that Holywood would have is a pratically absent distribution cost.
They can encrypt their movies with WMA then distribute that, people could preload their movie whilst at work then unloack the films they want to watch. And the price of the media should trickle down to the consumer. Otherwise paying £10 for a movie when i can get a hard copy on DVD is pretty useless.
Maybe some kind of log in system would work, where you can only watch one movie at a time, and you are charged per view. Maybe than would give Holywood and excuse to make movies you want to watch more than once.

Re:Zero Cost (2, Insightful)

teh_chrizzle (963897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098712)

no one in hollywood wants downloadable movies. you kids today with your ipods think that you do, but clearly you don't understand that there is a very large industry that we really can't jeopardize. the sooner you consumers figure that out, the sooner we can get past all of this "internet" nonsense. we here in hollywood have taken many measures to be certain that downloading is too expensive, too slow, and too inconvenient to compete with our firmly established business. if you want to watch a movie, go to the theater, if you want to watch something at home, buy the DVD (once the movie is no longer in theaters) or wait for it to come out on cable. those are your options. you get nothing! you lose! good day sir!

Hidden Cost (2, Informative)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099328)

Yes, BitTorrent could provide a way for the media companies to distribute their products at little cost, but everytime another user learns how to use BitTorrent, you've equipped one more person to readily download movies for free, as I do. Now, I don't think that's a bad thing, because as far as I'm concerned the current entertainment industry with their outdated model of "Intellectual Property" can all collapse tomorrow and I wouldn't shed a tear. But I'm guessing that Hollywood doesn't really want to teach everyone how to use TorrentSpy.

Pirate tool, eh? (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098576)

"WN: Do you think your plan will dispel some of the conceptions media execs have about BitTorrent -- that it's just a tool for piracy?

BC: Those preconceptions have already been mostly overcome."

Maybe in his little world, that's true... For the real world, no way. If you say 'bit torrent' to any teenager, they're going to think piracy. There's a few who know that some MMOs use it for updates, and that it could legally be used for data sharing... But hardly any of them USE it for that. (Or know how.)

No, I think to really take off, he'll need to rebrand his stuff. 'Windshare, built on Bit Torrent technology' or something like that. Just calling it Bit Torrent won't fly.

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17098792)

We don't care what the teenagers think when they hear it, we care what the old men in Congress and the Courts think when they hear it.

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (4, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098910)

We honestly care what teenagers think BitTorrent is for? I know what teenagers think of lots of things and I'm not so sure I'd take my life-lessons from those thoughts either (my appologies to the under-20 slashdot crowd).

In all seriousness though, I use BitTorrent to download things like Linux DVDs and OpenOffice installations. I've been experimenting with it as a way of managing repository updates as well. I'm sure it works well for other large files too.

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099278)

Yes, we do. Because marketing execs care, and that's who his pitch was aimed at. Public perception of a business is huge.

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (2, Insightful)

revlayle (964221) | more than 7 years ago | (#17100112)

THEY only care because they tend to have more disposable income at their fingertips for making purchases and *generally* more disposable time to blow online - not so much how their opinion of BitTorrent influences people older than them.

(retired people have the extra time, but they certainly do not *necessarily* have the disposable income part and not as savvy (yet) on the intardwebs as most teenagers are)

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103034)

Your stats are common but wrong about Internet use.

The highest number of Internet users in Canada for business use is farmers. The largest segment of the population by percentage wanting access to the Internet is seniors. Yes, teenagers use the Internet a lot, but also tend to have social lives (at least those not on Slashdot). Senior citizens more often than not are actually more connected to the world online than ever.

I'm not sure those stats are still correct, but that is what some leading research has shown up here in Canada at least.

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103282)

Never said teenagers SPEND more time online, they just have more time to be able to do that. Many teens also go out and do things with their friends... shop... go to concerts... watch movies... *BUY* (sing sing) stuff at the mall... break the law... won't sat off my lawn... etc. I can see how senior citizens are more connected as the younger crowd, but because of age/health, may not (or even NOT WANT to) get out nearly as much. Also, just because they are online more, doesn't mean they catch on more quickly then younger people. I know many non-tech people aged 50+ and while they have been online in one form or another for several years, they are about as tech savvy as any tech-idiot would be. Not all of them are that way and the age gap is slowly closing (as people who approach retirement are more and more coming for a internet enabled professional workforce).


As for Canada: I nothing about Canada - I live in Oklahoma.... The State Canada is too far north for us to care! *looks around paranoidally*

I'll get me coat!

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 7 years ago | (#17109248)

Do you have any data to back that up? The myth of "teenage disposable income" had its origins in the baby boomers, particularly the children of those who lived through the depression. I haven't seen any data that backs up that claim in ages.

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17100338)

In all seriousness though, I use BitTorrent to download things like Linux DVDs and OpenOffice installations.

Good for you. Your fully-legal kind of traffic represents less than 1% of all BitTorrent traffic.

We honestly care what teenagers think BitTorrent is for?

It's not that they're teenagers -- it's that they represent ordinary (not highly skilled) people. On the whole, people are using BitTorrent primarily to infringe copyright. And their infringing use constitutes an overwhelming majority of traffic that is transmitted with the BitTorrent protocol.

In a word (1)

matt me (850665) | more than 7 years ago | (#17100532)

bittorrent is for piratelinuxporn

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17101106)

Right....
And the bong I bought at the local glass shop is supposed to only be used for smoking tobacoo.
Hence they can't call it a bong but a water-pipe.
Off comparison a little bit but you get the idea.

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (1)

Wolfger (96957) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103554)

In all seriousness though, I use BitTorrent to download things like Linux DVDs and OpenOffice installations.
Pirate! How dare you not pay for your software?
(at least, that's how the industry feels)

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (1)

guywcole (984149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103942)

No apologies necessary. Most of us are idiots right now. Just don't forget two things:

1. You used to be one of us, so don't act high and mighty.
2. You need to help us, cause we'll be running things in not too long.

Btw, I think what the importance of teenage opinions in this subject is more like "We care what teen's think about BitTorrent because that's what music exec's perceive as the targets of anti-piracy programs." It's not that you care what teens think; it's that you care what music exec's think, and they care what teens think.

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (2, Insightful)

sumday (888112) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098984)

Are you kidding? The only reason the content providers are giving Bram the time of day is because of the Bittorrent name. They intend to associate the word Bittorrent with a legal source of content to shift people over to paying for their media. The problem for them is that there is this uncontrollable protocol that makes mass distribution of large files easy. They cant make the protocol itself illegal, so they have to obfuscate it's function in the mind of your average joe.

It's essentially propaganda.

"Windshare" isn't propoganda. It's just another content distribution system that will probably be ignored by people who intend to download stuff with this BitTorrent thing their friends are talking about.

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (2, Interesting)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099098)

They intend to associate the word Bittorrent with a legal source of content to shift people over to paying for their media. The problem for them is that there is this uncontrollable protocol that makes mass distribution of large files easy. They cant make the protocol itself illegal, so they have to obfuscate it's function in the mind of your average joe.

That's a bad idea on their part then (which isn't surprising in and of itself). I mean, if the average Joe associates Bittorrent and legal, then hears some p2p network advertising bittorrent and free, then he's going to be mightily swayed by the free thing. "Reclaiming" Bittorrent only works if the name isn't being used by other programs that are more popular.

I mean, it seems to take forever to get simple messages into some people. I have only now impressed upon my roommate: "CHR* music, free, legal - pick two". (CHR is "contemporary hit radio", like the RIAA songs you hear on the radio).

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (1)

sumday (888112) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099792)

For starters, when was the last time you saw illegal bittorrent downloads advertised? That's right, never. You have to go searching yourself. The legal BitTorrent service will probably have advertisements though, so there is no contest here.

Secondly, look at iTunes. Music is still very easy to download for free, and lots of people do. But the ones who use iTunes or similar sevices don't care about getting it for free, because they either have lots of money and enjoy the convenience, or they want to stay on the right side of the law.

Big business knows it can't stop illegal bittorrent downloads, so they are simply trying their hardest to put a dent in the number of people who do so. It will work, too. It can't possibly not work. the question is: how well will it work?

My guess is that they will first tap into the large market of people who actually want to pay for downloaded movies and such. Then after a year or two, you'll get non-techie people just assuming it's the norm to pay when downloading movies with bittorrent, because that's all they've heard of and unless they go searching or inadvertantly hear something, they won't know that bittorrent can be used for illegal filesharing. And so bittorrent(as we know it today)'s userbase will shrink to some degree.

It's like when the catholic church moved christmas to overshadow the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. Except i doubt they'll go around killing people who use azureus etc.

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (1)

redcane (604255) | more than 7 years ago | (#17110914)

Actually nearly all the torrent sites I get content from don't advertise them as illegal. They do tend to have web banners or .nfo files etc though....

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (2, Interesting)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099386)

The same could be said of the name "Napster." When you said the word to a teenager five or six years ago, they would have immediately thought of Shawn Fanning's piracy tool. Roxio bought the Napster name and logos for their PressPlay service precisely to capitalize on the original MP3 share's popularity, and it seems to be working well for them so far.

It's not every day you can rebrand your own legit offering with a name that every kid already knows and wears the t-shirt for, regardless of the dubious nature of that brand's popular use. The term is already embedded in most Internet users' minds. Slap it on a paid service, and that equals instant "cool." All tech issues aside, Cohen is sitting on a goldmine just with the name. If he wasn't already running a company caled BitTorrent Inc. to do it himself, everyone else would be intensely competing to buy the name off Cohen and call their paid movie service "BitTorrent" regardless of the tech that actually runs the things.

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (1)

tomservo84 (990233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104754)

Except for one problem...Napster no longer = pirating tool. Bittorrent can (and will continue to).

Teenagers (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099726)

Really isnt the market that they are worried about, nor do they make much legislative impact, so the fact that some snot nosed teenager 'thinks piracy first' really isnt much of an issue.

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17101372)

Maybe in his little world, that's true... For the real world, no way. If you say 'bit torrent' to any teenager, they're going to think piracy.
 
If you say file transfer to a teenage they're going to think piracy too.

Re:Pirate tool, eh? (1)

ahoehn (301327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102350)

Bit Torrent = Legal File Distribution

in the same way that

Cocaine = An Energy Drink [drinkcocaine.com]

I normally try to resist saying this... (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105522)

but MOD PARENT UP! That is the best analogy I've read on the subject.

can't wait (2, Informative)

erbbysam (964606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098578)

"just as it landed big distribution deals with Hollywood."
I can't wait until I want to buy a movie drm'ed so bad that I can only watch it on my computer screen after downloading it at 5 KB/s over a week because there are only a handful of seeders and a few thousand lechers, that's how I want to get my movies delivered to me!

He's admitted... (2)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098586)

He's alrerady admitted that he created Bittorrent in order to trade files illegally. In my opinion,s it was all heade downhill from there. Even if that is the truth, he need not say it publically. Because of comments like that, Bittorrent is blocked at my university, where I usually download the latest Fedora or Ubuntu release.

Re:He's admitted... (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098674)

Somehow I don't think it's Bram's comments which led to BT being banned at your institution. I suspect that's more down to the fact that the majority of BT users are sharing infringing material.

Re:He's admitted... (2, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099190)

Actually, the reason it was likely banned was for traffic reasons. Most non-file-sharers users on a campus network average like 200MB or less a day, even if they visit YouTube or install stuff from online every once in a while. File-sharers, however, use 10x as much traffic. This can clog traffic in areas that are somewhat limited, like older buildings still wired with 10MB wired or wireless. Also, at 100KB+ a second, more than a few filesharers would seriously slow internet access to the campus. (I know this because I downloaded an Ubuntu .iso while on campus and got a mean email).

Re:He's admitted... (1)

loraksus (171574) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104338)

I love universities who send out mean emails, bitch and moan about downloaders but do nothing to actually improve the quality of their archaic networks.

Re:He's admitted... (2, Insightful)

AlHunt (982887) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098828)

>He's alrerady admitted that he created Bittorrent in order to trade files illegally.
> In my opinion,s it was all heade downhill from there.

I don't see why. Floppies, DAT tapes, CDs and DVDs have all been used to share illicit content and those media haven't died, except through obsolescence.

Al

Great rivers are... (1)

Rastignac (1014569) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098590)

...made of little torrents.

What's the upside (5, Insightful)

emmp (1032154) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098600)

for consumers? We essentially pay to download the movie, and pay again (with bandwidth) to distribute it to other people, and on top of that it's DRM'd to hell. What have they (distributors) got to lose?

Re:What's the upside (4, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099198)


When I'm getting a torrent of a Linux Distribution ISO, or whatever it is I'm after, I usually leave the torrent running for quite some time after I've got the download in order to give back somewhat to everyone else. If people are buying a DRM'd movie, then there's no motivation to have the same community spirit towards everyone else. Once you start paying for something, you get a sense of entitlement that undermines community goodwill. I always liked the way that the Bit Torrent protocol worked on co-operation and sharing.

What's the upside? Cost Reduction. (1)

djtachyon (975314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17100156)

That sounds like a comment straight out of the piracy community. Companies are looking to reduce their overhead, not eliminate it. Just getting a relief of half of the download would save enormous bandwidth.

Also incorporating an open-source tool such as this, you can modify how the algorithms work. An example is the BitComet client. It has been accused of cheating on the algorithm, working around queuing, and the way it uses DHT.

This may be bad for the piracy community, but it is an example of how client companies could modify their software to require a ratio if nessessary.

Please correct me if any of my thoughts here are bogus.

Re:What's the upside? Cost Reduction. (1)

emmp (1032154) | more than 7 years ago | (#17100648)

Companies definitely stand to benefit from a deal like this but how would this benefit consumers? A point could be made if they would discount the price of the video depending on how much bandwidth was spent distributing it to other consumers (i.e. more incentive for me to download & share the video), but I honestly don't see that happening any time soon.

Re:What's the upside? Cost Reduction. (1)

microbrewer (774971) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102154)

Peer Impact who's technology has been around before Bittorent with FurtherNet offers a incentive for uploading

http://www.peeimpact.com/ [peeimpact.com]

Bram and his VCs and Distribution Partners are kidding themselves that Bittorrent's paying customers will seed Hollywood's DRm infested content out the kindness of their hearts .

Re:What's the upside? Cost Reduction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17101184)

What does this have to do with the piracy community, as you call it? They upload for ego, so uploading is hardly a problem they have. What no one wants to do is pay to distribute a studio's movie for them, for no gain to themselves. Since the quality is poor, it's DRMed to the point where viewing it on a television will end up requiring a computer attached to your television, and it's no cheaper than just buying a DVD what is the impetus for other people (99.999% telco and cable companies, through unmetered broadband connections) to pay for these distribution costs?

Re:What's the upside? Cost Reduction. (2, Interesting)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103016)

That sounds like a comment straight out of the piracy community. Companies are looking to reduce their overhead, not eliminate it. Just getting a relief of half of the download would save enormous bandwidth.


That is correct and I was aware of it. But my point is actually how purchasing these files changes people's perception of community. There was a day-care nursery in Israel some years ago that had a few problems with parents not picking their children up on time. Someone always had to stay on a little longer to dispatch the last child. So they introduced a fine system in which if you were late, it cost you a few pounds more (or equivalent). The result was an instant increase in both the number of late parents and how late they were. The logic is obvious in retrospect - people no longer cared about putting people out, they were paying for the service. And what is more, when the nursery reverted to the old system, the lateness of parents didn't change back. They had lost it for good.

What I am saying is that for me, and I hope for others, there has always been something kind of nice about the co-operative spirit of the Bit Torrent protocol and I've been willing to donate bandwidth to give something back. A distribution model like this removes this spirit. It is something small and hard to notice, but it is there. Why should anyone do more than is necessary to download a DRM'd movie when they're paying for it? Why should anyone have to pay for the download above and beyond the cost of the movie anyway? This is a big saving for the media companies. Essentially, they are inviting the customer to replace all the packaging, delivery, storage and display costs themselves. Will there be a like saving passed on to the customer? I expect not. The DRM will probably lead to cost rises because you'll start to see pay-per-view models rather than buy to own.

Truth to tell, I think everyone should take a stand against DRM and I'm disappointed when someone in a position to make a fuss sells out.

Re:What's the upside (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17100438)

The thing is, even if you stop sharing as soon as your download is complete, you've still shared some of the file while it was downloading. So a lack of motivation to share has been trumped by the technical necessity to share at least some of the file. The fact the file is being seeded from an official server means the torrent is never going to run dry, and the fact you're paying for the download counteracts the cost of them picking up the slack from lack of benevolent seeding.

Re:What's the upside (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 7 years ago | (#17105208)

Yes but there are cleints that will let you throttle your upload back to almost nothing while simultaneously reporting large upload speeds to the tracker - so clients aren't necessarily going to be sharing any more than a trivial amount.

Re:What's the upside (1)

redcane (604255) | more than 7 years ago | (#17110978)

As I understand it you don't report your uploads to the tracker, you report your downloads. And Seeds share info about other peers as well, so you can't fake it unless you control enough peers. Of course you can always throttle your upload, and see how much you download, but other peers that haven't recieved anything from you, or don't hear of any other peers recieving anything from you aren't going to prioritise you.

Re:What's the upside (1)

lagfest (959022) | more than 7 years ago | (#17102304)

If there wasn't any upside, don't you think customers would go elsewhere? The total cost may be less, or your download speed significantly improved, compared to similar services with the same DRM hell.

Then (2, Insightful)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098614)

We can then fire up the same bit torrent clients that the industry have used to corrupt packets of our illegal shares.

Re:Then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17099270)

I just got a boner over your idea

What's in store for online file sharing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17098632)

I think online file sharing will end now.

Re:What's in store for online file sharing (5, Interesting)

fourchannel (946359) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098858)

I think online file sharing will end now.
No, napster bit the dust and looked what happened. Just cause the MPAA wants to use the BitTorrent Protocol for DRM warfare, doesn't mean that they have control over all people using the same protocol.

It's like if the RIAA took the source code for Firefox and made a new browser called "Lamefox", which was highly restritive. They are using the HTTP protocol, but they will have almost zero impact on the current and future users of firefox.

Remember, BT is a protocol, not just a program. Azureus is (IMO) a very good BitTorrent program, that's open source as well.

Re:What's in store for online file sharing (1)

mikerm19 (809641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17101094)

Azureus is an ok client right up until you see that it take an atrocious amount of system resources, even before it actually downloads something. It's very bloated. uTorrent or ANY other client NOT programmed in Java is much easier on the system. I personally prefer uTorrent over any other client for Windows. The exe is a whole 170k, has all the features of Azureus plus some, and takes very little system resources to run.

Re:What's in store for online file sharing (1)

asuffield (111848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103952)

Azureus is an ok client right up until you see that it take an atrocious amount of system resources, even before it actually downloads something. It's very bloated. uTorrent or ANY other client NOT programmed in Java is much easier on the system. I personally prefer uTorrent over any other client for Windows. The exe is a whole 170k, has all the features of Azureus plus some, and takes very little system resources to run.


All the features... except for one crucial feature: Azureus is free software. uTorrent is proprietary. As soon as the MPAA get around to it, uTorrent will be bought up or sued out of existence, and then it won't be around any longer. Or the author will get bored and stop writing it, or get run over by a bus.

It's not like they're even seriously trying to make money out of the thing - uTorrent is proprietary because the authors don't believe free software can work, claiming that if they released the source, people would fork it, take credit for work they didn't do, and create "rogue" versions that wouldn't behave "fairly" (I can only presume that they're in denial about the existence of all the other bittorrent clients, none of which have suffered such a fate, not to mention all the free software in the world - these people just don't "get it").

Azureus isn't ideal, but it's pretty much the best available if you want to actually fix some of the bugs you find (rather than waiting around for the author to maybe decide that your bug is worth his time), or if you want to run something other than Windows. Those two points are far more important than a moderate degree of memory waste (it's not like the thing won't run in 256Mb, you just can't run it at the same time as firefox).

The movie execs got suckered (2, Informative)

silicon not in the v (669585) | more than 7 years ago | (#17101326)

I've seen a couple of blog posts about it, and I think this [blogspot.com] is a good one that describes it well. The movie execs don't seem to understand what they just paid for. There is a Bittorrent protocol, which we are familiar with, and then there is the Bittorrent, Inc. company. They are not really very related to each other, except that Bram Cohen is kind of involved in both. The media deal was with the Bittorrent company and, specifically, their website: bittorrent.com. The execs don't seem to realize that it has no bearing at all on the continuing use of bittorrent clients by millions of people.

Re:The movie execs got suckered (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103364)

That is, indeed, an interesting analysis. And pretty amusing if true.

Oh? (3, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098672)

BC: We're rolling out with some content DRM'd, using Windows DRM

Somehow, I don't think you thought your cunning plan all the way through.

I will NEVER (1)

Stigu (919228) | more than 7 years ago | (#17098940)

A; buy M$ Vista B; download/upload DRM restricted material. C; castrate myself with a blunt rusty spoon heated over a bunzenbrander. In that order... Distributing non-DRM material however, is something I'm willing to sacrifice some of my bandwith for. I refuse to touch ANY DRM file that has ANY conotation with M$ Honestly, would you trust M$ with your rights to anything at all, I don't...

Re:I will NEVER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17102484)

SACRIFICE YOUR BANDWIDTH?

Holy Shit!

I bow down before thee.

sequel? (1)

stilltron (876042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099012)

Sorry, didn't read TFA, but will Bram Cohen be taking time off of the Bit Torrent project to write another Dracula sequel?

Re:sequel? (1)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099786)

Bram COHEN = BitTorrent
Bram STOKER = Dracula

That's very different!

Re:sequel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17100626)

No, he's too busy filming Jackass 3.

riddle me this? (5, Insightful)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099022)

Why in the world would I use *my* upload bandwidth to help the bloated Hollywood junkies make $$$, AND PAY THEM FOR IT ON TOP OF IT?? Do they really think that...

1. I am going to download and seed files that I have to pay to view. (ok...maybe)

2. On top of that, I will then use my expensive connection to allow others to download from me so Hollywood can get a no cost distribution network. (uhhh..no way)

Perhaps if they allowed me free access to the movie if my share rate went over 200% or something, then I would consider it. But they have to be smoking some seriously dumb stuff if they think I am going to pay them for the right to waste my bandwidth.

Re:riddle me this? (2, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099918)

Why in the world would I use *my* upload bandwidth to help the bloated Hollywood junkies make $$$, AND PAY THEM FOR IT ON TOP OF IT?? Do they really think that...

The same reason people do it today.

Faster download speeds and lower cost.

However, I would imagine that the hollywood junkies cannot compete with the cost of zero.

Re:riddle me this? (1)

shish (588640) | more than 7 years ago | (#17100732)

[If I'm doing distribution with my own bandwidth, why should I pay for the film?]
Because hollywood has more costs than just distribution? Even if the distribution is zero cost, somebody still has to pay for the film to be produced in the first place, and that is what your money will go towards.

Re:riddle me this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17103304)

isn't that what people who see the movie in the theatre pay for?

Re:riddle me this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17103396)

Right now hollywood drops a significant amount of money on disc pressing, packaging, distribution and retail shelf space costs.

Going digital *should* just mean that a portion of that money instead gets put towards server farms and fiber links.

So the grandparent poster's question stands.

Re:riddle me this? (2, Insightful)

SlashDread (38969) | more than 7 years ago | (#17101700)

Thats the future thou, granted, for me to buy into it, it would have two things: cheap, and drm free.
Then I have no issues sharing bandwith up, thats free anyway, the "cheap and drm-free" are more likely to be -my- showstoppers...

Re:riddle me this? (2, Insightful)

Illserve (56215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17101712)

Why in the world would I use *my* upload bandwidth to help the bloated Hollywood junkies make $$$, AND PAY THEM FOR IT ON TOP OF IT?? Do they really think that...

The average user won't know or care about seeding or upstream bandwidth. As long as the program is set up properly to avoid hammering the connection unnecessarily, it will work just fine, despite your screaming rants to the contrary.

Re:riddle me this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17102336)

Because you're on a fixed rate tariff and you're not using your upstream for anything else?

The only reason you wouldn't benefit from this is if:

1) Your upstream is noticeably slow already
2) You pay more if you upload more
3) You are a slashdot-reading anti-hollywood fanatic who already lies outside the scheme's target audience

Because YOU will benefit by getting it faster. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17103522)

Unless they have connections capable of saturating the downstream bandwidth of ALL downloaders, everyone who gets the file via BT will get it faster. Yes, there might be some edge cases to that, but they're unimportant as a practical matter--you still get the benefit of a faster download.

Also, since most of us don't pay for bandwidth directly, we're not really losing a whole hell of a lot to get a faster download in return.

Besides, they COULD just charge you even more to support the infrastructure it takes to download things.

Don't misunderstand--I'm NO friend of the MPAA & co. I really don't give a damn about out-and-out piracy, but I just hate seeing watching people post this incorrect argument under every single BT story.

Re:riddle me this? (1)

Skythe (921438) | more than 7 years ago | (#17108316)

Yet current users have no obligation to do this - and the system works just fine. You could argue that the 'innate invisible feeling to give back' would disappear once consumers have to pay for content, but im willing to bet a large proportion of initial seeds out there are just kids that leave their bit torrent on overnight to download and kids who want to 'get their share ratio' up.

I think your idea of benefits such as free access for having a higher share rate is a great one to say the least, especially if the potential for abuse is removed.

Bram Cohen (2, Interesting)

Slashcrap (869349) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099024)

I would just like to take the opportunity to state for posterity my sworn belief that Bram Cohen will never do anything else of note no matter how long he lives.

He will join the legions of people that came up with one brilliant invention and then spent the rest of their lives trying to come up with something to match it and failing in the most spectacular way.

See Clive Sinclair.

I don't have any evidence at all. I just have a very strong feeling about this.

Re:Bram Cohen (4, Insightful)

Colz Grigor (126123) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099708)

So what?!

Many inventors have had one big invention, early on, that they were never able to top. The one we all know: Alexander Graham Bell. And then there's Eli Whitney, George Eastman, Henry Ford, Igor Sikorsky, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Steve Wozniak, Elias Howe... and this list is hardly all-inclusive.

Bram Cohen create an ingenious and highly beneficial technology. He may not be a Thomas Edison, but how many people can you name who had multiple disparate inventions? And does the fact that most inventors don't become household names make the inventions or the inventors any less of a person?

Give the guy credit for what he's done and maybe some encouragement to do more, but don't call these people failures. They've done more than most people ever will...

::Colz Grigor

Re:Bram Cohen (2, Interesting)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17103318)

Alexander Graham Bell did *not* invent the telephone, he was the most publicized creator of it though. It was originally invented in Europe and somehow Bell invented his a short time later and got to take all the credit.
Same goes for Edison and the light bulb, originally done in Europe, but because he was American (most likely reason I can think of for both, the same goes for a slew of other American 'firsts', including the Wright brothers), he got to take all the credit in the history books.

Re:Bram Cohen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17107272)

To you and the poster replying bitching about these inventors, many listed did make other inventions. Edison made MANY things besides a lightbulb. In fact the lightbulb existed for two generations before Edison got to it, he only found a filament that was worthy of daily, mass use - something the Europeans couldn't do (to the subposter who ignorantly spews contrary propaganda). The airplane was partially developed in Europe but no actual record existed of a flight near any level of success - outside of some undocumented later created fabrications. Mr Whitney, for example, made avast contribution to interchangeability and industry standardization. Ford had many good ideas, although not all precisely inventions, that were new, revolutionary, and benefited several industries from public cars, to racing, to airplanes in war especially.

With that said, I agree with you on Brahm Cohen.

Re:Bram Cohen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17108930)

something the Europeans couldn't do

Ever heard of Joseph Swan? What about the Edison & Swan United Electric Light Company?

Re:Bram Cohen (1)

Zandax (1035426) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099972)

Nope, I think you'll find that Sir Clive Sinclair has never produced any brilliant inventions, just a sad procession of second-hand notions expertly marketed.

Re:Bram Cohen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17100602)

Which is one more thing than you'll ever do.

Re:Bram Cohen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17103654)

Better to do one thing and do it well than to never do anything of note.

Realistic model (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099344)

It is possible this will work but I am skeptical thinking it is possible MPAA and certain large companies may try to embrace and extend the bittorrent system to make it "easier" for the end user to give them a lot of money. It could work though if prices are lower to the customer that seeds or provides significant bandwidth, and in particular if DVD libraries are cached at the ISP in such a way that non-movie traffic is not wiped out.

If done well this could usher in a way for payments to be made for ISP packages including payment for the liscensing of broad content libaries (not just movies, how about university libraries, encyclopedias, mainstream publishers, television and newspaper companies too) or for some other company to arise that will aggregate such liscenses into a package and make sure everyone gets paid. It would be very bad if only certain Hollywood studios are able to get into your wallet.

Most of the posts here talk about how things are impossible. I think it is pretty unlikely that slashdotters will be contributing bandwidth for free to morally bankrupt companies, but the idea is mainly to build a video on demand system for large swathes of users and they might not mind DRM so much. Perhaps one answer will be for someone else to build a system that does things the "right" way and Hollywood can use it too. Bittorrent is public, I'm curious about what his company has as an edge. Are they modifying the protocol for special video clients, or what? Otherwise it is still wide open and they are not going to "totally own" (dumb phrase) online movie space.

P.S. I got money from Accel Partners once for an early ISP and I was extremely dissatisfied with their level of understanding and support. They might have gotten a clue since then but Bram cannot depend on them to tell him anything about reality he will have to keep a clear eye on it himself.
Still not impossible at all. For example a new mp3 phone in Japan has in all sales materials the Napster and Tower Records brands! It would be fun to see Bittorrent as a brand shown right up there with a big movie house but unless he is really delivering something valuable his lunch could get eaten real fast.

I'd like to hear what he would say about the Democracy browser that runs on the same protocol. Technically it might be perfect for him but there will be hollers if he tries to inject DRM hooks into it or recommend it for DRM'd titles! Just what is he offering?

Roger & Me (2, Interesting)

CheeseburgerBrown (553703) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099476)

How would this newer sort of BT experience jibe with those of us who access BT resources against the wishes of our ISPs?

I, for example, am obliged to use Rogers Hi-Speed for my broadband connectivity. In my village in rural Canada I have no other alternative. And, currently, it's a bloody arms race between Rogers and I to keep my BT transfer happening.

I'm randomly switching ports, encrypting traffic, muttering voodoo incantations -- I shudder to think what can of a dance I'll have to do in six months time.

So, if BT has this new, legitimate face will providers like Rogers make peace? Or will movies over BT be a legal use of bandwidth Roger and his ilk decide I'm too irresponsible to be allowed to use?

Re:Roger & Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17103672)

we gave up on rogers last month and switched to mycybernet
fast torrent downloading with no encryption needed

BitTorrent for commercial content distribution (1)

dinomite (177112) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099556)

I don't understand all they hype about using BitTorrent as a distribution method for commercial content. BitTorrent is a great protocol for distributing pirated material because no one person has to foot the bandwidth bill. If I pay for something, however, why should I have to further pay with my bandwidth?

Re:BitTorrent for commercial content distribution (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099632)

It's like this. Suppose there is a company A, selling downloadable movies hosted on their own servers, at price $A, and company B, selling movies distributed over bt, at price $B. Suppose it costs you $C dollars of bandwidth to use company B's offering. Now, presumably company B will be able to offer its product at a lower price due to the negligible bandwidth bills; and if $A-$B > $C, then it's clearly beneficial to go with B even if you use up your own bandwidth. Clear?

Bram is an innovator (-1, Flamebait)

hkb (777908) | more than 7 years ago | (#17099720)

EYE SUFFER FROM TEH ASSBURGER'S SYNDROME, PLEASE PAY ATTENSHUN TO MEEeEeeEEe! Kmart, 400 Oak St, Cincinnati, Ohio yeaaaaah! Quantas, yeaahhh!

Obligatory anti-patent rant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17100250)

says he's busier than ever positioning the company to totally own online video downloads.

Sorry to burst Bram's bubble, but Apple already has sole ownership of video downloads. Perhaps he could use that hollywood money to buy a license [digg.com] ?

somone got a contact to coham (1)

xunling (743216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17101936)

i wanna talk to him, i get a cool idead during sleep i wanna discuss him :)

why not real or quicktime? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#17104658)

By using windows media drm they ignore huge (in terms of paying for media) apple userbase.
quicktime supports drm for ages and so extensible that even windows formats are supported via components.
There is also real networks which already supports everything down to phones.
I wonder who they dealt with? MPAA or MSFT?
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