Feeds

BitTorrent to block links to pirate flicks

Deal with MPAA shows carrot works better than stick?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen has agreed to strip links to pirate movies out of his bittorrent.com search engine - the outcome of talks between his company and the Motion Picture Ass. of America (MPAA).

"BitTorrent Inc. discourages the use of its technology for distributing films without a licence to do so," Cohen said in a statement. "As such, we are pleased to work with the film industry to remove unauthorised content from bittorrent.com's search engine."

The agreement is limited. It only applies to content owned by the MPAA's seven members, and clearly can't extend to any other search engine capable of listing BitTorrent files. It's also up to the MPAA's members to spot links to illegal copies of material they own, and to report the breach to BitTorrent.

Still, the move helps to distance BitTorrent the company and BitTorrent the software from the actions of its users. Cohen can always claim, should Hollywood ever raise the spectre of legal action against him, that his code has legitimate uses, and is thus protected by legal precedent from any illegal uses it may be put to.

Of course, P2P software companies Grokster and Streamcast used that same argument and were able to defeat the MPAA at both the District and the appeal court level in the US. The Supreme Court, however, ruled that they could be successfully sued if it could be shown they had promoted illegal usages.

Cohen's move makes it much harder to make such a claim against BitTorrent, and with the emphasis of the deal on movie industry being pro-active rather than BitTorrent policing its own network, it could be argued he's done very nicely out of the negotiations.

The deal also shows the MPAA in a better light, being apparently now more willing to work with technology companies than to simply sue first and ask questions later. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.