Feeds

BitTorrent to block links to pirate flicks

Deal with MPAA shows carrot works better than stick?

Remote control for virtualized 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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.