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BitTorrent sues for trademarks

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BitTorrent - which usually finds itself reading lawyers' letters rather than writing them - is going to start taking legal action rather than just being its subject.

The company will set the lawyers on anyone using the BitTorrent name, and trademark, if they are using it to distribute spyware or adware. BitTorrent users are more used to legal attacks from the likes of the Movie Picture Association of America.

Company president Ashwin Navin told ZDNet yesterday: "We're sensitive to people calling their software BitTorrent to achieve a certain level of popularity in order to distribute spyware and adware."

Anyone wanting to use the name must demonstrate their software is reasonably secure and pay a small licensing fee. The scheme is designed to keep the software secure rather than raising revenue. Bit Torrent software will continue to be released under an open source license. More on Ziff here.

Browser company Opera is the first to take advantage of the new licenses. A BitTorrent search window will appear in the latest version of its browser Opera 9.

BitTorrent is more than another pesky P2P network - it divides large files into sections so they can be downloaded from different computers before being reassembled. Once you have received a section it can also be uploaded by other users so very large files can be distributed much faster than from one dedicated server. ®

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