Feeds

BitTorrent embeds download manager

P2P that bypasses the PC

The essential guide to IT transformation

There are a lot of assumptions that have to be made about the news that BitTorrent has cut deals with three consumer electronic companies that will embed the BitTorrent download manager client directly into their devices. The devices include home routers and networked attached storage farms.

We assume that the old BitTorrent and the new BitTorrent don't speak to one another? Or do they? If they did, existing illegal BitTorrent tracker sites would still allow these new CE devices to work with illegal copying sites, even though BitTorrent the company would not be endorsing that.

When BitTorrent author Bram Cohen went legit last September and raised $8.75m in venture funding to develop commercial distribution tools for media companies, he foreswore the promotion of piracy, but by not articulating the detailed manner in which the company will block piracy using these devices, it suggests the door is half open at least.

It could be that these devices will only be set up to hit specific remote web locations to get information about where the "legal" swarms of data for copyrighted material live. But we're pretty sure that it would be easy to subvert that and use this version for piracy.

If the system now came with a filter, a piece of software that took a fingerprint of video and compared it with a database of signatures to establish that where it was copyrighted, a legitimate transaction took place to acquire it, then that might get around the problem.

The fact that the three CE firms are companies we've never heard of in Asus, Planex and QNAP, makes us worry that bigger companies are steering clear to ensure they are not tainted with even the faintest whiff of piracy, even if it is by people subverting the way these new devices are supposed to work.

But that doesn't stop the idea from being a good idea, bypassing the PC and going straight to a DVR or storage device with P2P. We'd just want to ensure that all CE equipment was a) set up with the same P2P system, and b) that it was one that had never been used to support piracy, for instance the system favoured by the BBC, AOL and BSkyB called Kontikki.

Cohen has been in several negotiations with studios to makes films available through his new service, and has had some success and announced a few deals, but more than a year since forming his venture, Cohen does not yet have a live film service. Can't say we're surprised.

Copyright © 2006, Faultline

Faultline is published by Rethink Research, a London-based publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter is an assessment of the impact of the week's events in the world of digital media. Faultline is where media meets technology. Subscription details here.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.