Will an open source BitTorrent be good or bad?

Will an open source BitTorrent be good or bad?

Summary: BitTorrent has decided to open source its new uTorrent protocol, which has now entered a public beta.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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BitTorrent has decided to open source its new uTorrent protocol, which has now entered a public beta.

The software is available at GitHub and the license can be viewed here. Reportedly this is the MIT License.

The new software supports streaming as files are downloading, by downloading portions of a file in order. There is also a new web service aimed at making multiple torrent clients easier to manage.

The software also has features ISPs might like. It's more aware of congestion, and will automatically rein itself in.

This dynamic throttling capability may make some downloads slower, but Ars Technica notes uTorrent will also grab 100% of available bandwidth when that's available, so some might be faster.

TorrentFreak writes that this traffic shaping feature may prove unpopular with users, but that open sourcing the code will let other developers innovate around problems.

Over the years BitTorrent has been blamed for everything from film piracy to the heartbreak of psoriasis, and as news of this filters into the mainstream media over the next week it will be interesting to see what the reaction is. So far most of the reaction is technical in nature.

If bad guys can now get torrent code easily, for instance, what might happen to security? And if the excuse of ISP bandwidth throttling is gone, what excuse will cable operators like Comcast deploy  in campaigning against it?

And how will Bob Kerrey respond? The former Nebraska Senator was recently chosen the next head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which is continuing its campaign to shutter Torrent tracking sites.

Topic: Open Source

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18 comments
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  • The MAFIAA are fighting a battle they can not win

    Technology will ALWAYS evolve to circumvent whatever legal roadblocks are thrown in front of what people want to do. Apple has shown that what people want is an easy, cost-effective means to get content. If the content rights holders will not provide what people want, then people will find an alternate way of getting the content they want. Legal or Illegal.
    sismoc
    • RE: Will an open source BitTorrent be good or bad?

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  • bad

    the MIT license is weak.
    Only GPL counts as a good license.
    LlNUX Geek
    • RE: Will an open source BitTorrent be good or bad?

      @Linux Guru Advocate - Why?
      de-void-21165590650301806002836337787023
      • RE: Will an open source BitTorrent be good or bad?

        @de-void
        because M$ and Apple will steal the code and sell it.
        Linux Geek
  • OpenSource? too late

    The original BitTorrent protocol, while not FLOSS, was freely available for anyone to use. while I am a huge proponent of FLOSS, this new protocol is not really FLOSS either, from my understanding -- just a new set of code is released to work with this new protocol specification. Just as before, someone will likely rewrite it from scratch for their own implementation, so this isn't anything new. Or am I missing something?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitTorrent_(protocol)#Implementations
    lefty.crupps
  • Neither

    The real question is whether users will use it inappropriately. And what appropriate usage for a torrent might be.
    0Hboy
    • Seriously?

      > The real question is whether users will use it inappropriately.

      That's a serious question? I have an answer. Yes, users will use it inappropriately like every other tool ever invented.
      zdnet-registraion
    • RE: Will an open source BitTorrent be good or bad?

      @0Hboy World of Warcraft uses bittorrent to download its patches for its software. So does the game Runes of Magic. There ARE legal uses for the bittorrent protocol, it isn't the protocol that's bad, it's the implementation that is sometimes used badly.
      BrewmanNH
    • RE: Will an open source BitTorrent be good or bad?

      @0Hboy Downloading Open Office or Linux distributions and other open source software distributed via torrents.

      Is there another use for them?

      If so, I'm not aware of any. ;)
      hill60
      • RE: Will an open source BitTorrent be good or bad?

        @hill60 & 0Hboy
        I think Googles Chrome OS was also made available - by Google - as a torrent.
        gjm123
  • RE: Will an open source BitTorrent be good or bad?

    Considering the lawsuits on other P2P creators, this makes sense. Who are you going to blame when nobody owns the code.
    Greenman76
  • RE: Will an open source BitTorrent be good or bad?

    depends on how users use it
    bt still i think it vil b good
    bullseye22
    • RE: Will an open source BitTorrent be good or bad?

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  • RE: Will an open source BitTorrent be good or bad?

    do not see the point, just use Ubuntu
    vamike999
  • BT has been open source from the beginning

    There's no danger of baddies doing something: BT has been an open protocol and had an open source client since the beginning. There are multiple FOSS clients. BT bought uTorrent (a closed source client) a couple of years ago and has been using that. This news is just about opening uTorrent code.
    daengbo
  • Best views as a Youtube file sharing

    Torrents are a great way of sharing information but the program has been best known for pirating movies and software. Making Utorrent Open will allow developers to filter out DRM'd content without having authorities involved in crashing their system because someone wants Avatar for free. I bet you would like to have a torrent program on your computer without having someone like Comcast throttle your connection due to possible DRM files being transfered through your computer.
    Maarek
  • RE: Will an open source BitTorrent be good or bad?

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