TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: File-Sharing Thrives Under Radar

File-Sharing Thrives Under Radar

Monty Solomon (
Mon, 8 Nov 2004 01:53:23 -0500

10:27 AM Nov. 06, 2004 PT

LONDON -- A file-sharing program called BitTorrent has become a
behemoth, devouring more than a third of the internet's bandwidth, and
Hollywood's copyright cops are taking notice.

For those who know where to look, there's a wealth of content, both
legal -- such as hip-hop from the Beastie Boys and video game promos
-- and illicit, including a wide range of TV shows, computer games and

Average users are taking advantage of the software's ability to
cheaply spread files around the internet. For example, when comedian
Jon Stewart made an incendiary appearance on CNN's political talk show
Crossfire, thousands used BitTorrent to share the much-discussed video

Even as lawsuits from music companies have driven people away from
peer-to-peer programs like KaZaa, BitTorrent has thus far avoided the
ire of groups such as the Motion Picture Association of America. But
as BitTorrent's popularity grows, the service could become a target
for copyright lawsuits.

According to British web analysis firm CacheLogic, BitTorrent
accounts for an astounding 35 percent of all the traffic on the
Internet -- more than all other peer-to-peer programs combined -- and
dwarfs mainstream traffic like web pages.,1412,65625,00.html

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