back to article Pirate Bay aims to sink BitTorrent

The buccaneers of Pirate Bay are working on a replacement for the BitTorrent protocol in fear their access to free music, video and software could be blocked by commercial interests. The Swedish anti-copyright collective is building a new P2P system aimed at reducing the influence of BitTorrent's inventor Bram Cohen and the …


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  1. Patrick

    Common carrier status?

    If ISPs start examining traffic for copyright infringement - assuming that they're able to in the first place - then won't they lose any right to not be held legally liable for material transmitted through their systems? They would have shown an ability to recognise certain types of material after all.

  2. Mark

    You ought to mention that there is free music etc legally out there

    Needs saying because of the **AA PR war on filesharing has tried hard to avoid any mention of any legal sharing of copyrighted materials being possible without financial renumeration AND a umpty-page license agreement.

    It does exist.

    So the Pirate Bay may be ensuring their access to free music, movies etc. but that doesn't mean *illegal* free music, moves etc.

    After all, this post is copyrighted and literally dozens of El Reg readers will be infringing the copyright restrictions normally associated with "works of art".


  3. Anonymous Coward

    Repel Boarders

    We would never get a decent subscription model accepted if it wasn't for the likes of BitTorrent and Pirate Bay. Im all for rewarding artists, Im not so keen on lining the fat cats already well lined pockets.

  4. John Parker
    Thumb Up

    merging networks...

    "It's being developed so that clients for .p2p downloads are able to handle .torrent files too."

    If they mean that you could have a file on the future p2p client, and it can be getting some parts from ed2k users and some parts from bittorrent users, to build the complete file, then that is very cool.

    A great many more sources, especially on "new stuff", such as recently aired American TV shows.

  5. Jon

    And the winner is....

    The lawyers.....

    In this continuous battle between Copyright holders and people hell bent on copyright abuse, the only real winners are the lawyers.. If (and it seems to be starting to happen) the copyright holders distributed copyright material at a reasonable price rather than trying to build cast iron defences round their material, then they would sell a lot more copies, and perhaps p2p networks would disappear.. They've only really appeared to accomodate the fact that there is so much rubbish and repeats on TV, cinema's are extortionate, and software is disproportionately more expensive than the amount of work that goes into them, and they often become obselete within 12 months.

    In a way, P2P sites are a democratic way for users to show their dissatisfaction of the current system for distribution of material.. It's a convincing argument.. Wouldn't stand up in court though.. "I was only exercising my democratic rights!"

  6. Ed Deckard

    I didn't get this bit

    "In July 2006, version 6.0 of the BitTorrent protocol was the first released without the source code."

    I thought a "protocol" just meant the rules for the computers to talk to each other.

    How does that have a source code?

    Should it read "BitTorrent client"?

    If the protocol itself went "closed," how do independently developed clients like Azureus, uTorrent, etc. keep up, or did they stay with 5.x?

    If it's just the client, how is this important or indeed relevant to the stuff TPB is concerned about?

    I request a :confused: icon. Maybe a big question mark by itself, or in a yellow truangle like the exclamation icon.

  7. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: I didn't get this bit


    The worries are over the protocol, though the sentence should have said client, I've fixed that now. Apologies for the confusion.

    There is some background at Slyck that should help clear it up for you:

    Here's a relevant passage:

    "With previous versions (prior to 6.0), the protocol was just as open as the old mainline client. This has changed with the release of 6.0. Developers, community members and newcomers to the BitTorrent scene have expressed concern that keeping up with the latest protocol developments may be difficult, if not impossible.

    However this will not be the case, as the protocol will continue to be maintained at

    While the BitTorrent client and the latest protocol may not be published, therefore technically closed source, the protocol is still open. The details of the protocol extensions, including all the latest revisions, are still available to whoever wants them. BitTorrent's recent move isn't going to make everyone happy, but those wishing to help develop the BitTorrent community probably won't notice much of a difference."

    So the concerns over the openness of the protocol are perhaps wrong-headed, but there nonetheless, which is part of why TPB are acting in this way.

    Chris Williams

  8. Name

    Younglings - no alternative for p2p

    In many parts of the world their is no alternative for p2p.

    Especially for people with very specific (non-global or in their own region available) tastes in music or fansubbed asian spoken cartoons.

  9. Alex

    How exciting

    I'm sure this will be very successful once they've finished development.

    And I'm sure their purchase of Sealand is progressing smoothly.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm lost

    From our esteemed Reg hack's attempt to clear this up:

    "While the BitTorrent client and the latest protocol may not be published, therefore technically closed source, the protocol is still open. The details of the protocol extensions, including all the latest revisions, are still available to whoever wants them."

    I don't get it, the first sentence says the details of the latest protocol aren't published. Is this not at odds with the second assertion - i.e. that we *can* still get details of the protocol.

    So have we access (open) to the protocol or not (closed)? Am I missing something?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: infiiltrating OiNK

    OiNK was never private. It had 180,000 members, and invites were frequently traded and sold on various forums and even ebay.

    There are few private trackers that would be difficult for authorities to access, because most private trackers want a decent sized user base and give out invites fairly freely. Even the most exclusive ones would be easily susceptible to concerted attempts, particularly if money was spent to buy an invite.

  12. James

    Response from the Wax Cylinder Industry Association

    The WCIA wishes to express its deep revulsion for this development, and indeed all developments. Development is a cancer, working away at entrenchment, hegemony and monopoly, and forcing investment, innovation and competition. This is very much in the consumer's worst interest.

    Imagine a school, of say 700 pupils, in which your little Johnny is the only child who doesn't like the latest Steps Take 7 Boyz album. Perhaps instead he was entranced by some left-leaning freedom hating communist jazz he downloaded from Kazaa. Your poor little Johnny is going to be the pariah of that school. Is that what you want? You heartless bastards. When there is no choice but what the WCIA chooses, there will be no alienation on grounds of taste. When there is no alternative, no child will be denied the joy of failing an X-Factor audition.

    As for innovation, how long will the consumer continue to be conned by this "march of progress"? How many different music formats exist to confuse the consumer? AAC+Fairplay, PlaysForSure, Zune Marketplace... who has the time? Without cursed innovation, we would have one simple, standard, universal music format. I mean, of course, the CD, which plays everywhere and always, except the ones that we had to cripple so they don't, which is for your own good. For your own good. Your own good.

    And now we see that after all the innovation that went into buying an established media distribution protocol, we are further required to spend money to innovate ways of stopping people using this protocol they way they want to! And now some yuet-dwelling hippie beardoes want to introduce competition into the equation as well? And not the kind of competition where the whole industry agrees a few extra weeks of blockbuster releases in order to bolster all the major players, but the kind of competition where I might personally lose money!

    The WCIA once again demands that responsible computer manfacturers do the responsible thing, and expend all their effort into securing IP they do not own and in which we will not allow them to have a share. Clearly the protection of individual files is an unworkable strategy, and so the WCIA advocates "Plan Q (mark 4 revision 12)" in which OS manufacturers immediately develop systems in which the opportunities for users to operate P2P software, listen to audio files, or indeed do anything not sanctioned by an extremely short list drawn up by corporate managment are severely curtailed. Proof of concept already exists in the form of Windows Vista.

  13. Alex
    Paris Hilton

    zounds! ye gods!

    someone appears to have downloaded a copy of me onto another computer and it has posted my sealund joke!?!?!

  14. Morely Dotes

    @ Patrick

    ISPs are not common carriers, in spite of their repeated attempts in the USA to claim such status when complaints are made to them about abusive customers.

    Common carrier status requires extremely difficult paperwork, *and* is heavily regulated by the government (less so than pre-Reagan, of course; wouldn't want to hobble the ability of the common carriers to soak the public, er, turn a "reasonable profit").

    ISPs in the USA are protected under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, however (just about the only positive feature of that law) - *until* they start exercising editorial publishing power.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    @ Morely Dotes

    Does that include Comcast preventing the publishing / downloading of P2P files? Or doesn't that count as they don't care what kind of P2P they are blocking?

  16. heystoopid


    Hmm as all software coders know reverse engineering and code disassembly is so easy it is laughable !

    But whatever , all are failing to put the finger on Bram who is merely trying to save his ass from the lethal legal razor gangs !

    What price a choice indeed , to spend a decade fighting them at the cost of your sanity and spend millions in defending your name in the process , watch helplessly from the sidelines as your enemy deliberately bribe elected governments for new draconian laws at every hard fought reversal or to save your sanity jump ship in mid stream and be willingly press ganged ?

  17. Alex

    @Alex (zounds! ye gods!)

    I think you will find, Sir, that it is you who have been downloaded to another computer to comment on my joke. :-P

    In some seriousness, I think the duplicate usernames are allowing several people to claim to be amanfrommars. Seems a shame that "his" distinctive contributions are being watered down by cheap imitations...

  18. Gower

    Walk the Plank Alex

    Granted Sealand didn't happen but I betcha some illegally downloaded movies that if the PB put out a protocol it would take off, fast.

  19. Alex

    Before I jump into the shark-infested waters

    How's their uncensored image hosting site doing?

    Or The Video Bay?

    It's not that I don't think a PB p2p protocol would be successful if they released one. It's just that they probably won't release one.

  20. Chris


    Just ROFLDribble

  21. Dam

    Deezer ? legal music ?


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