It's BitTorrent Day on the Web Today

by William Grosso

Related link:

For some reason, about two months ago I woke up thinking BitTorrent was important. I'd heard it mentioned a few times over the previous few weeks and somewhere in the back of my brain something clicked. So I downloaded a BitTorrent client or two (currently, I'm using Shadow's experimental BitTorrent client), visited a torrent site or two, and realized a few things:

  1. This is, as Tim Bray pointed out, a gamechanger. Right up there with RSS if you ask me.
  2. The various DRM people might just have a point. There's no justification for legislation like the DMCA but the level of "It's digital, I'll share it" out there is scary.
  3. I've led a very sheltered life. Some of the stuff that's available out there is just really incomprehensible to me (as in Go away, Japanese id! You are scary! I am scared of you!).

So I did some brief investigation of BitTorrent, read the protocol spec, wiped the files from my hard drive, and let the matter lie. Today, I planned listen to the alarm bell in my brain, investigate it some more, and then post a summary.

Only to find out Dave Winer and Don Park posted articles on BitTorrent today (apparently, someone dropped a meme in the water supply again). In addition, Nelson Minar's been covering the story like white on rice (side-note: I'm also gonna be really interested in his wine cellar software).

I don't have much to add to what they're saying, but I'd encourage you to check BitTorrent out. This, or something like it, is going to be a key component of the web of the future.

Got a favorite BitTorrent site?


2003-12-01 14:21:19
Please leave dialog open!
"Please leave dialog open!" -- the catch phrase for 2003?

BitTorrent is the current "heroin" of the month on the internet.

Before wiping my machine to install a new O/S I always download the current "bad, bad software!" and then "conquer it". Then I reformat and forget about it.

Anyone who has visited a UseNet site under* lately has seen the postings.. "Please, please post BitTorrent link of FooBar show from 9/23!!!" (insert your favorite show for "FooBar").
I downloaded a nice BitTorrent client to give it a try. I found a few web sites with links which seemed to be like pirate ships -- more than half the links were shut down by the ISP. Anyway, I downloaded a 1.8Gb file of a 2 hour video in VideoCD .rar format. It began downloading and showed how many other clients were "sharing" the experience. The download completed while I was long in slumber.

The beauty of BitTorrent is that others can then begin downloading from YOUR machine (after opening about 10 ports in the firewall). Anyway.. by morning I got up and low and behold there 73(!) people downloading from my BitTorrent session. I shutdown the dialog and installed the new O/S -- knowing there was an entire sub-culture out there.

The MPAA knows about it. They are taking action one ISP/Violator at a time. They are watching the RIAA to see what happens. This will be the follow-on to the RIAA fiasco of 2003..