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BitTorrent and MPAA Join Forces

Postby SlyckTom » Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:44 pm

As Slyck.com reported <a href=http://www.slyck.com/news.php?story=1004 target=_blank>yesterday</a>, Bram Cohen, founder of BitTorrent, and Dan Glickman, president of the MPAA, made an announcement today regarding the future of both organizations. The MPAA and Bram Cohen revealed during the press conference the two will work together to inhibit piracy.

During May of this year, Bram Cohen released a torrent search engine on his site, BitTorrent.com. As one of the stipulations of the deal, any search results yielding copyrighted material will be blocked. In addition, the MPAA and Bram will be working together to "limit access to infringing material available via search engines like the one at BitTorrent.com."

However the technical feasibility of this assertion has been met with skepticism in the BitTorrent community.

"Bittorrent.com is their own, they can of course fix that," said <a href=http://www.thepiratebay.org target=_blank>ThePirateBay</a> spokesperson brokep. "But not in the other torrent sites without changing the protocol. The protocol actually doesn't belong to Bram Cohen, it belongs to the community and will evolve in the way it seems fit."

Interestingly, by the time Bram Cohen and the MPAA figure out how to limit access to infringing material, the current BitTorrent protocol may be a thing of the past.

Looking forward, this announcement changes little for a vast majority of the BitTorrent community. While Bram’s search engine is a curious novelty item, it represents relatively minor generator of BitTorrent traffic, especially compared with the torrent giant ThePirateBay.org.

Perhaps the more significant aspect of the deal, which is not detailed in the press release, centers on how the MPAA and BitTorrent will work to "promote constructive innovation in this area." It has been long speculated the MPAA will utilize an iteration of the BitTorrent protocol to distribute Hollywood movies.

The announcement is an impressive step forward for the movie industry, who has decided to embrace file-sharing technology rather than suppress it. With the creator of the largest file-sharing network joining forces with the largest representative of film production, the potential match up could be enormous. Below is the press release issued by the MPAA.

<center><b>BITTORRENT AND MPAA JOIN FORCES</b>

Companies Aim To Protect Film Copyrights</center>

Los Angeles - - BitTorrent Founder and CEO Bram Cohen and Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman announced today that the motion picture industry and BitTorrent, Inc. are collaborating with the goal of inhibiting film piracy. Bram Cohen developed a revolutionary technology for websites to make large content files available on the Web and that technology is often used by others illegally to distribute movies and television shows. Today Cohen confirmed BitTorrent, Inc.’s commitment to removing links that direct users to copies of pirated content owned by MPAA companies from its search engine at BitTorrent.com. The announcement today is historic in that two major forces in the technology and film industries have agreed to work together and proactively identify ways to l and to promote constructive innovation in this area.

“BitTorrent is an extremely efficient publishing tool and search engine that allows creators and rights holders to make their content available on the Internet securely,” said Cohen. “BitTorrent, Inc. discourages the use of its technology for distributing films without a license to do so. As such, we are pleased to work with the film industry to remove unauthorized content from BitTorrent.com’s search engine.”

Cohen said BitTorrent.com will remove links that direct users to pirated content owned by MPAA companies from its search engine.

“We are glad that Bram Cohen and his company are working with us to limit access to infringing files on the BitTorrent.com website,” said Glickman. “They are leading the way for other companies by their example.”

Both Cohen and Glickman noted that this effort was an early experiment in using technology to assist in solving the problems of piracy. Over the last year, MPAA has brought lawsuits against several websites using the BitTorrent protocol for illegal distribution of movies. Since then, 90% of the sites sued have shut down. Today’s announcement reflects a joint commitment to work together to fight the continued illegal use of this innovative technology.

The motion picture industry and the MPAA have a multi-pronged approach to fighting piracy, which includes educating people about the consequences of piracy, taking action against Internet thieves, working with law enforcement authorities around the world to root out pirate operations and, working to ensure movies are available legally using advanced technology.

The MPAA estimates that the film industry lost approximately $3.5 billion to movie piracy in 2004, a total that does not include losses due to illegal on-line file swapping. According to a Smith Barney study, that number is expected to jump to $5.4 billion in 2005. By deeply cutting into revenues, movie piracy limits the choices for consumers at the box office. The average movie costs about $100 million to make and sixty percent of all movies never recoup their investment. Piracy in all forms hurts the hundreds of thousands of individuals, whose jobs depend on a vital movie industry, including sound and lighting technicians, carpenters, and theatre and video store employees.
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Postby Nick » Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:46 pm

Good article Tom. Nice to see an end to all the speculation.

So it's business as usual for everyone else then :lol:
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Postby SlyckScratch » Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:57 pm

So if Bram comes up with some sort of genius search-filtering software to use on bittorrent.com (to fulfil his first part of the bargain with the MPAA) I wonder what will happen with any further complaints against torrent search sites under the DMCA? If you're a search site currently playing lip-service to DMCA compliance by removing infringing works from the results (but only after a complaint), I wonder what happens when the MPAA demand you install Brams latest invention to remove stuff automatically?
I know what you're thinking, punk. You're thinking, 'Did he use six superfluous adjectives or only five?' To tell the truth I forgot myself in all this excitement - but as I deal in English, the most powerful language in the world with subtle nuances that may blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel loquacious?' Well do you punk?
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Postby Allied » Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:59 pm

Cohen said BitTorrent.com will remove links that direct users to pirated content owned by MPAA companies from its search engine.

Never liked their search anyway.

The MPAA estimates that the film industry lost approximately $3.5 billion to movie piracy in 2004

Its not lost if it was never yours.

So the conclusion is that BitTorrent will be used in a legit way. Why learn how to use BitTorrent if you're also going to have to pay for it? BitTorrrent is good, but if I'm payign for a download, I want it to max out my download and leave my upload free.
I think this will result in 2 things. More simple BitTorrent clients. And an influx of users to piracy sites due to frustrating downloads. Who else but pirates will know how to trouble shoot BitTOrrent downloads.
Last edited by Allied on Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby mybtrex » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:01 pm

They can't demand you to install some software. Although they could offer you the software so you can implement it.

About bittorrent.com; this means he will soon only have legal torrents. So I guess there will be nothing left to find on his site anymore 8) .
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Re: BitTorrent and MPAA Join Forces

Postby Steely2 » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:06 pm

OK, I confess, my english is insufficient. Does this mean anything one should be afraid of? It says

This announcement changes little for the BitTorrent community.
...
But it is an impressive step forward for the movie industry who has decided to embrace file-sharing technology rather than suppress it.


So, how and where does the "embracement" be? All I understand is, that they will screen out "piracy" links.
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Postby SlyckTom » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:19 pm

The announcement today is historic in that two major forces in the technology and film industries have agreed to work together and proactively identify ways to limit access to infringing material available via search engines like the one at BitTorrent.com and to promote constructive innovation in this area.


The MPAA knows the BitTorrent.com search engine is insignificant. They could have easily stopped the infringment by threatening Bram with a lawsuit. They didn't need all this fan fair to accomplish that.

Now the vauge reference that I have highlighted in bold is the real meat and potatoes of the press release, even though its only a half-sentence.
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Postby foxkill » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:33 pm

Exactly,to the MPAA it denotes destructive
innovation, which will be detrimental to the open Internet community world More Devious Control :evil:
Last edited by foxkill on Tue Nov 22, 2005 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby BasicTek » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:34 pm

And everyone thought they were going to make a legal way to download movies. What a crock. Just more antiP2P propaganda.

How can Bram do anything to inhibit other clients that have taken and improved on his open source protocol (bitcommet, azureus, etc)?

How is this going to stop sites that aren't going to implement filtering like piratebay?

Again another vague MPAA article with 0 details, and 0 facts to back it up. :roll:

I'll believe it when I see it.
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Postby SlyckTom » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:41 pm

Ive updated the article with a quote from TPB...dang this is changing fast...
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Postby Wham » Tue Nov 22, 2005 8:00 pm

Damn! What in the world is going on.

Good article SlyckTom but, the way I see it, as do a lot of others, there is no change in the Status. Looks like to me the MPAA gets all it wants and the consumer gets "You guessed it" crapped on.
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Postby Drake » Tue Nov 22, 2005 8:05 pm

Those crazy Swedes. :)

Long live ThePirateBay!
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Postby AussieMatt » Tue Nov 22, 2005 8:10 pm

Perhaps the more significant aspect of the deal, which is not detailed in the press release, centers on how the MPAA and BitTorrent will work to "promote constructive innovation in this area." It has been long speculated the MPAA will utilize an iteration of the BitTorrent protocol to distribute Hollywood movies.


This was done last week when Peer Impact and NBC\Universal annouced thier deal .

Peer Impact uses LX Systems a iteration of the Packet Chain Protocol that uses swarming and is still used in the open source client Furthurnet
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Postby SlyckTom » Tue Nov 22, 2005 8:20 pm

I see what you are saying, but this deal wasnt specifically with Bram...

But perhaps I can edit that information in...
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Postby jmoney » Tue Nov 22, 2005 9:12 pm

I think that 60% of all movies never gain there production cost figure is bullshit. With theaters, DVD, cable rights and so on, most movie to at least make their base cost back.
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Postby zbeast » Tue Nov 22, 2005 9:25 pm

I will never use any device or server or software that "blocks" my access to anything.

bram may do anything he wants with his software and search but no one needs to use it.

I do thank him for the creation of a original and powerful technology and I do thank him for releasing that technology to the open source world.

If he must create a "cripled"-"defective" version of his software for himself to get money from the mpaa more power to him.

I'm sure if any "useful" technology comes out of any future p2p developments from bram others will take them and toss em in to the "unlocked, unrestrected, clean access world.

I dont think many people use the origanl bittorent client anyway.

update: the filter does not work at all tho. Do a search for "dvd" :)
Last edited by zbeast on Tue Nov 22, 2005 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby pkrisnin » Tue Nov 22, 2005 9:54 pm

If this filter works the MPAA will force other search engines to install it or face legal action. :evil: .
Then they'll start to go after other BT clients.

This so disapointing.Well I guess everbody has a price.
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Postby Toasty » Tue Nov 22, 2005 9:56 pm

It's sad to see another well-intentioned genius get used my the entertainment industry, but this doesn't really change anything. No one can snap their fingers and make all the old torrents stop working. And if they create a new protocol with more restrictions, why would anyone have any reason to use it when they could just use the old protocol. Yet another example of the entertainment industry shooting themselves in the foot by making copyright infringement the more attractive option.
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Postby GraphiX » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:10 pm

hang on..

1. removing only property of mpaa.

which means anything by riaa or other companys
are not being removed ok i can live with that.

2. says on he's websearch engine

which doesnt mention anything about altering
the client or the protocol i can also live with that
didn't even know he had a search engine site lol

none of the above says anything about
modifying protocol or other clients.

i will never update my client or any new p2p.
they work as they are and will continue to work :)
i won't be fixing something that isn't broken.

i surgest you all dive down to oldversions.com
and get downloading the older clients of
bearshare, limewire, edonkey etc...

back them up on CD's and you'll be fine

i can see it now. bram says like we do
hey dan, why dont we help the community and build
a new legit service for everyone to use to download
media they want like itunes

dan replies with nope dont be silly we arn't
interested in that we make more revenue of suing people.

bram, yea but we would be helping to stop piracy then
dan, were to busy working on ways to cripple media
than to ever think about offering a service like this
your just an escape goat so when im finished with you
i'll move onto someone else.

thats the jist of it.
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Postby LoneWolf » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:11 pm

Do you guys think Bram got paid in any way for this?
I dont care either way but was just wondering if he got anything out of this besides more exposure....
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Postby ImperialPanda » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:30 pm

When 1/3 of internet traffic exists because of something you made I don't think you need more exposure. =P I'm sure he's getting paid, nothing big though, maybe something like an average consultant.

Like TPB said the code is open source. Even if they alter the official BT source and manage to close all the current pirate sites, the un-DRM'd BT code will still be there for anyone to download and start over again. This does prevent Bram from making a protocol even superior to BT, but I doubt he's gonna hit jackpot twice anyways.

About the 60% thing. They fail to mention that nobody downloads those movies anyways so piracy is not hurting them, they just suck.
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Postby hacker90 » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:32 pm

Good Article Tom.

I still use that old BT client. :wink:
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Postby ejonesss » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:38 pm

that is only going to affect bram's products .

the protocol is still out there and folks like azeureus and thepiratebay and such are not going to participate.
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Postby macike » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:41 pm

LoneWolf wrote:Do you guys think Bram got paid in any way for this?
I dont care either way but was just wondering if he got anything out of this besides more exposure....


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Postby Kribby » Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:02 pm

Glickman diserves credit here....any by moderating just the official bittorent search engine will be extremely sucessful....

1) newbies hear about bittorent on news
2) newbies type in 'bittorent' on google
3) first result is http://www.bittorent.com....newbie clicks and downloads

but yeah....it will probably make other torrent sites liable to accept similar restrictions, or face lawsuits. But like everyone else, I have no problem with that if they provide 'reasonable' legal alternatives

if this pulls through, I'll probably have a little more respect for the MPAA...provided that they fight their own battles instead of fixing it to help the RIAA too

next thing is to get the RIAA to pull their heads out of their asses and smell the roses...then again, getting through Sherman is like trying to teach a preschool class Calculus, when it's the last day of school. :wink: :wink:
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