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BitComet Reverts to Version .59
December 17, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
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BitComet .60 was released on September 8, 2005. The release was a minor upgrade from .59, which contained two significant improvements. BitComet .59, release on June 8th of this year, supported Mainline DHT and recognition of a 'private' key. These two developments would pave the way for a series of banishments from several private BitTorrent trackers.

Although BitComet was banned from a limited number of private trackers before the release of .60, the pace began to pick up in earnest during the last few months. Within a span of several weeks, UKNova, ScT, Midnight Torrents and TorrentIt.com all banned BitComet .60 from participating on their trackers.

These private trackers implement a tight control on who can and cannot participate on their private networks. Ratios are strictly enforced, and only those who belong to the tracker via registration can download and share .torrents.

Private tracker operators allege that BitComet ignores the private flag incorporated into their private torrent files. These private flags prevent the sharing of peers with individuals who do not belong to the private tracker. It is further alleged that once the BitComet obtains a private torrent, peers are shared on the DHT network. In other words, a complete outsider can then "leech" files from those private individuals represented on the torrent file.

However this position has come under considerable ridicule, claiming that such restrictions equal Digital Rights Management (DRM.) Many have also noted the irony of the situation - those claiming theft of already copyrighted material. In addition, from a technical point of view it has become apparent that BitComet only shares private torrents under a rare set of circumstances.

In response to BitComet’s banishment, it appears the developer “RnySmile” has reverted back to version .59. Comparing the release notes of .59 to .60 yields very little in terms of significant changes - at least nothing that would superficially prevent the sharing of private torrents. Both versions support Mainline DHT, the recognition of 'private' flags, and using DHT as a back-up tracker.

Never the less, when attempting to connect to the UKNova.com tracker with BitComet .59, the client was not rejected (previous attempts with .60 were.)

Unless version .59 shares enough similar attributes to .60 that would extend BitComet's banishment, it would seem RnySmile is making some effort to satisfy private torrent operators. Most of the mirrors supporting BitComet has yet to downgrade, however .59 is widely available here.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: New Releases
BitTorrent :: BitTorrent Clients

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