Illegal movie and software downloaders could have an edge over anti-piracy operatives thanks to a new feature in the BitTorrent file-sharing software.
BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen has eliminated the need for Web site hosting of centralised servers known as ‘trackers’ in the latest beta version of the peer-to-peer software. These servers coordinate the BitTorrent download process and have been a key resource for anti-piracy units in identifying infringers downloading and sharing copyrighted material.
The enhancement may cause problems in shutting down the illegal online distribution of software and content, according to software piracy watchdog, the Business Software Alliance.
While BitTorrent’s Cohen claims the tracker removal feature is part of his ongoing effort to make publishing files online “painless and disruptively cheap”, the move is only one of several designed to remove BitTorrent’s dependence on centralised trackers.