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  1. #1
    Retired Administrator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    The future of Torrents, and piracy?

    The other day BtDigg was drawn to my attention due to the fact that it was the first time I've ever seen a torrent search engine that relied entirely on DHT (Distributed Hash Tables) for torrents. This means there is no central tracker to remove that would cause the files to be unavailable.

    This is a good move in some respects as the main focus of the anti-piracy groups has been shutting down trackers. When they did this it effectively killed hundreds to thousands of torrents in one single swath. However, the downside of DHT is the fact that it must be a public torrent.

    Currently torrent communities are split into two main groups, Private and Public trackers. Private trackers being selective about their members and many enforcing ratio's to ensure good download speeds; and public trackers allowing everyone and anyone to download torrents. The push for private trackers is that they appear to be more secure against shutdown and legal action as many of them are difficult or impossible to get into.

    The addition to DHT to the Public Tracker side however means that since the has is a simple base 32 encode of a SHA-1 hash, the same content could be available from 15 public trackers. Using Peer Exchange and DHT you could be downloading from 15 separate pools of peers that would otherwise been unaccessible with out the advent of DHT and peer exchange.

    There have been several filesharing platforms before that have used similar distributed hashing algorithms however, many of them have been restricted to specific applications. With the magnet/torrent DHT model it is available to be applied to any software as it's an open standard.

    Do you think that the future of filesharing rests with torrents? Will we go more public in the future or private? Or shall a whole new tech replace bittorrent as the decentralized filesharing medium.
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  2. #2
    Bat-shit Insane RedneckNoob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Colorado Springs
    I can't attest as to whether the future of filesharing rests with torrents.

    One thing I can delve into is whether or not the future will be public or private. If the US' Department of Homeland Security and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement are able to succeed with Operation In Our Sites then a paradigm shift to private will be necessary. Things will revert to operating in a similar fashion as they did during the days of dial-up bulletin board systems where each community was very closed and generated it's own subculture. The difference is that it will be for security this time.

    The focus of combating filesharing is squared away on countering torrents. That doesn't look good for torrents being the filesharing medium far into the future. Do I think a new technology will be developed that is more efficient? Of course I do. Technology can never be efficient enough. There will always be room to improve, and pirates will never be stopped.

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