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A file-sharing program called BitTorrent has become a behemoth, devouring more than a third of the Internet's bandwidth, and Hollywood's copyright cops are taking notice.
For those who know where to look, there's a wealth of content, both legal -- such as hip-hop from the Beastie Boys and video game promos -- and illicit, including a wide range of TV shows, computer games and movies.
Average users are taking advantage of the software's ability to cheaply spread files around the Internet. For example, when comedian Jon Stewart made an incendiary appearance on CNN's political talk show "Crossfire," thousands used BitTorrent to share the much-discussed video segment.
Even as lawsuits from music companies have driven people away from peer-to-peer programs like KaZaa, BitTorrent has thus far avoided the ire of groups such as the Motion Picture Association of America. But as BitTorrent's popularity grows, the service could become a target for copyright lawsuits.
- "File-sharing network thrives beneath radar," Adam Pasick, Reuters UK http://www.reuters.co.uk/home.jhtml, November 3, 2004
File Name: adam_pasick20041103
Post Date: December 16, 2004 at 8:30 AM CST; 1430 GMT