Bittorrent Developing Closed-Source Version of Client Software

11 10 2006

P2P Blog » Bittorrent developing closed-source version of client software

Thanks to P2P Blog for getting the deets on this, cause I was worried:

Paidcontent published an “interview with the pirate king” today, the king being Bittorrent CEO Ashwin Navin. In the text writer Jeremia Kiss reported that Bittorrent is employing 32 people now and that their new content distribution platform will launch at the end of the year.One detail Kiss mentioned was previously unreported tho. From the text:

“There will be plenty of changes to improve the user experience and the new service will no longer be open source.”

This caused a bit of a stir in the P2P world, with P2Pnet rumbling about “BT’s relegation to the dark realm of closed systems”. It’s also a bit surprising because much of the success of Bittorrent is based on it’s Open Source license, which allowed software deveopers from Azureus to Opera to develop their own clients.

P2P Blog asked Bittorrent Inc. for a clarification, and the company’s Director of Communications Lily Lin replied:

“We are committed to maintaining an open-source reference implementation of BitTorrent. That hasn’t changed. To power our new retail marketplace and for other technology implementations, there will be an enhanced, closed-source version of the BitTorrent client.”

With BT going the Hollywood route I was afraid that this may mean the death of BT the P!rate King.  This hasn’t really made me all that comfortable, but at least they didn’t come out and say “We are not going to let umonitored P2P filesharing go on any longer”.

Still scary.


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