As Boing Boing reports, the MPAA and Bram Cohen of BitTorrent.com have agreed to implement ways to automatically detect DMCA infringements and “expedites takedown actions”. So Bram Cohen tries to be a good guy and to find a way to prevent the death Grokster died.
“If an MPAA member sees their copyrighted content in the torrent search engine at BitTorrent.com, they will now be able to ask BitTorrent to contact the party responsible for the infringing content or tracker in “a more expedited manner” than previously in place. BitTorrent will also remove the offending item from search returns at BitTorrent.com.”
The article also points out:
“Torrent searches on sites other than BitTorrent.com (for instance, Google) aren’t controlled by BitTorrent.com, so they’re unaffected.”
Hmm. Does these two really go together well? If BitTorrent scans for content on other trackers as well this will absolutely “affect” these sites.
Another problem I see here: the new “trackerless” operation mode of BitTorrent uses “routers” instead of trackers. These “routers” pass the BitTorrent tracker protocol from client to client where each client also plays the role of a tracker using the concept of a distributed hash table . While these routers could be everywhere in principle, the default location are BitTorrent’s own BitTorrent router servers. So what happens when people pass along DMCA-affected material through these routers? Does BT sniff in here?
The whole announcement is going to affect something else: many people will probably not understand what is actually done and will back down from using BitTorrent no longer trusting the system in general. At least FUD is spread already just by seeing the star of P2P talk to the bad guys. I am still not sure how I should react to this.