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23 Nov 2005 09:05
Hollywood negotiated an agreement on Tuesday with the creator of BitTorrent software, popular for downloading pirated movies over the internet, in a deal aimed at reducing illegal traffic in online films.
The agreement requires 30-year-old software designer Bram Cohen to prevent his website, www.bittorrent.com, from locating pirated versions of popular movies, effectively frustrating people who search for illegal copies of films, according to executives familiar with the deal.
These people spoke only on condition of anonymity because details of the agreement between the major studios and Cohen were being announced later on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
The agreement represents the latest effort by the entertainment industry to discourage illegal internet downloads. It also demonstrates Cohen’s sensitivity toward Hollywood’s piracy problems, making him potentially more attractive to studios for future deals related to movie downloads.
Cohen disclosed in September his company had raised $8,75-million (â,¬7,5-million) in venture funding to develop commercial distribution tools for media companies.
The BitTorrent technology pioneered by Cohen—and used by an estimated 45-million people—assembles digital movies and other computer files from separate bits of data downloaded from other computer users across the internet.
Its decentralised nature makes downloading more efficient but also frustrates the entertainment industry’s efforts to find and identify movie pirates.
The agreement with Cohen would not prevent determined internet users from finding movies or other materials using tools or websites other than Cohen’s, but it removes one of the most convenient methods people have used.
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