For some reason, about two months ago I woke up thinking BitTorrent was important. I’d heard it mentioned a few times over the previous few weeks and somewhere in the back of my brain something clicked. So I downloaded a BitTorrent client or two (currently, I’m using Shadow’s experimental BitTorrent client), visited a torrent site or two, and realized a few things:
- This is, as Tim Bray pointed out, a gamechanger. Right up there with RSS if you ask me.
- The various DRM people might just have a point. There’s no justification for legislation like the DMCA but the level of “It’s digital, I’ll share it” out there is scary.
- I’ve led a very sheltered life. Some of the stuff that’s available out there is just really incomprehensible to me (as in Go away, Japanese id! You are scary! I am scared of you!).
So I did some brief investigation of BitTorrent, read the protocol spec, wiped the files from my hard drive, and let the matter lie. Today, I planned listen to the alarm bell in my brain, investigate it some more, and then post a summary.
Only to find out Dave Winer and Don Park posted articles on BitTorrent today (apparently, someone dropped a meme in the water supply again). In addition, Nelson Minar’s been covering the story like white on rice (side-note: I’m also gonna be really interested in his wine cellar software).
I don’t have much to add to what they’re saying, but I’d encourage you to check BitTorrent out. This, or something like it, is going to be a key component of the web of the future.
Got a favorite BitTorrent site?