uTorrent bought by BitTorrent Inc.

uTorrent bought by BitTorrent Inc.

It seems like everybody’s trying to legit these days and apparently uTorrent is no exception.

A few days ago Azureus 3.0 BETA was released to mixed reviews over it’s new Zudeo service. Zudeo is seemingly an attempt by Azureus to begin offering paid content for download via the clint server.

In fact, Azureus is seemingly a sub-sect of Zudeo, with one having to choose an “advanced” tab merely to see the torrent trackers that are active . Since when did checking on a client server’s downloads become an “advanced” function I ask?

Needless to say, I’m keeping a backup copy of version 2.5 just in case.

Now the latest development of file-sharing programs going legit comes on the heels of BitTorrent Inc.’s announced partnership with Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures, News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Palm Pictures and Kadokawa Pictures USA.

It was recently announced in the uTorrent forums by none other than Bram Cohen, creator of the BitTorrent protocol himself, that it has been purchased by BitTorrent Inc.. Now what this potentially means is that either it’s looking to improve the service of BitTorrent Inc., though I couldn’t fathom how, or that it is possibly removing competitors from the field.

If uTorrent has no legal content to speak of, and BitTorrent Inc. does, or will, unless BitTorrent is looking to sabotage the groundbreaking deals its made with Hollywood studios, uTorrent’s ability to foster piracy is certainly a target for elimination. How could it not be?

In the uTorrent forums, Bram announces:

This is Bram Cohen, the creator of the BitTorrent protocol, and Ludvig (Ludde) Strigeus, the writer of µTorrent.

Together, we are pleased to announce that BitTorrent, Inc. and µTorrent AB have decided to join forces. BitTorrent has acquired µTorrent as it recognized the merits of µTorrent’s exceptionally well-written codebase and robust user community. Bringing together µTorrent’s efficient implementation and compelling UI with BitTorrent’s expertise in networking protocols will significantly benefit the community with what we envision will be the best BitTorrent client.

What does this mean for the µTorrent community? Not much, at least not at first. The intention is to maintain the website as it is, and keep the forums and community active. Moving forward behind the scenes, we will continue to develop µTorrent and will be using the codebase in other applications, especially ones where a fast, lightweight implementation is more suitable, such as embedded systems on TVs, cell phones, and other non-PC platforms.

The existent µTorrent and BitTorrent communities are immensely valuable to us, which is why we are announcing this here first to make sure you’re all the first to know about the news. The plan is to continue to foster the health and growth of the community that has been critical to the success of µTorrent. Thank you in advance for your support.

Bram and Ludde

What this means for the BitTorrent community is startling, for now the two most popular BitTorrent client servers are seemingly slowly going legit. .

Respondents in the uTorrent forum reply succinctly and echo many of the same thoughts I have on the turn of events as well:

Here are some excerpts. They write:

a) this sucks
b) u said it
c) I really hope you don’t F*** up uTorrent now. It’s a great lightweight application, and I hope it stays that way.
d) Absolute disgrace

Bit Torrent are now affiliated with the big players Warner Brothers for example, and they have signed an agreement to distribute digital content through the Bit Torrent client, what does this mean? basically that uTorrent will be that distribution client at some point in the future, and how long before we see adverts for movies within uTorrent!

You guys better know what you are doing, otherwise you will totally f*** up the best Torrent application ever created!

Get this one right, for the Torrent Communities Sake, We’ve stayed loyal, we expect to see fairness in this, and we wouldn’t mind being consulted on any future changes your planning on making, before you actually make them.
e) hey great.

it’s about time UTORRENT GOT IN ON THAT SWEET DISTRIBUTION DEAL WITH WARNER BROS.

good job guys.

just remember, the only reason utorrent is popular is because it is small, lightweight, and you can use it to steal music, movies, and software. if you change anything about, someone else will write a client that does just what the current build does, and then you wont have anything but pile of trash that no one uses.

be careful.
f) It’s curtains, folks. It was fun while it lasted.
g) I registered on this forum just to post on this topic.

This is a f****g disgrace. Bram has made deals with various film companies and such just to make a buck from them. And to be honest with out “illegal” downloading bittorrent wouldn’t be what it is today.
h) Wow this is possibly the worse news I have read in weeks.

Thanks for selling out uTorrent. I think I’ll be switching to something else now.

How long will small entities continue to develop solid user bases and then sell out like little girls. Instead of being greedy you should have open-sourced your program.

u(seless)Torrent is a good concept name
i) back to bit comet for me… too bad, utorrent used to be a great application.
j) Utorrent Lite is already in the making
k) This is my first and last post in this forum.

Let me just tell anyone who reads this that the MPAA is a bunch of despotic, evil rulers over every digital content ever created or ever to be created, and it’s plain f****g wrong. RIAA are just the same. These kind of organizations should not have the right to go over every notion of common sense to rig the entire industry with what is commonly called AIDS, which is a good analogy, since DRM and overly strict copyright laws attacks the industry subtly, viciously, at the very core, just like AIDS does.

I guess the creator of BitTorrent had no choice but to become another MPAA slave, and probably the same can be said of uTorrent… But I’m not going to fall in your traps. I’m not going to sit idly and wait until uTorrent is full of backdoors and made into a software to watch and control my downloading habits. I’m not going to wait until the day uTorrent slaps DRM over every single f****g thing I download. I’m going to change clients and when the entire Bittorrent system will be corrupt, there WILL be another network and I WILL switch.

I’m not taking this s**t at all. uTorrent is dead to me.
l) here’s why we are so upset.

utorrent was bought up. this usually means bad things. look at what happened to partition magic, among many other great little programs, after it got snatched up by norton. it is twice the size, has a s****r interface, and has all sorts of new bells and whistles that don’t work. its like looking into utorrent’s future.

furthermore, utorrent got bought up by BT inc. BT inc just signed a deal with the WB that requires them to take active measures AGAINST illegal file-sharing (and really, who uses utorrent for anything besides that? lets not kid ourselves).

THEREFORE: the client we all use to steal media is now, in effect, owned by GUESS WHO? THE PEOPLE WE STEAL S**T FROM.

this is tantamount to the MPAA buying utorrent. go f*** yourselves if you think this is a good move. this benefits no one but the two people that started this thread.

now, i’m not going to switch to bitcomet, that’s retarded. you cant use that pile of trash on any respectable tracker anyway. the current build of utorrent (the beta with the webui) is really all i need, and i’ll continue to use that until some other client presents itself.

hey ludde, i hope you got a lot of money out of this deal, because your community has turned its back on you within minutes of hearing about it. that’s not to say that i, or any number of people wouldn’t do the same thing in your shoes, but really, don’t be surprised about our reaction. the right thing (and not very profitable thing) to do would have been to make it open source.

instead of contributing to the bt community, you are going to be writing code for the motion picture association to try and defeat the bt community, the very people that put you in the position you are in now.

have fun with that.
m) this isn’t Microsoft word we are talking about. people who use utorrent use it to do very illegal things. if by “users who really care” you mean the 10 people that use utorrent as a neat way to download movie trailers, then you are correct. those users are going to be getting a hell of a lot more functionality and use out of the program.

i, however, am referring to the millions of users worldwide who have used utorrent as their primary means to privately and effectively pirate media. due to this new acquisition by BT inc, that will no longer be possible with utorrent, and possibly the offiicial BT protocol. Utorrent doesn’t owe us anything. we did, however, make utorrent (and BT inc for that matter) what it is today. do you think ludde would have bothered if this was just some silly little sourceforge project with a few hundred users? of course not. the protocol and this client were built on illegal file-sharing and its popularity, regardless of the original programmer’s original intentions.

i don’t doubt the new face of BT inc and utorrent will enjoy a large userbase and a steady flow of funds. but their userbase will not be the people that put them in the position they are in now, and that money will come from the corporations that have declared us the enemy. whether you would like to admit it or not, the community behind BT inc and utorrent are pirates, and we are leaving. what, do you think got so popular by people seeding Linux cds and freeware?

f*** you if you are too dense to understand why we are upset.

as for us, don’t worry. utorrent and the protocol behind it aren’t any safer from being cracked than xp, vista, or any other piece of software out there.
n) This is also my first and last post on this forum. I’ve registered just to post this.

Ludde, of course, does not owe me or any of us users anything. He provided us with a good, light, efficient torrent client that is probably the best one around. He’s always been very protective of his code, and that bothered me a little, but still, the program is terrific and I welcomed it and used it with no reservations.

The same goes for Bram Cohen. He created BitTorrent, a wonderful technology. Whereas I have absolutely nothing nasty to say about Ludde, I don’t feel the same way about Bram. In interviews, he always comes off as an extremely unpleasant, arrogant person, riding on his Asperger’s power trip pretending he’s such the boy whiz. I could forgive that if it were not for his dealings with this sad, abusive content industry we have to struggle with nowadays, be it regarding intellectual property maximalist agendas that do immense damage to consumers and the public good, be it regarding the absolutely crap content that they’ve been s****g out for a while.

Both Ludde and Bram do not owe me anything. Yet, I feel sad, betrayed, and disappointed in myself for being so naive. For once believing they were siding with the good guys…that they were striving for something more important than money, that they believed in the power of the disruptive technologies they created to actually disrupt the old industrial forces in content production. I guess I have too much faith in people…

While I salute the initiative to pursue new business models, making a deal with the MPAA is certainly not the way to do it. There will be no innovation, just the same old business models transplanted to the Internet, with a few quirks here and there, backed up by strongly unequal IP laws, which in turn seek to sustain the artificial scarcity of digital content. I should have seen it coming as soon as Bram started arguing against net neutrality…

This is very, very sad, Ludde, this ruining of a beautiful thing. I hate to call anyone a sell out, but hey, you deserve it. I’m not going to name call Bram, since he’s beyond any help, but shame on you, Ludde. Hope you buy yourself something nice.

It’s back to Azureus for me, hoping that someone forks the damn code and removes Zudeo.
o) Great job creating and developing µTorrent, but I’m sad to say I’m done with it… I already see it becoming bloated based on your own quotes:
“Following the acquisition, patented content delivery innovations made by BitTorrent, Inc. will be integrated in the µTorrent client in a manner that will remain seamless to the community of users. Ultimately, the integration of best-of-breed BitTorrent technology will result in an improved client and an enhanced user experience. It will also accelerate BitTorrent’s plans to provide high-performance content delivery services that power websites seeking the most efficient platform for distributing large, high-quality files. Lastly, the incorporation of µTorrent’s lightweight codebase strengthens the adoption of BitTorrent technology in embedded systems, including televisions, mobile phones and other non-PC platforms.”

once again: “patented content delivery innovations made by BitTorrent, Inc. will be integrated in the µTorrent client in a manner that will remain seamless to the community of users. Ultimately, the integration of best-of-breed BitTorrent technology will result in an improved client and an enhanced user experience.”

I can only forsee µTorrent going downhill. Yes, in your shoes, I would have taken the money as well, which is why I’m not taking the holier-than-thou tone of some other posters.

My biggest concern is this one small quote:
“The details of the acquisition are currently not being made public.” does that mean only the financial arrangements? or are there secret behind-the-scenes DRM plans? either way, the vast majority of µTorrent users will be put off by your recent actions.

It’s been fun, but can anyone recommend a good windows client, not bloated like AZ, and not a crappy cheat-client like Bitcomet? I already foresee µTorrent being banned on the majority of sites…

To be fair, there were also some comments that pointed out that uTorrent supports piracy and that if the developers are merely looking to go legit then they can’t be truly faulted. That it is their creation and hard work to do with as they see fit.

This is true but, considering it’s always been free and used by many the world over, it has essentially become an intrinsic part of the BitTorrent culture, that in a way it belongs to us all. We recommend updates and fixes. We provide comments and criticisms. We all this do make the client server a better experience for us all.