LokiTorrent fights MPAA legal attack

LokiTorrent, a Web site and index of files available through a peer-to-peer technology known as BitTorrent, has been challenged by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The Web site posted a letter from the MPAA that states that the association has filed suit in a district court in Texas against the site and demands that LokiTorrent cease linking to video files that could infringe on studios’ copyrights.

LokiTorrent is the latest file-sharing site to run into the legal guns of the motion picture industry. Several peer-to-peer sites disappeared from the Internet earlier this month, after the MPAA filed suits against them. The sites acting as “hubs” for BitTorrent sharing of movies, TV shows and other free downloads are the most recent focus of the copyright holders’ war on peer-to-peer technology.

BitTorrent technology streamlines downloads by having a centralized server that hosts indexing information, but leaves the actual data files spread among multiple members’ computers. Someone downloading a large file will grab the actual data from one of several members’ computers that have already downloaded the file. What is key to BitTorrent technology is that no single computer has to contain the entire file for that file to be shared with others. The software is intelligent enough to locate bits and pieces of a large file across multiple computers and then seamlessly put it all back together. The result is a faster download that does not overwhelm the bandwidth of any single server.

The technology has become an efficient way for companies to offer large downloads legitimately and economically. For example, Linux vendors MandrakeSoft and Xandros offer the free version of their operating system only through a BitTorrent download. By doing so, neither company has to pay high bandwidth fees when a large number of users simultaneously download software.

To download BitTorrent, visit http://bittorrent.com.

If you are looking to find free content, you’re on your own. No help from this camp.

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