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NBC patents tech to detect and monitor torrent swarms

Media companies have been trying to battle piracy and online torrent sites for years without much success. However, NBC Universal recently been granted a patent that details new technology designed to detect and track those downloading torrents.

The “Early Detection of High Volume Peer-to-Peer Swarms” system is designed to detect popular torrents being downloaded by large groups and monitor the swarm. It will then gather data that can be used for anti-piracy purposes, to help make better business decisions or to help relieve strain on ISP networks.


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As TorrentFreak points out, this technology could go on to be licensed out to other companies struggling to control content piracy. However, this is all still very early days since the patent itself was only granted last week.

The patent itself suggests a number of uses, with one of them being the idea that swarm data could be used to give ISPs the ability to limit or block any file-sharing traffic, which is quite a troubling concept.

KitGuru Says: This patent was actually filed around eight years ago, before services like Netflix came along to help reduce the amount of piracy. However, it was finally granted this week so we will have to wait and see if this system gets put in to real-word use. If this system starts being used to help ISPs limit file-sharing traffic, then that could cause quite a few problems.

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