Two of the biggest BitTorrent trackers in the world, OpenBitTorrent (OBT) and PublicBitTorrent (PBT) have gone offline to protest a silence by the makers of Utorrent, over a money saving protocol enhancement – or lack thereof.
Being not-for profit trackers, both OBT and PBT are sensitive to waste, especially when it comes to dollars and bandwidth. Currently BitTorrent users are responsible for masses of wasted bandwidth due to incorrect tracker announces. Apparently, this would be very easy to fix if the makers of uTorrent, one of the most popular pieces of torrent software, could implement a simple protocol enhancement. Unfortunately, the developers have remained silent on the matter, forcing OBT and PBT to take matters into their own hands. When TorrentFreak asked them when they would return to normal service, they said that it would only happen when a solution is found for the bandwidth waste problem.
As a result of the strike, many people are having trouble downloading anything from BitTorrent sources.
It’s not all about wasted bandwidth either though. As it stands, torrents are open to DDOS abuse, making the fixing of this current headache a security concern as much as a monetary one.
Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij weighed in on the issue a few weeks ago, suggesting a way around the problem. While the idea was well received by OBT and PBT admins, the parent company of uTorrent, BitTorrent Inc. has remained silent.
KitGuru Says: Considering the legal minefield that torrents often present as its public image, it’s surprising that BitTorrent Inc. isn’t responding in a manner that befits a professional industry. The last thing file sharer’s need is another reason for people to point fingers and complain.