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Microsoft Funds Russian BitTorrent Blocker 'Pirate Pay'

Posted by: , 18:54 AEST, Wed May 16, 2012

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Russian company says they have the solution to the BitTorrent piracy problem, through a tool called Pirate Pay, and development of it is being funded by software giant Microsoft
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Image/Photo Credit: nrkbeta @ Flickr, CC

A Russian start-up says they've been given financial backing by Microsoft to develop a way to block BitTorrent downloads.

The tool, called 'Pirate Pay', has already been used in practice to hinder the download of several Russian films, and has already been used by Hollywood studios like Sony and Disney to protect their movies.

Andrei Klimenko, the company's chief executive, explains that the origin of Pirate Pay related to network traffic management, and not piracy management, but quickly evolved to the latter when it was clear that the tool had the potential to stop pirates from getting the files they need.

While much of the inner workings of Pirate Pay remain a trade secret, security researchers, such as Richard Clayton from the University of Cambridge, believe the trick lies in seeding fake data throughout the BitTorrent network, frustrating downloaders in the process. But Clayton, speaking to the BBC, feels that this technique at best hinders downloads, but not stop them eventually, saying "the networks are robust about this in the long term".

Mr Clayton believes that the real solution to the BitTorrent piracy problem won't arrive as a technical solution, but rather, a 'social solution'. "The social issue here is that a lot of people think that the legal offerings are too expensive and don't provide what they want. Once you solve that, nobody's going to want to mess around with complicated bits of software to get what they need."


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