<x-tad-bigger>File-Sharing Network Thrives Beneath the Radar
</x-tad-bigger><x-tad-smaller>Sat Nov 6,11:17 AM ET</x-tad-smaller><x-tad-smaller>
<<inline: addtomyyahoo3.gif>><x-tad-smaller>Technology - Internet Report</x-tad-smaller>
<x-tad-bigger>By Adam Pasick</x-tad-bigger>
LONDON (Reuters) - <x-tad-bigger>A file-sharing program called BitTorrent has become a behemoth, devouring more than a third of the Internet's bandwidth, and Hollywood's copyright cops are taking notice.</x-tad-bigger>
For those who know where to look, there's a wealth of content, both legal -- such as hip-hop from the Beastie Boys and video game promos -- and illicit, including a wide range of TV shows, computer games and movies.
Average users are taking advantage of the software's ability to cheaply spread files around the Internet. For example, when comedian Jon Stewart made an incendiary appearance on CNN's political talk show "Crossfire," thousands used BitTorrent to share the much-discussed video segment.
Even as lawsuits from music companies have driven people away from peer-to-peer programs like KaZaa, BitTorrent has thus far avoided the ire of groups such as the Motion Picture Association of America. But as BitTorrent's popularity grows, the service could become a target for copyright lawsuits.
According to British Web analysis firm CacheLogic, BitTorrent accounts for an astounding 35 percent of all the traffic on the Internet -- more than all other peer-to-peer programs combined -- and dwarfs mainstream traffic like Web pages.
"I don't think Hollywood is willing to let it slide, but whether they're able to (stop it) is another matter," Bram Cohen, the programer who created BitTorrent, told Reuters.