×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

BitTorrent Restored to Google Search Function

Google several years ago started blocking terms associated with sites that traffic in pirated content from its auto-complete function, and the term “BitTorrent” was among them.

But BitTorrent, responsible for the widely used peer-to-peer technology used for file-sharing, is now in Google’s good graces, and has returned to the search function.

Studios have gone after file-sharing sites for years, including those like The Pirate Bay that host BitTorrent “trackers,” and they have pressed Google to restrict search terms that can lead users to piracy sites. Just last week, NBCUniversal released a study conducted by NetNames that said that BitTorrent was the most popular peer-to-peer file distribution system worldwide, but also concluded that the infringing use of the filing sharing protocol was on the rise, with the number of users increasing 23.6% from November, 2011, to January 2013.

BitTorrent, the company, has been challenging perceptions that it is associated with piracy, arguing that it is a legitimately used ecosystem, deployed by companies like Facebook and authors like Tim Ferriss. Matt Mason, the company’s vice president of marketing, wrote in a blog post in June that it is “literally impossible to illegally download something on BitTorrent. To pirate stuff, you need more than a protocol. You need search, a pirate content site, and a content manager. We offer none of those things. If you’re using BitTorrent for piracy, you’re doing it wrong.”

In an interview, Mason said that they had not been talking to Google “directly” about restoring its name into the auto-complete function, saying that it was “not something we instigated specifically.” He said that the restoration represents a “perception shift in terms of the word ‘BitTorrent.'” The company announced a BitTorrent Bundle for artists and other content creators to publish directly to fans.

Google did not return messages for comment. The MPAA and the Recording Industry Assn. of America had no comment.

More Biz

  • Huawei Restricted From Using Google's Android

    Huawei Restricted From Using Google's Android as U.S.-China Tensions Mount

    Google has prevented controversial Chinese tech firm Huawei from accessing the latest versions of the Android mobile phone operating system. The move follows U.S. government attempts to blacklist the Chinese firm. “We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications,” Google sources told news agencies Sunday. “Huawei will only be able to use the [...]

  • ‘Hitsville: The Making of Motown’ Acquired

    ‘Hitsville: The Making of Motown’ Acquired by Showtime for U.S.

    Polygram Entertainment, Universal Music Group’s film and television division, along with Capitol Music Group, Motown Records and Fulwell 73 announced today that “Hitville: The Making of Motown” has been acquired by Showtime for release in North America with plans for a fall premiere, and Altitude for theatrical release in the UK and Ireland. The feature-length [...]

  • Sammy Shore Dead: Comedy Store Co-Founder

    Sammy Shore, Co-Founder of The Comedy Store, Dies at 92

    Sammy Shore, the well-known stand-up comedian who co-founded The Comedy Store in Hollywood, died in Las Vegas, Nev. from natural causes. He was 92. Shore founded The Comedy Store with writing partner Rudy Deluca on April 7, 1972. His ex-wife, Mitzi Shore, took ownership of the club in the divorce settlement, and the venue went [...]

  • Outlander Season 4 Finale

    What CBS' Pursuit of Starz Means for CBS, Lionsgate

    CBS’ effort to buy pay TV service Starz from Lionsgate seems on the surface to be a head scratcher. CBS has told Wall Street for years that it has prospered because it brings only two must-have services to the table in negotiations with MVPDs, allowing the Eye to drive a hard bargain. Why would CBS [...]

  • Dana Brunetti

    Dana Brunetti Sues to Block Season 2 of 'Manhunt'

    Producer Dana Brunetti filed suit on Friday seeking to block the second season of the anthology series “Manhunt,” which is set to dramatize the bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Brunetti sued Lionsgate, the production company, as well as Discovery Communications and Charter Communications. Brunetti, the producer of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and many other [...]

  • PledgeMusic Sends Message to Artists, Offers

    PledgeMusic Sends Message to Artists, Offers Data From Platform

    PledgeMusic, the direct-to-fan marketplace that is headed into administration (the British equivalent of bankruptcy), today posted a note to artists and fans, offering the ability for artists to download their data from the platform. A source tells Variety that more information will be coming once an administrator is named — when that happens, at some [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content