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BitTorrent gets $8.75M from venture-capital firm

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  • BitTorrent gets $8.75M from venture-capital firm

    BitTorrent, developer of one of the most popular software programs for acquiring free video and other large files on the Internet, has raised $8.75 million from a venture-capital firm.
    BitTorrent says it will use the funds from DCM-Doll Capital Management to improve its infrastructure and make it more appealing to Hollywood.

    The investment comes as file-sharing companies — most of them tiny start-ups — are scrambling to legitimize. In June, the Supreme Court ruled that file-sharing service Grokster and StreamCast Networks, which operates the Morpheus service, could be held liable for their users' actions.

    "The piracy business is not something anyone can make money on," says Ashwin Navin, who co-founded BitTorrent with Bram Cohen. "We want to distribute paid and ad-supported content, using this technology."

    BitTorrent is the second-most-popular file-sharing program, with 33% market share, according to research firm CacheLogic, after eDonkey's 50% share. BitTorrent specializes in helping users nab huge files quickly.

    Navin concedes that some users download movies without paying for them but says BitTorrent isn't the only technology that can be used illegitimately. "You can also use a browser to view child porn and Microsoft Word to cut and paste and plagiarize," he says.

    He says the company is meeting with movie studios and other copyright holders to negotiate use of BitTorrent to distribute content.

    Separately Monday, Internet search giant Google started a four-day webcasting of the pilot episode of the UPN TV network's new Chris Rock sitcom, Everybody Hates Chris. It's the first time Google has presented entertainment programming at its new video project, (Related item: Google offers prime-time video streamcasts)

    Michael McGuire, an analyst at research firm GartnerG2, says Hollywood is getting the message that fighting new technology may not necessarily be the best answer. Since the record labels began suing song-swappers in 2003, use of file-sharing programs has skyrocketed.

    In August, 9.6 million were logged onto file-sharing networks at any given time, up from 6.8 million the previous August, according to Internet measurement firm BigChampagne. File-sharing software is "a very efficient way to distribute content," McGuire says.

    Google and Yahoo, which is also actively working to bring entertainment content to the Web, offer content that can be viewed online but not downloaded to a PC or other device. Navin says downloading is more efficient, because you can watch it anytime.

    "Google has proven that if you have traffic, you can make money," says David Chao, DCM's managing general partner. "We have 45 million users worldwide and a huge amount of traffic. We know there's a real business here."[/b][/quote]
    Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

  • #2
    wow i just checked out google video, it is awesome

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