BitTorrent is an example of a peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol.
It employs local control mechanisms to optimize the global problem of replicating a large file to many recipients, by allowing peers to share partial copies as they receive them. It was developed by Bram Cohen, and is widely used to distribute large files over the Internet. Because much of this copying is for audio and video data and without the accordance of the rights owners of that material, BitTorrent has become a focus of attention of media interest groups such as the Motion Picture Artists of America (MPAA). But BitTorrent is also used to distribute large software archives under "Free Software" or similar legal-redistribution regimes.
- 26 Jun 2005