The Poisoning of BitTorrent

O’Reilly Radar is report­ing that HBO is “poi­son­ing” Bit­Tor­rent down­loads of their hour-long dra­ma Rome:

HBO is now obstruct­ing the down­loads offered by oth­er peo­ple. Bit­Tor­rent down­loads are peer-to-peer, but the peers are intro­duced to each oth­er by a track­er (“you’re look­ing for Rome Sea­son 1 Episode 2, talk to 127.0.0.1”). HBO runs peers that tell the track­er they have all the chunks of the show, but then send garbage data when a down­loader requests a chunk. The down­load­ing client can detect that it’s garbage and will try anoth­er peer for the chunk, but the end result is that it takes much much longer to down­load shows.

I would care more if I didn’t have TiVo.

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