File sharing service BitTorrent and Hollywood's major movie studios have reached an agreement in a bid to stop movie piracy using the peer-to-peer service.
BitTorrent founder Bram Cohen has agreed to stop providing links on his website to copyrighted films, and hopes to be able to license movies and TV programmes that could be downloaded for a fee.
It is estimated that the various versions of BitTorrent have been downloaded 45 million times.
BitTorrent now accounts for 33 to 50 per cent of all internet traffic in Asia partly because it increases the speed of file sharing 15 to 20 times over conventional services.
Dan Glickman, chief executive of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), said in a statement to Reuters: "We are glad that Bram Cohen and his company are working with us to limit access to infringing files on the BitTorrent.com website."
The move is being seen as something of an experiment and a thawing of the relations between the two parties, but few expect it to lead to a substantial reduction in illegal copying.
The agreement applies to content owned by the MPAA's seven members, and does not extend to any other search engine capable of listing BitTorrent files.
It also relies on the manual process of MPAA members spotting links to illegal copies of material which they own, and to report the breach to BitTorrent.
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