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BitTorrent's closed protocol: fact or fiction?

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Last year, BitTorrent Inc. acquired the company that makes uTorrent, one of the most popular BitTorrent clients available on the Windows platform. The next major version of the official BitTorrent client—which is currently in beta—is based on the closed-source uTorrent client rather than the open-source BitTorrent reference implementation.

The decision to distribute a proprietary implementation as the official client has generated controversy in the file-sharing community. Some have expressed concern that new protocol features included only in the proprietary official client will remain hidden from the larger BitTorrent development community, making it difficult for independent software developers to create fully-functional competing BitTorrent clients.

File-sharing news site Slyck recently conducted an interview with BitTorrent, Inc. president Ashwin Navin, who attempted to address some concerns voiced by BitTorrent users. Oddly enough, close scrutiny reveals that Navin's statements—as cited by Slyck—are inconsistent with the information on BitTorrrent, Inc.'s own web sites.

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