January 5, 2005 4:00 AM PST

A new hope for BitTorrent?

Just weeks after legal attacks crippled the popular BitTorrent file-swapping community, an underground programmer from its ranks has stepped forward to announce new software designed to withstand future onslaughts from Hollywood.

Dubbed Exeem, the software has already been distributed in a closed beta, or early test format, by the creators of the SuprNova.org Web site, which was until late last month the most popular hub for the BitTorrent file-swapping community.

Last week, the head of that now-defunct site, a man known as "Sloncek," officially announced the Exeem project in an interview on the NovaStream Webcasting network. He said that it would be a modified version of the popular BitTorrent technology, but transformed into a decentralized, searchable network similar to Kazaa or eDonkey.

News.context

What's new:
As P2P sites are under legal attack, much of the file-swapping community is looking to Exeem, a new application that developers promise will merge the strengths of BitTorrent and Kazaa.

Bottom line:
Official confirmation of Exeem raises the potential of mass migration for the millions of people around the world who have grown accustomed to using BitTorrent to download movies, TV shows, music and software.

More stories on this topic

Reports from some beta testers are now beginning to come in, as the private testing nears its end.

"The system seems to work pretty well," said Simon Bauman, who operates the Mitosis.com Web site and has tried the software for several weeks. "It seems faster than other peer-to-peer programs right now, but with only 5,000 people, it's hard to really gauge it."

Official confirmation of the Exeem program, released at a time when BitTorrent Web sites are under aggressive legal attack from Hollywood, raises the potential of mass migration for the millions of people around the world who have grown accustomed to using the technology to download movies, TV shows, music and software.

The shifting loyalties are now a familiar phenomenon in the peer-to-peer world, as lawsuits from the record industry or Hollywood studios have repeatedly driven users away from other once-popular networks such as Napster, Scour and Audiogalaxy. In each case, new services have eagerly risen to take their place, despite legal risks.

Among modern file-swapping services, BitTorrent has been uniquely vulnerable to legal attacks by copyright owners, because it has required that links to files be posted on Web sites. The Motion Picture Association of America launched an international legal assault on the most popular of those Web sites last month, helping to take some of the biggest ones offline.

SuprNova was one of the sites that vanished not long after the MPAA announcement, along with Youceff.com and several others. Another, dubbed LokiTorrent.com, remains operating despite having been sued by the MPAA in Texas, and has already raised close to $34,000 in donations to a legal defense fund.

Exeem is aimed at eliminating these easily targeted central points. Like other file-swapping applications, a decentralized service would be made up only of individual users, none of whom control the network.

"Basically it is a P2P program with the same specifications as BitTorrent had, but with its own network and its own files on it," Sloncek said in last week's interview, now reposted at the

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11 comments

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Thanks, pals.
Thanks pals for information about new P2P app.

P.S. Dirty details. Does this information induce copyright infrigement? You people in U.S.A., es-land of ex-freedom, better be frightened even to speak about such stuff. Or this law didn't passed?
Posted by Philips (400 comments )
Reply Link Flag
International Jabs??
So Ihar.... where are you from, that you can so easily declare America's freedoms lost?
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
Harsh
Thats a bit harsh.

(I am from Australia)
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
HA!
"In his interview, Sloncek said Exeem would be free, but ad-supported."


Decoded that means it'll infest your PC with malware that'll track everything you do/see online, disable any anti-viral program you have running, and make any changes to your PC it deems necessary. Nice.
Posted by (22 comments )
Reply Link Flag
file hash checks could help some
Could not web sites for example host a public forum where users could comment on the contents of files? This could help provide some assurance in a decentralized BT environment (comparing file hashes of course). I imagine ads in a future client could also be blocked or other hacked clients would remove them in time. Finally, torrent files have not exactly evaporated. A bit of web searching can reveal quite a bit...
Posted by atariboy (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Don't like exeem that much
I don't like the news about Exeem that much. It is not opensource, it will have ads and there is no version for Linux. It also uses the IE engine which is very old and insecure. There are much better P2P services already out there that don't have all those problems.
Posted by JLP (38 comments )
Reply Link Flag
New news story on eXceem
I'm a reporter who's been following the P2P space for some time. Here's my take:

* Crippling BitTorrent Blow Succeeded By More Invincible eXceem
* <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.eprairie.com/news/viewnews.asp?newsletterID=9899" target="_newWindow">http://www.eprairie.com/news/viewnews.asp?newsletterID=9899</a>
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
backwards logic
It should be the other way around. The fact that bittorrent relies on a website hosting the torrent file should make BitTorrent less prone to legal attacks. A fileswapping network that is decentralised is more likely to be used for swapping copyright data and therefore should be looked at more suspiciously. Of all the file swapping software, BitTorrent seems to have the most legitimate use as the websites hosting the torrent files can be held accountable, rather than the P2P technology itself.
Posted by (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Decoded that means it'll infest your PC with malware that'll track everything you do/see online, disable any anti-viral program you have running, and make any changes to your PC it deems necessary.



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