BitTorrent, a tool used by both software pirates and software
distributors, is gaining a measure of legitimacy thanks to browser
maker Opera Software.
Opera is the first company to officially license the use of the
trademark, “BitTorrent” from BitTorrent Inc. Under the terms of the
agreement, Opera now is able to use the BitTorrent trademark and also provide
browser-interface-based access to the BitTorrent search engine.
Opera’s decision to include BitTorrent capabilities within its browser is
not a new one.
Opera first announced in July that it would be including BitTorrent capabilities in its
first technical preview of Opera 8.02. According to an Opera statement, “as a result of positive user feedback and further testing,
Opera has now decided to maintain BitTorrent in the upcoming Opera 9 Web
BitTorrent is integrated into Opera as a search option via the browser’s
integrated search field and as a BitTorrent application for
handling file transfers.
“By integrating the BitTorrent protocol, licensing the company’s globally
recognized trademark and collaborating with BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen,
Opera is demonstrating leadership among Web browsers and consideration for
the open source software ecosystem,” said Ashwin Navin, president of
BitTorrent in a statement.
BitTorrent has been trying to clean up its image for months now. In
November, BitTorrent announced a deal with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)
to remove links that lead to pirated MPAA content on the BitTorrent search
Though BitTorrent Inc. may hold sway over the trademark BitTorrent, the
protocol itself is open-source-licensed and used by a long list of
applications. Similarly BitTorrent.com isn’t the only search engine for
locating torrent legal or otherwise.
Mozilla’s Firefox browser also has an integrated search toolbar which
users can utilize to add torrent search capability for any number of
different torrent search engines. Firefox does not, however, currently have an
integrated BitTorrent application, though at least one effort known as
MozTorrent is under way.