In a move sure to disturb more than one media industry lawyer, Bram Cohen has released the official BitTorrent search engine. It’s a very slick, Google-like experience, and it’s also extremely fast. Unfortunately, five minutes after I started using it, it crashed. No doubt they will have some tuning to do to handle the expected load.
One very cool feature that they have is the ability to rate each torrent file.
One thing that it’s missing that I would really like is some kind of browseable directory, like the OPML podcast directory, which is maintained in a distributed fashion. This would help eliminate (or marginalise) those who are using the system to violate copyrights, while highlighting the legitimate benefits of this extraordinarily efficient media distribution system.
The potential uses of this system are extraordinary – IndyMedia should jump on this right away, as should the podcasting folks and anyone who’s in a band or makes short films. Imagine the rich community that could spring up around an essentially free global communications medium that puts more broadcasting power in the hands of a single individual than the largest television transmitter on Earth!