This evening, Suprnova administrator Sloncek made an announcement that the Suprnova team and an un-known partner have created a p2p based bit-torrent distribution system called eXeem. Sloncek said that the company backing the project would remain anonymous for the present time. The announcement was made on Novastream, a radio station loosely affiliated to Suprnova.
He described eXeem as a file sharing program – "Kazaa and bit-torrent altogether". eXeem uses a modified version of the bit-torrent protocol. The program is still in beta testing, and will be available for public beta in the coming weeks. The program will be separate from Suprnova on eXeem.com (not currently online). Sloncek conceded that eXeem, although offered for free, will come with some adverts to help pay development costs.
eXeem will allow users to rate and add comments to files. This system is an attempt to pre-empt the system being flooded with poor quality/fake files, something that plagues tradition p2p networks like Kazaa. He said that users would be able to tell if files were of poor quality or fakes, and consequentially be able to weed out poor torrents from the system. He announced there were no current plans for the suprnova.org website. Interestingly, the administrator failed to comment on the use of the network for pirated and illegal software, and made no comment as to how, if at all, the system would prevent users from sharing pirated software and media. The interview is available for download via bit torrent here.
In other news, bit-torrent hub LokiTorrent has announced that it will not bow to MPAA / Legal pressure to close. The MPAA launched a series of legal actions against 'Jon Doe' defendants running bit-torrent hubs before Christmas. The theory goes that in shutting down the centres of piracy (the hubs) it cuts out the ability for users to easily access pirated material. Although clear statistics are not known, the furore and size of donations made to LokiTorrent would suggest that removing the hubs has done serious damage to piracy.
LokiTorrent has launched a p2p-defence fund to help in a future case against MPAA lawyers; they've currently raised an incredible ~$17,000 out of a targeted $30,000. For more information on their activities, click 'read more' for a short interview with one of the LokiTorrent administrators. We asked him about his plans, why he was doing what he was doing, and what he thought about piracy.
Somewhat ironically, the success of either of the sites will signal the failure of the other due to the structural differences between the two. If LokiTorrent eventually loses or bows to legal pressure, it will signal the end of website based, bit-torrent hosting hubs. It will also signify perhaps the first success true the MPAA has had in years against a specific type of online piracy. However, it might be more of a pyrrhic victory for the media industry; the shift to a de-centralised system for torrent files could prove impossible for the MPAA to successfully shut-down.