BitTorrent moves from piracy to video streaming

BOSTON (Reuters) - BitTorrent Inc., which was co-founded by the developer of a software program widely used to share pirated music and video over the Web, plans to start helping media companies stream videos over the Internet.

The company unveiled the service on Tuesday, six years after its chief executive, Bram Cohen, created the BitTorrent peer-to-peer file-sharing technology.

BitTorrent is one of two key technologies used for trading files over the Web. The other, Gnutella, works using software programs including Limewire and MP3 Rocket.

While the BitTorrent software has been notorious as a tool for piracy, Cohen said he spent three years working to find ways to commercialize the technology.

In February, the privately held company opened an online video store at www.bittorrent.com to sell videos licensed from Hollywood studios. Now it is offering that distribution technology to other companies.

BitTorrent announced the new service on Tuesday, dubbed BitTorrent DNA, saying its first customer, Brightcove, will use it to distribute streaming video programs over the Internet.

Brightcove currently distributes video programs over the Internet for companies including CBS Corp, News Corp's Fox Entertainment Group, Viacom Inc's MTV Networks and New York Times Co.

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