The UK/Prague-based open-source firm AllPeers has developed a BitTorrent plugin for Mozilla Firefox that lets users search and share files through torrents in a process as simple as downloading a file via the browser.
BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol that has gained immense popularity as a mechanism to share files over the Internet.
AllPeers developed a social networking model around BitTorrent (TechCrunch) with the protocol used to share files in a buddy list. As of now, the sharing is open to all.
Mozilla is not the first browser to have an integrated torrent. Opera's browser already has it (EarthWeb), but it's not open source.
"More and more companies are making their content available online using BitTorrent, which is becoming the de facto standard for distribution of large files on the Internet," says Carla Thompson, analyst at GuideWire Group. "But until now the very use of this technology limited the size of their potential audience. The combination of Firefox, AllPeers, and BitTorrent means that content producers will be able to reach new non-technical audiences."
P2P file sharing has always been portrayed as the bane of the content industry. But with the increased integration of P2P technology in several products, it's high time that the industry looked at avenues to develop a business model around this innovative technology.