BitTorrent to put its stamp on Taiwanese electronics

The file-sharing application would apply to the island's PCs and TVs

BitTorrent will work with a Taiwanese research institute to develop a certification scheme for local consumer electronics makers who want to put its filesharing applications in their products, a world first for the popular high-speed file-sharing protocol, the research institute said on Friday.

BitTorrent will work with the government-funded Industrial Technology Research Institute in Taiwan to develop a specification, said institute international collaboration manager Margaret Chen. Taiwanese makers of PCs, DVD players, television sets and Shadowbox media viewers will then be able to stick BitTorrent-certified labels on products that support or pre-load the applications.

The BitTorrent protocol, which makes downloading a file faster the more people share it, should easily win respect among Taiwanese electronics manufacturers, Chen said.

"BitTorrent certificates will let everyone know publicly that the product has quality and value," Chen said. "It will be like the Dolby label."

The file-sharing icon wants a piece of Taiwan due to the high volume of consumer electronics manufactured on the island for the world market, Chen said. The two parties agreed at CES in Las Vegas to work together. BitTorrent has expressed interest in issuing certificates in other regions later, she said.

Taiwan's institute has begun soliciting manufacturers to participate. It has not agreed yet with BitTorrent on how to pay for the standardization and certification project or how long the research will take.

Local electronics firms would also install DRM (digital rights management) tools to stop BitTorrent downloads from violating music, video or document copyrights, Chen said.

BitTorrent applications allow quick transfers of files, such as film clips, that are sought after by numerous users at once. The protocol lets early phases of a file transfer upload to someone else as later ones download. They have also eased cost burdens on file hosts.

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Ralph Jennings

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