Google and Torrents: Flashing Yellow Lights

February 15, 2009

Ernesto, writing in Torrent Freak here, may be the first flashing yellow signal for Google’s custom search service. You can learn about the CSE here. The article that caught my attention as I was recycling some old information for part six of my mysteries of online opinion series was “uTorrent Adds Google Powered Torrent Search.” If you don’t know what a torrent is, ask your child or your local hacker. uTorrent is now using “a Google powered torrent search engine”. Ernesto said:

While the added search is not a particular good way to find torrents, its addition to the site is an interesting move by BitTorrent Inc. Not so long ago, uTorrent removed the search boxes to sites like Mininova and isoHunt from their client, as per requests from copyright holders. However, since BitTorrent Inc. closed its video store, there is now no need to please Hollywood and they are free to link to torrent sites again.

With more attention clumping to pirated software and digital content, Ernesto’s article might become the beacon that attracts legal eagles, regulators, and folks looking to get something for nothing. I will keep my eye open for other Google assertions. Until I get more information, I want to remind you that I am flagging an article by another person. I am not verifying Ernesto’s point. The story could be the flashing signal or a dead bulb. I find it interesting either way. Google’s index has many uses; for example, looking for the terms hack, password, confidential, etc.

Stephen Arnold, February 15, 2009

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