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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Making BitTorrent Compliant With New California P2P Law

California recently passed a stupid law that requires all P2P requests to include a valid email address. In response, John Hoffman on the BitTorrent mailing list posted the following proposal for modifying the BitTorrent protocol to be in compliance with this new, stupid law:

"In response to the new law in California requiring those sharing video and audio data over the internet to disclose their email addresses, I am hereby proposing an extension to the BitTorrent protocol to better improve compliance with this requirement.

(1) A new message code will be added to the P2P protocol. The ascii code 'E' for 'email' (69 decimal, 0x45 hexadecimal) will be used. A message with no data appended will be considered a request for the data, while a message with additional data appended will be used to transmit the email address.

(2) No change will be made to the option bitfield to specify this addition; the standard behavior of a client's dropping the connection in response to an unsupported message in the P2P protocol is adequate.

(3) The default value for the email address shall be ''."

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