BitTorrent to Remain in Opera Browser

Opera released details of a plan Monday to further integrate BitTorrent capabilities into an upcoming version of its Web browser, saying integrating the technology would allow for faster and more efficient downloads of large files. The move could also anger intellectual property holders however, who see the network as a boon to piracy.

The two companies recently signed an agreement that would allow Opera to integrate the file-sharing technology into version 9 of the browser. A technical preview would be available soon, the company said.

Users would either be able to search for files on the BitTorrent network through integrated search functionality, which then would use Opera's Transfer Manager software to handle the download.

BitTorrent first made an appearance in the browser last July when Opera released a technical preview with the technology included, version 8.02. Customers responded positively to the change and thus Opera decided to maintain the relationship.

"With BitTorrent Search, Opera will be offering its users a seamless experience for discovering and downloading large files from the thousands of BitTorrent publishers around the world," BitTorrent president Ashwin Navin said in a statement.

The file-sharing network will also soon announce that Opera would be the first to qualify for a program that would allow the company to use the BitTorrent trademark.

"Implementing BitTorrent is a natural choice, considering its efficient use of bandwidth and worldwide popularity," Opera vice president of engineering Christen Krogh said.

BitTorrent has come under increasing fire by intellectual property holders for illicit file sharing between its users. Hollywood threatened BitTorrent with legal action, forcing founder Bram Cohen to strike a deal with the MPAA in late November.

Under the terms of the deal, Cohen added technology to the search engine used by bittorrent.com that effectively removed content owned by the studios that make up the MPAA.

However, the deal had no effect on BitTorrent search engines not controlled by the company, which still list hundreds if not thousands of illicit files.

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