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BitComet Ranking: Spying on the biggest uploaders

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I have started using bitcomet about 2 months ago and I love it. It doubled my torrent downloading speed but I came across this website today.


It worries me a little although I am not much of a downloader my rank in bitcomet passport is just around 1.8 million. I would really like to know what some of the long term users of bitcomet feel about this topic. Please reply.

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The primary assumption of the article is false. That is that highest ranks go to those who upload the most. The system rewards simple longevity, that is, being on line, whether you are actually transferring anything or not. It also ignores rank earned playing games, and however else it can be gained in the Comet system. The vast majority of my own rank is from just visiting the forum frequently, to moderate it.

There is very little benefit in all of this, to bittorrenting members in the West. The system was designed for and implemented in the Chinese market where the client itself is far more popular and the system used much more. And where the copyright laws are completely different if they apply at all. The system benefits you only if there are a lot of BitComet users registered with the system and transferring the particular .torrent you're transferring. There just aren't, not most of the time or for most torrents.

Most Western users will not obtain a noticeable benefit from registration. If anyone should choose THIS as the way to target the biggest uploaders, they're going to miss most of them, since µtorrent is much more popular but can't use the BitComet system. Anyone who investigates the matter, even a little, will notice that. Further, the information is quite useless without being able to associate a person with a username that has high rank. To get that, you'd need to subpoena it. From China. Good luck with that.

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I'll just add this simple reasoning.

Why on Earth would any anti-piracy company bother to hunt after an user-name (which, as kluelos said, can't even be linked to the real person since you're not forced to give any real info at registration time) when they can simply go directly after their IP addresses?

The ranking system is being updated both by uploading and/or duration of time spent seeding (irrespective if there is anyone downloading from you or not). Therefore:

  • A high rank doesn't necessarily means that you uploaded more than a guy who has a much faster upload link than you do, but stays online less time (i.e. if you have an 384kbps upload link but spend lots of time online while logged into your BitComet passport account and someone has a 20Mbit upload link but only seeds up to a share ratio of 1.5 or 2 and then his client automatically stops, you could end up having both, pretty close rank numbers).
  • There is no way to reliably link someone's rank number or title to the content they download/upload. You could be simply seeding for ages some very sought material which is not copyrighted (such as a Linux distribution or whatever else) and still get your rank very high up. A high rank can't be practically linked to the fact that you're uploading hot pirated stuff, in any way.
  • The author admits that himself and I quote: "true, they still will not be able to tell a pirate from a tree - but they will be handed the information they need to tell who is uploading the most". He implies that uploading the most would be a crime, but it's not and any legal pursuer knows that. It may be a sign that someone might be uploading some pirated stuff, yes, but how to know for sure if so or how much of his uploading activity includes pirated stuff or if he got his high rank up by heavily uploading or by simply being online all the time? So, would it be worth to actually try to legally force a company located in China to hand you over some logs that ultimately could prove worthless to you, as an anti-piracy agency? I think not. Besides, I'm not even sure that the Passport servers log users' IP at all.
  • The ranking system is mostly for the user's own perusing. There aren't many users who check other's ranking and there isn't (in the West hemisphere, at least) a very well established "Passport scene" where high-ranking users could be famous (as are uploaders or groups on the BitTorrent scene) so going after the high-ranked ones wouldn't have any significant psychological impact on the BitTorrent community (mind you we're talking only about BitComet users, out of whom a significant number probably aren't even using the BitComet Passport account system at all).

In light of those said above, any anti-P2P agency will have a much easier time and far better results by doing what they do now: going after the IPs of the copy-right infringers. It's so much easier and cleaner both technologically and legally speaking.

So, with no disrespect to the author of the article I'd have to say that this seems to me like a storm in a teacup.

Besides, if someone is really paranoid about her/his security while BitTorrent-ing s/he could always simply choose not to use or to ever log into a Passport account; it is not necessarily at all, in order to use all the features of BitComet.

It simply gives you the possibility of accessing an additional number of Long-Time Seeds (depending on your rank) and that only if they are available for the torrent(s) you download.

At present time, simply being in a swarm of a torrent containing pirated stuff, with whatever BitTorrent client of your choice (BitComet included) is far more dangerous for your security than using the Passport account system.

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