[BitTorrent] several extensions to bittorrent

stefnighthawk nighthawk at chello.be
Wed Jan 19 03:22:28 EST 2005

Hi all,

First let me tell you I don't know a lot about the underlying workings
of the BT-protocol.  So please don't shout at me if some assumptions
are completely wrong and don't make any sense.
But there are several things I find missing that could possible make
it more interesting for companies like "fileplanet".  It could even be
made attractive enough to replace the entire downloading of large
files via http.  The latter is also the starting point of most of the
extension I suggest.

glossary :
internal seeds - the servers in a company that distribute the content.
external seeds - the users outside a company that help distribute the
leecher - user in leech mode.

first proposed extension : leech mode.
There are people who have traffic amount limits that are afraid that
by uploading they would reach their limit much faster and get
downgraded to ISDN for the remainder of the month.  
So let's introduce a leech mode.  This mode tells the tracker that the
user isn't going to upload a single bit to another peer. For the
company using the tracker to seed this argument shouldn't be a problem
as this is the mode they've always used when they distributed through
http or ftp.  When the tracker sees that a user is in leech mode this
user can get connected to internal seeds that have a more limited
bandwith than the users that are in sharing mode thus still rewarding
the sharing community.  A bittorrent client not in leech mode could
have following options : "limit upload speed to ...kbps" and "limit
upload speeds to leechers to ...kbps".  
The leechers would experience the download with bittorrent as if they
were downloading the file throught http.

second proposed extension : members-only.
Fileplanet, Fileshack, ... currently have download-servers with high
capacity for members with no waiting lines and they have lower
capacity server with waiting queue for non-members.
This gives them a way to control the bandwith and reduce expenses and
it gives them profit from those who are members.
The first is also true with current bittorrent but takes away the need
for anyone to become member.
My proposal is to let the tracker make certain decisions on whether a
user is a subscriber or not.  A subscriber could be given connections
to high capacity internal seeds which require username/password.
The low capacity internal seeds could be given a queue limit of ie 100
files (to replace the 100 downloaders limit) and their upload bandwith
could be smaller.  Both could also be dynamic depending on number of
external seeds.  The high capacity internal seeds could be given a
higher queue limit or it could even seed all files.  Subscribers could
be given the option to upload only to fellow subscribers or to upload
to all.
Too bad only IPv6 has real end-to-end authentication to secure
connections between subscriber-seeds and subscriber-peers.

I guess you could see following messages on sites that would implement
bittorrent with these extension. "if you experience slow downloads,
turn off 'leech mode'.  If you become a member you get connected to
our high speeds seeds to give you a faster download." :-D

Please let me know if this is feasible, it should be more thought
through or if it is totally out of the question because it could hurt
the whole protocol.


Stef Nighthawk

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