Torrenting, despite its many legitimate uses, has always had its reputation plagued by the rampant piracy it allows. Get ready for that all to get drudged up again because uTorrent, a very popular client, just announced it’s getting ad-support.
Ad-supported torrent clients aren’t unheard of, but uTorrent is something of a giant in its field. With over 125 million active users per month, uTorrent is a juggernaut, so adding ads is probably going to make some serious dough. uTorrent already makes around $US15 to $US20 million with its optional tool bar, and uses that money to support parent company BitTorrent Inc. Built-in ad-support stands to seriously boost that number.
Of course, uTorrent is a legal client and ad-support is a legal means of revenue, but considering the program is so widely used to pirate copyrighted material for free, you can bet this will make some waves. It does, after all, make torrenting seem a little more sketchy when it’s making money for the middlemen, but not content creators. That said, uTorrent deserves some scratch for providing legal services like helping you download a Linux distribution, or one of the many open domain works that are out there in torrent form. But it’s a complicated issue, and this won’t make it any simpler. [uTorrent via TorrentFreak]