"Long before anyone had heard of YouTube, BitTorrent was the
bad-boy online video site. If you wanted that vintage Saturday
Night Live episode or a missed episode of a beloved sitcom, you
went to BitTorrent or one of the pirate sites powered by its
technology. Since BitTorrent's beginning in 2001, more than 80
million people have downloaded the technology and 5 million people
are using it at any given time--making it one of the top ten
downloads on the Web.
"But as BitTorrent's popularity grew, so did the risk of legal
backlash from studios and other content producers who say the
technology violates copyrights..."