Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002 shut down

Via Boing Boing comes news that, a site which offered Windows XP SP2 to download via BitTorrent, has been shut down after its hosts were served with a DMCA takedown notice from Microsoft.
This annoys me quite considerably. Firstly, the fact that MS can use an act to force a web site to take down a file that is freely available anyway. When you download SP2, there’s no box to tick to show that you agree not to distribute the file (or agree not to do anything with it), and it’s not warez. There is a license agreement but this isn’t shown until you run the program. I really can’t believe the DMCA can be used to take down something is legitimate as this – there’s no lawbreaking or breach of agreement going on here (although IANAL).
Secondly, this site is doing Microsoft a favour. It’s taking the load off their servers and spreading it around, meaning that everyone gets a better download speed.
Thirdly, in one case the site’s hosting company was issued with a takedown notice for simply linking to a couple of BitTorrent trackers. It didn’t actually host the file.
Of course, MS have probably done this to distance themselves from legitimate uses of P2P technology – due to P2P’s dodgy image the company will appreciate the positive image it will get for being tough on P2P, especially when anti-trust trials appear on the horizon. But it’s still sad to see a site like this be forcibly shut down in such a way.
In the meantime, if you have KaZaA or an eDonkey or Gnutella client, use the links on the Bitzi lookup page to download SP2. You can use the MD5 checksum on that page to verify that it is the same file as the one available from and from Microsoft.

One Comment

  1. I really think they just want to make sure that no one can attack them for having an insecure distro of the service pack.
    It might just be that they are royally pissed at BitTorrent due to all the warez that is out there for their software. You can get just about anything that MS has put out on BT if you look around a bit.