How an FTC Complaint Helped FrostWire Become Better

October 12, 2011 -

File-sharing software company FrostWire has settled its dispute with the Federal Trade Commission and called the agency's complaint against them as the best bug report the company has ever gotten. The FTC filed a complaint against FrostWire in federal court saying that it was disregarding the privacy of its users by making freshly downloaded files in the program publicly shared when completed by default. But the FrostWire team approached the court case in a way most companies wouldn't. The FTC contacted FrostWire in May, and by the end of that month it delivered a version of the program that complied with the majority of the proposed changes.

"We are software people, and saw this as a bug fix that happened to be reported by the FTC," FrostWire’s Angel Leon told TorrentFreak. "Nobody as far as we know ever complained for having finished downloads shared by default, to us it was a given of P2P, but now we feel better that users are in full control of what’s being shared."

While FrostWire users always had the option to prevent automatic sharing, some were blissfully unaware of it and left the program set at its default setting. FrostWire decided to become a BitTorrent-only client and shed the shared folder system.

"We actually made our software compliant by making the allegations irrelevant once we dropped Gnutella. Now there’s no concept of ‘shared folders’ anymore and it’s pretty clear where all files are saved, and if the user is seeding or not," Leon said.

FrostWire sees the FTC intervention as one of the most helpful bug reports in the company’s history.

"Thanks to this whole ordeal we made our application a lot better. In a matter of a couple of weeks, we had the last version of FrostWire 4.21.x fully compliant with the order, and then we just made the decision to go 100% with BitTorrent," Leon says. "With BitTorrent we feel that our users’ privacy is better protected than when we had Gnutella, and now they’re certainly immune to spam search results."

FrostWire also has an Android app that runs on a separate file-sharing network developed by the company. The company changed the default settings of that application as well so users have to opt-in before they share something. As a result, the number of shared files dropped dramatically, so FrostWire will soon turn the Android application into a BitTorrent client as well. The source of this new client will be released under a GPL license.

Source: TorrentFreak

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E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
james_fudgeSorry for the downtime today, folks.12/18/2014 - 5:54pm
PHX Corphttp://www.craveonline.com/gaming/articles/801575-sony-refuses-offer-refund-playstation-game-fraudulently-purchased-hacker Sony Refuses to Offer Refund for PlayStation Game Fraudulently Purchased by Hacker12/18/2014 - 1:43pm
NeenekoMakes sense to me, and sounds kinda cool. One cool thing about Minecraft is the meta game, you can implement other game types within its mechanics. There are servers out there with plots, an episodic single player one sound kinda cool12/18/2014 - 11:07am
MaskedPixelantehttps://mojang.com/announcing-minecraft-story-mode/ Umm... what?12/18/2014 - 10:24am
NeenekoThat would make sense. Theaters probably can not afford the liability worry or a drop in ticket sales from worried people. Sony on the other hand can take a massive writeoff, and might even be able to bypass distribution contracts for greater profit.12/18/2014 - 10:03am
ConsterNeeneko: I thought they cancelled it because the major cinema franchises were too scared of terrorist attacks to show the film?12/18/2014 - 9:55am
Neeneko@Wonderkarp - there is still a lot of debate regarding if the movie was a motive or not. Unnamed officials say yes, the timeline says no.12/18/2014 - 9:10am
NeenekoSomething does not smell right though, Sony is no stranger to being hacked, so why cancel this film? For that matter, they are still not giving in to hacker's original demands as far as I know.12/18/2014 - 9:06am
 

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