BitTornado developer John Hoffman, better known as Shad0w, decided to ban BitComet users from accessing his client. Shad0w says that BitComet is gaming the system and stealing precious bandwidth, which results in slower speeds for all non-Bitcomet users.
BitComet is known to be a BitTorrent bully, similar to the recently introduced BitThief and BitTyrant. What makes this problem serious is the fact that BitComet is far more popular than the other two clients, so its effect on other peers is more serious.
Recently, BitComet started to exploit the super-seeding procedure, an invention by Shad0w that is also implemented in other popular clients like uTorrent. A super-seed detects peers that efficiently distribute data to other peers, and rewards them by sending them more data. This technique speeds up the overall speed of the swarm, and all other users benefit from it. However, not if it was up to the BitComet developers.
Shad0w explains, “When BitComet games super-seed, it induces the seed into thinking that the BitComet peer is very efficient at spreading data. As a result, the peer downloads faster than the rest of the peers, and typically doesn’t share that data as efficiently, costing the rest of the peers a lot of download time.”
The continuous efforts of the BitComet developers to cheat the system made Shad0w decide to ban all BitComet users. “Since BitComet has proven itself to be a harmful codebase, and since they have forced me to take steps I’d rather not have, I will also be banning connections from that client to my own client and tracker codebases. Should the BitComet developers decide to remove the exploitation code from their client, I will reconsider this decision.”
People may question whether it is a good decision to ban all BitComet users, but I think it is a wise one. In general, BitComet users are not the sharing type, so my prediction would be that it is more likely to speed up downloads, than to slow them down.
I’m with Shad0w on this, and I seriously hope that BitComet stops cheating, and will become more BitTorrent friendly in the future. I’ve used Shadow’s BitTorrent client for quite a while myself, and Shad0w is one of the most dedicated BitTorrent client developers around.