Most BitTorrent users have probably never heard of Opentracker, but there is little doubt that many of them will have used it. It is the piece of software that The Pirate Bay is running on, as well as the denis.stalker tracker. Together, the two trackers alone are responsible for the communication between 25 million BitTorrent peers at any given point in time.
Opentracker is a lightweight BitTorrent tracker which uses minimal resources. The software does not store any data or log any IP-addresses, supports UDP-tracking and is more stable and efficient than most other tracker software. Last year, The Pirate Bay started using the software, which allowed them to handle more users with the same hardware.
As with most software, Opentracker comes with a license, although it is an unusual one. The software is published under a Beerware license, meaning that if a satisfied user should ever run into the developer, he or she owes the developer a beer. This is exactly what the German Pirate Party did, as the party is actively using BitTorrent.
As a token of appreciation for all his efforts, the party donated 50 litres of Augustiner, a German wheat beer, to Opentracker developer Dirk Engling (aka “Erdgeist”). “Pirates, P2P and especially BitTorrent is part of a new culture. Users decide on their own what kind of information they want to get, instead of simply sitting in front of the TV,” the German Pirate Party writes on their blog, as they thank the Opentracker folks for all their hard work.
The beer is well deserved of course, and it came as no surprise that Erdgeist promised to share it with the other congress goers.