BitTorrent “was founded in 2004 by Bram Cohen, inventor of the open-source protocol that lent the startup its name, and Ashwin Navin. BitTorrent — the protocol — was a genius way to transmit large amounts of information over the net by breaking it into small chunks, sending it through a peer-to-peer network, and reassembling it,” Jessi Hempel writes for Backchannel. “BitTorrent — the company — got started on the assumption that Cohen was brilliant. He’d invented one of the web’s most fundamental tools, and surely there was a business to be made from it.”

“But from the start, BitTorrent had a branding problem — pirates used it to share movies illegally, making it the Napster of entertainment. Because the protocol was open-source, BitTorrent (the company) couldn’t stop the pirates,” Hempel writes. “For 12 years, BitTorrent’s investors, executives and founders attempted to figure out many money-making strategies, including both enterprise software and entertainment businesses… But transforming this technology into any kind of business has proved elusive.”

“It has remained a technology in search of a business for a dozen years,” Hempel writes. “Then last year, [a pair of cousins named Bob Delamar and Jeremy Johnson] arrived with plans to save it once and for all. Instead, they squandered millions on failed schemes, putting the company on course for collapse.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: BitTorrent’s still around? Most of us use the technology, but woe is the actual company.