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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james_fudgebody paint?09/17/2014 - 5:33pm
E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, I stand corrected on the buttcrack thing. Still, I know of no fabric that actually does that.09/17/2014 - 5:05pm
Andrew EisenSo... it's unethical to discuss the ethics surrounding public interest vs. personal privacy?09/17/2014 - 4:45pm
prh99The source for the game was just released not long ago, it's at https://github.com/keendreams/keen09/17/2014 - 4:43pm
prh99An Indiegogo champagin bought the rights to the early 90's game Keen Dreams to make it open source and release it on GOG etc. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-get-keen-dreams-re-released-legally09/17/2014 - 4:42pm
james_fudgeAlso http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite09/17/2014 - 4:29pm
Andrew EisenI read the Kotaku story. Nowhere does it say anything close to "Gamers are white bigoted sexist losers." It's commenting specifically on the crap being slung at people discussing gender issues in games. So, what's the problem?09/17/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenYeah, I can imagine Spiderwoman posed like in your second link.09/17/2014 - 4:00pm
Andrew EisenThat's not the same pose. Spiderman (who is wearing an actual outfit rather than body paint) is crouched low to the ground. Kinda like a spider! Spiderwoman has her butt up in the air like she's waiting to be mounted.09/17/2014 - 3:59pm
quiknkoldAndrew Eisen : Kotaku did a whiole article on it, as did others http://kotaku.com/we-might-be-witnessing-the-death-of-an-identity-162820307909/17/2014 - 3:59pm
CMinerQuiknkold: Do you think that there are no cases where a piece of art (painting, movie, videogame, comic cover, etc) is unambiguously sexist?09/17/2014 - 3:58pm
quiknkoldand can you imagine if Spiderwoman was posed like this? http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/spider-man1.jpg09/17/2014 - 3:58pm
Andrew EisenWhat games outlet is writing articles saying "Gamers are white bigoted sexist losers"? What examples have you seen of journalists being paid off for favorable reviews? Who's shaming what now? What's the problem with critiquing the Spiderwoman cover?09/17/2014 - 3:57pm
james_fudgeWell there's def "politics" involved in this issue. The movement was hamstrung by bad behavior and illegal activites here. We would have covered it more if not for those unforutnate happenings.09/17/2014 - 3:56pm
quiknkoldhttp://i.imgur.com/v3p8Bwf.jpg Here you go EZacharyKnight. Spidermans Buttcrack.09/17/2014 - 3:56pm
quiknkoldwhile another person doesnt see it09/17/2014 - 3:56pm
quiknkoldJames_fudge : I feel like the people challenging Games are the same people who Challenge Art because Michaelangelo's David shows Wang. The problem is, alot of things with Games are left to the eye of the beholder. One Person see's Sexist Antiwomen views.09/17/2014 - 3:55pm
E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, I don't recall Spider-man's costume conforming to the contour of his buttcrack.09/17/2014 - 3:54pm
quiknkoldIts the same Agenda Fueled Journalism youd find on Fox News or MSNBC. I appreciate Gamepolitics for just stating the facts.09/17/2014 - 3:54pm
james_fudgeQuiknold: you're entitled to your opinion on creatives being left alone. Others are entitled to their opinions that they should be challenged.09/17/2014 - 3:53pm
 

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