BitTorrent was conceived as a way of distributing large files more quickly, efficiently, and reliably. Creator Bram Cohen has made it clear that it was not intended for online piracy, though that is likely what it has been used for the most. Thanks to BitTorrent though, the download of large files has become more feasible, and people have become accustomed to acquiring video through the net. At this point it is virtually impossible for anyone to bring an end to illegal downloads. whether or not BitTorrent will continue to play a role in this is yet to be seen.

Even if this application of the protocol (free downloads) were to come to an end, through a business agreement with either the RIAA or MPAA (which is more likely), the power and impact of the technology will not be diminished. In fact, such an agreement would likely only cause BitTorrent to have an even greater overall social impact. Illegal distribution of films online has already affected the film industry, affecting box-office ticket and home video sales. However, if movie studios were to actually transition to (or at the very least add as an option) online distribution, it could completely transform the business of cinema.

I will have to see how any deal between BitTorrent and the MPAA works out to formulate any opinion on the matter as to whether the technology is good or bad. Again, since technologies for he most part are neutral, it all depends on its application. Personally, I feel that copyright should be respected, but that sometimes movie studios, filmmakers, and actors are too greatly influenced by the issue of profit. In some cases, works should be more accessible, more affordable. I believe BitTorrent may lead to reforms in the way studios (and generally all those involved in the film industry) think, which could be a good thing for everyone.
-Omar Ramirez