“The good news is that we had more and more data, little by little, the internet was filling up with repositories, APIs and open databases with which to work. The bad news is that, for that very reason, the transfer of this huge data set was increasingly cumbersome, strenuous and expensive….
Cohen and Lo began to think about the problem and came to a conclusion that today may seem obvious: the best tool to transfer large files was BitTorrent. Why not develop a solution based on the world’s best-known p2p exchange protocol? Thus was born Academic Torrents….
The main obstacle was not technical. It was social. In these four years of work, the hardest thing has been convincing the researchers that a technology as demonized as torrents could have legitimate scientific use. And not only that because, once they convinced the researchers, they touched an even tougher bone: convincing the institutions….”