BBC News

BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen on piracy and autism

It is nearly 12 years since Bram Cohen decided to create a faster way to share large files over the internet.

His invention, the BitTorrent protocol, allows computers to download a single file from multiple sources simultaneously, and - at the same time - to upload the sections, as they become available, to others.

It took a while for the technique to catch on, but it has become pirates' tool of choice to copy movies, music and other media.

It also has legal uses.

Mr Cohen is now the chief scientist at the San Francisco-based firm BitTorrrent. The company has teamed up with musicians including Madonna, Moby and the Pixies to help them share and sell content to fans via its Bundle product.

It is also pitching its Sync service as a way to synchronise data between computers without sending the information to remote servers that could potentially be accessed by the NSA or other cyber-spies.

The BBC's North America technology correspondent Richard Taylor met with Mr Cohen and asked him about his invention's legacy, and how having Asperger Syndrome had affected his work.

BBC Click has more of this interview on this week's show. You can watch a variety of clips from the programme on the Click homepage. If you are in the UK you can watch the whole episode on BBC iPlayer.