It's not just The Pirate Bay that is getting ready to celebrate a major birthday. BitTorrent, the technology that made The Pirate Bay possible in the first place, is now celebrating its 12th anniversary.
Bram Cohen unleashed BitTorrent into the world on July 2, 2001 with a simple announcement on a Yahoo message board.
As is almost always the case with major Internet technologies, BitTorrent's low key launch was no indicator for what was to come.
In just a few short years, BitTorrent became the major driver of traffic on the Internet and one of the biggest generators of traffic today. For upstream traffic, from users to the main backbones, BitTorrent is still the biggest source.
But BitTorrent's legacy has more to do with the power it gave to regular Internet users. Open source projects which could hardly afford high-quality hosting now had a simple and fast way of sharing huge files to any number of users with minimal resource usage.
And, for regular people, BitTorrent made it possible to enjoy a lot more music, movies, TV shows, games, and software than they had ever had the chance, even if most of it was illegal.