In my oppion,neither of the technologies themeselves are illegal. The illegal part comes in when people use it to break copyright. Bittorrent is used for the distribution of linux builds among other things, and has quite a few useful purposes.
If bittorrent was illegal, they must also make all browsers, ftp-clients illegal. Hey, why not forbid internet! :)
I've seen several freeware programs getting distributed with bittorrent on their official webpages.
The problem comes when these programs are being advertised for their illegal uses by the makers/owners.
You can also argue that decent efforts should be made to limit the illegal uses. And in most cases this isn't done.
P2P is legal technology, but as with anything, you can also do things illegal with P2P. It's legal to use a knife to cut things, like foods but it is illegal to kill a person with a knife.
So the government is talking about making P2P illegal? So why the hell don't we just ban everything that could be used for illegal activity?
I personally use Bittorrent to download the latest ISO images for my favorite linux distro, Ubuntu.
P2P/bittorrent/other similar software... It's all as legal as you want it to be. They only stop being legal when people abuse copyright laws or share other illegal stuff (like some sorts of movies, if you know what I mean).
aLL ARE LEGAL TILL THE TIME U WANT THEM TO BE..
AND THE TIME U USAE IT FOR PORN/NUDITY OR ALL SORT OF UNNEEDED THINGS THEN THEY TEND TO BE ILLEGEAL.
I THINK ALL GOT WHAT I MEANT TO SAY!!
Maybe on Mars it's illegal, But I'm sure on Earth it isn't. Just the people would upload illegal stuff encourages lawmakers and so on to push for new legistrations to make it illegal.
Right now the MPAA and the RIAA and the other Industry Associations are trying to make it illegal but are having a hard time doing so. It is possible for it one day to be illegal.
I thought this issue was already finalized. The actual P2P and Bittorrent programs are quite legal; they allow users to share files with one another in a vast environment where thousands of people have access to your files.
The only problem of course is copyright infringement, where the files being accessed are ones that weren't created by the user and aren't allowed to be shared. Of course, there are some files that can be shared without user creation, but I'm sure all of that is underlined in clear black ink in the license agreement for whatever file you're working with.
Personally I think it's a great way for people to share things they create; upcoming bands, video editors, etc. I myself have a machinima video site (see sig) and have considered hosting my videos on P2P networks for the sake of bandwidth costs and ease of use.