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P2P Population Growing Again 313

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the goin-for-a-new-record-high dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Slyck news is reporting that the file-sharing population has recovered from its mid-year plateau and is once again growing. At 9.45 million users, it is only slightly below its greatest height of 9.6 million users in August. Keep in mind however; these numbers do not represent the population of the BitTorrent community, which would surely add many millions more."
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P2P Population Growing Again

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  • Trend? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jonathonklem (939915)
    The article says, "Various reasons, such as returning or departing college students, broadband penetration, computer and MP3 player sales, all have an impact on the strength of the P2P community." However they missed 1 all-important factor, and that is simply that the content that's up for grabs also affects the numbers. The article goes on to say, "Indeed, the month of November 2005 represents one of the strongest months yet with a total of 9,465,000 total connected users.....", odd how that coincides wi
  • No, no, no (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 19, 2005 @08:50PM (#14295610)
    The numbers are down. No one is using P2P. P2P is dead.

    Got it? If we keep that message up, the *AA will go away.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 19, 2005 @08:52PM (#14295625)
    Isn't that like doing a survey of search engines and not including Google?
    • Um, not really, the difference is there is really no way of completely determining the number of bittorrent users. There is no centralization in bittorrent.
    • No, it's like doing a survey of search engines and not including word of mouth. Or DNS. Both of them are unquantifiable and decentralized enough to make inclusion in a list pointless, if it were possible.

      Doing a survey of search engines without Google would be like doing a survey of P2P without FastTrack.
  • Link and stuff (Score:5, Informative)

    by maccalvin5 (455879) on Monday December 19, 2005 @08:53PM (#14295633) Homepage
    Here's a link to the actual survey [slyck.com]. It's not too informative, but it shows the cyclic nature of the p2p userbase mentioned in the article.
  • by User 956 (568564) on Monday December 19, 2005 @08:54PM (#14295639) Homepage
    Keep in mind however; these numbers do not represent the population of the BitTorrent community, which would surely add many millions more."

    Damn right they don't. MPAA and RIAA don't quite know how to tackle that one. Kazaa et al are small potatoes compared to the really good, private, Bittorrent trackers.
    • by ingoldsby (924334) on Monday December 19, 2005 @09:40PM (#14295882)
      Of course - not everyone can use torrents. Here in Santa Barbara, Cox Cable filters out bittorrent traffic by examining the packet headers. You can't get around it by changing the port for example. Really sucks - I can't even patch WoW without it taking 2 hours unless I find a direct download.
      • Holy crap, dude. (Score:5, Informative)

        by TheSpoom (715771) * <[ten.00mrebu] [ta] [todhsals]> on Monday December 19, 2005 @09:48PM (#14295926) Homepage Journal
        I feel really sorry for you. Switch ISPs now. Seriously. And while you're at it, publicize the fact that Cox Cable is censoring their traffic, and therefore no longer deserves the title of common carrier, and therefore is liable for the actions of their users.

        Ironically, if you think about it, they're putting themselves in danger of getting a lawsuit from the RIAA.
        • Do they also lose Common Carrier status when they block inbound Windows RPC/filesharing?
          • This is definitely something I was thinking about when I wrote my original comment -- where does "safety" stop and "control" begin? IMHO I think that blocking *outgoing* ports is quite a different action than limiting incoming traffic; it's essentially telling the customer that they *cannot* do something on the network. You may be right, it's definitely something to think about. I know I wouldn't want to have them as my ISP, however.

            BTW, they weren't just blocking the BitTorrent common ports, they were a
        • Re:Holy crap, dude. (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ingoldsby (924334)
          I sent them an email: "I am getting a bit frustrated with your packet shaping in regards to Bittorrent. I realize that p2p torrent sharing uses a lot of your bandwidth resources, but I am unable to update World of Warcraft without it taking HOURS since they use torrents as their update protocol. Along with this, I think you may be opening up a can of worms in regards to lawsuits. If you (Cox Cable) are censoring your traffic, and therefore no longer deserve the title of common carrier, you may become liab
          • by spoco2 (322835) on Monday December 19, 2005 @11:49PM (#14296414)
            That really isn't the way to word an email on such a topic to a corporation, you need to be more formal...
            -------------
            To Whom it may concern,

            I have noticed that you are shaping packets (*are they shaping, or are they blocking the traffic?*) which you identify as being BitTorrent traffic (http://www.bittorrent.com/ [bittorrent.com]). I assume your reasoning behind this is that BitTorrent traffic accounts for a very high percentage of overall bandwidth usage on your network and your assumption that all BitTorrent traffic is of an illegal nature.

            However your actions are affecting many completely legitimate uses of the internet and are making your service severely crippled for many of us. For instance, the most popular online game in the world at present is World of Warcraft (WoW). This game, as most do, supply occasionaly patches and updates which require downloading of sometimes quite substantial volumes of data. BitTorrent makes this method faster for the end users (myself included), and reduces the load on the company's servers also, allowing more people to download the content in a far shorter time. Apart from this use, which is impacting me the most, there are many other items transfered using BitTorrent which are just as legal and useful to your paid subscribers.

            I ask you to reconcider your blocking of this traffic, else I would like to be released from my contract to you with no penalty as you are no longer providing the service which I initially signed up for.

            Sincerly,

            Yournamehere!
            --------------

            Something along those lines anyway... (spell checked of course)... and I would lay off the legal crap... nothing will turn off a tech support or customer support officer more than some little kid (whether you are or not, that's what they'll see you as, trust me... I have run an internet provider's customer support centre) claiming that they know something about the law when really they don't... it just makes them instantly go "We've got another RIAA nut here...." "Really? Send them the pre-canned response".

            Threatening to end your contract with them and demanding to be released without penalty will get you far more action than vague mentionings of cans of worms and lawsuits.
            • But... (Score:2, Funny)

              by ari_j (90255)
              You can't trust a guy who writes Pascal-style comments to write a good letter to a corporation. (* Or can you? *)

              ;-)
              • Ha! I didn't even notice... I haven't used Pascal in yeeeeears! In fact, now it would be (I hope this comes through correctly)
                • And no... no it didn't come through... Think XML style comments to know what I put there... and really, I wrote hugely witty things inside of the comments, which of course I just can't re-write here... :P
            • This is a much better email than the original, though I'm sure his / her heart was in the right place. Personally, I would casually mention the possibility of being liable for your customers actions near the end somewhere but I wouldn't be nearly as direct. I haven't looked at the laws recently but I would probably quote something from common carrier doctrine (I'm sure there's something that applies).
              • I probably wouldn't even touch on being liable at all.. it's all just going to trigger the 'bullshit' alert... but mentioning something along the lines of 'Also, to my understanding, doesn't this stop you being able to be considered a common carrier anymore?'... might make them think, or ask their boss as to what it means or similar....

                The heart was indeed in the right place though... they have a legitimate use for BitTorrent which their company is blocking.
      • by td4guy (927669) on Monday December 19, 2005 @10:17PM (#14296068)
        Try switching to port 1720, the standard VoIP port. It works with Rogers Cable in Canada. They don't run packet shapers on any traffic on that port, for fear of lagging VoIP calls.
      • Call them every other day about it. Say you can't play WoW correctly. Encourage all the other WoW players in the area with Cox to do the same. It's impacting a very important usage (WoW being very popular, still).
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 19, 2005 @10:23PM (#14296081)
        Or you can switch to a client that encrypts the header. I know that in the world of private tracker BitComet is hated, but it really is a great client once you disable DHT tracking and enable header encryption, although Azureus may support it, too. My university also filters bittorent headers, but once those headers were encrypted, I was back in business.
      • You should definately switch ISPs, but if not try BitComet. IIRC it has a feature to get around that. It also better if you can't recieve incoming connections or have other restrictions like that.
    • BitTorrent, indeed! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mister_llah (891540)
      It seems to me that a 'count' of peer to peer users without including BitTorrent (at least an estimation) ... is rather pointless.

      I would figure there are at least 9 million people using BitTorrent (legitemately or not) ... and it isn't like BitTorrent is some secret to the P2P community, heck, Slyck even has a link right on their site with a bunch of info on it... so why they didn't even try to include it is beyond me.
    • "small potatoes"? Ok, 15M users in "Kazaa et al" would mean we'd need at least, oh, 30M users on "good, private Bittorrent trackers". Even if that's split amongst 100 totally different trackers, your definition of "private" needs work.
  • by Sheetrock (152993) on Monday December 19, 2005 @08:54PM (#14295640) Homepage Journal
    There is a case to be made, I think, that if certain ports were disabled for home users a serious dent could be made in this P2P population -- not to mention the great deal of bandwidth freed up for more serious Internet activity.

    This is already accepted to some extent by anti-SPAM policies that forbid access to external SMTP servers, and has been used to great effect by university administrators.

    It would be far better than the legal approach, which is inefficient and expensive for all parties involved, and would prevent many viruses along with piracy.

    • by User 956 (568564) on Monday December 19, 2005 @09:00PM (#14295679) Homepage
      There is a case to be made, I think, that if certain ports were disabled for home users a serious dent could be made in this P2P population -- not to mention the great deal of bandwidth freed up for more serious Internet activity.

      O RLY?

      "In fact, some Bittorrent clients are pick alternate ports at random during startup to help avoid ISP filtering.

      I would recommend a high port range, like 59052-59059, and also be sure you have those ports forwarded if you own a router. I've done this with Azureus, ABC, and Bitcomet and could leech and seed fine."

      link [thisweekintech.com]
      • OT, but from reading two posts from you, I can already tell you're either from SA or LL primarily.
      • YA RLY.

        (And I'm not from SomethingAwful -- I've heard bad things about their userbase, such as they actively pick on people who have hobbies/interests that they think are beneath them, instead of shutting up and respecting others -- or LL -- what's LL?)

        I just happen to like birds, particularly birds of prey, and the "oh really?" owl thing cracks me up.
      • What's more important than filesharing? I mean really, the internet is a great resource for sharing information. If you remove the information being shared, what's left? more bandwidth for popups?
    • No, they shouldnt (Score:4, Interesting)

      by nurb432 (527695) on Monday December 19, 2005 @09:05PM (#14295708) Homepage Journal
      Because there are a LOT of legal uses for them. Just because something can be used improperly does not mean you should just automatically penalize those that are not.

      The 'pirates' would just go father underground and as long as you allow any connections then the data will flow. You *cant* stop all flow of data, or you wouldnt be providing a service anylonger.

      The only way to stop it is to make bandwidth so expensive its cheaper to go buy the item. ( but of course lose all your customers in the process )
      • Re:No, they shouldnt (Score:3, Informative)

        by mugnyte (203225)
        Additionally, you forget one thing: The reason certain tools use certain ports or network protocols are because they were unencumbered. Once any portion of the design becomes encumbered with filtering, security checks or anything else deemed "censorship", it will be rebuilt to avoid not just the problem, but the entire *class* of such problems. This will happen for information, and to a slowly degree, hardware hacking, in a neverending march.

        Right now, you can write a P2P client that will check
    • Your idea is great. Then I, and many other users, go straight back to dial-up. Don't think the ISPs aren't aware of this, either.

      For that matter, don't think the content providers aren't aware of it as well...without the bogeyman of 'piracy' they'd have to explain to their shareholders why it is that their revenues keep on falling, yet they continue to put out the same insipid, unlistenable/unwatchable crap.

      Easier to blame 'piracy' and to continue to do business as usual for everyone involved.
    • A very short, but dire, slippery slope that is.

      When an ISP is seen as capable of administering your traffic, an ISP can be seen as authorised to administer your traffic.
      When an ISP is authorised to administer your traffic, an ISP can be seen as responsible for administering your traffic.
      When an ISP is responsible for administering your traffic, they can be seen as responsible for turning you in to the authorities.

      No thanks. I believe in free speech. But I believe some people need to use free thought before
    • And you also get to kill the indy scene at the same time. But hey, that's good for them too!

      P2P networks are totally legal, SOME content on them is not.
    • Why the hell would an ISP want to do this? What other reason could anyone really have for a $60 a month 5 Megabit cable modem? If the isp limits you to legitmate web surfing and email checking no-one will need their big dollar broadband anymore...

      That and the fact (as mentioned 50 times above this post) that blocking the ports would be laughably ineffective.
    • by Bogtha (906264) on Monday December 19, 2005 @09:51PM (#14295941)

      There is a case to be made, I think, that if certain ports were disabled for home users a serious dent could be made in this P2P population -- not to mention the great deal of bandwidth freed up for more serious Internet activity.

      There's a big problem with this idea: normal users don't pay their ISP for "more serious Internet activity". They pay their ISP for things like email, surfing the web, and, yes, downloading stuff from P2P networks.

      If an ISP were to block P2P activity, they'd lose a hell of a lot of customers to the competition. If all the ISPs did it, that would leave a fantastic market opportunity for a startup to take their customers away from them. That's the nature of a free market - don't supply what the customers want, and somebody else is ready to take them away from you.

      This is already accepted to some extent by anti-SPAM policies that forbid access to external SMTP servers, and has been used to great effect by university administrators.

      That only works because the majority of users are perfectly happy using their ISP's smarthost to send mail. The same does not apply to P2P traffic.

      It would be far better than the legal approach, which is inefficient and expensive for all parties involved, and would prevent many viruses along with piracy.

      You're assuming that ISPs have something to gain from stopping copyright infringement. Think about it this way: if you could wave a magic wand, and make copyright infringement disappear, would that make the average user more or less likely to pay for home Internet access? And what affect would that have on ISPs' bottom lines?

    • Suppose that I am expending bandwidth broadening my movie taste by dowloading legal out-of-copyright movies [publicdomaintorrents.com] and you're browsing /b/ on 4chan. Why is your internet activity "serious" while mine gets throttled?

      Could it be that you are in fact expressing a purely personal bias as if it were some sort of universal judgement?
    • [Disabling ports] would be far better than the legal approach, which is inefficient and expensive for all parties involved, and would prevent many viruses along with piracy.

      I agree that the cost effectiveness of suing file sharers is debatable and that ISPs could do more to reduce the effects of malware, spam etc., but I'm sure that crippling internet services (whether through a silly approach like disabling ports or privacy-invasive and expensive measures like SPI) won't do anything to reduce file sharin

  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Monday December 19, 2005 @08:55PM (#14295644) Homepage Journal
    You know, in your heart that it's all ripping off profits of hardworking, honest, family-type people who really have to scrape to make ends meet in the record industry... you *

    Ah, crap, I can't keep typing this with a straight face...

  • Big Champagne (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rayde (738949) on Monday December 19, 2005 @08:55PM (#14295645) Homepage
    TFA mentions that the survey was done by Big Champagne, and if i remember correctly, apps such as Peer Guardian, etc, typically block Big Champagne's IP ranges. So this could potentially misrepresent numbers of real-world P2P users. Not sure if that has been factored in, but if not, the reported numbers will definitely be on the conservative side.
    • Re:Big Champagne (Score:4, Interesting)

      by obeythefist (719316) on Monday December 19, 2005 @09:15PM (#14295755) Journal
      Nonsense. If Big Champagne were competent (I will assume, as it is the most sensible thing to do, that they are), they are quite aware of Peerguardian and the likes and will have a normal, commercial broadband connection to "quietly" conduct research without obstruction.

      Peerguardian is a useful tool but it provides a dangerous and false sense of security.
  • Summer lull (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Monday December 19, 2005 @08:55PM (#14295652) Homepage Journal
    Thats because a lot of users are students, and most went home for the summer break.

    Should see a similar reducing around the Xmas holidays and spring break.

    Nothing magical here.
  • by BadassJesus (939844) on Monday December 19, 2005 @08:59PM (#14295675)
    Let's not forget what happens when you go "bigtime" with P2P.

    As this related Slashdot story http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/05/25/22 6228 [slashdot.org] shows.
  • Banning P2P (Score:5, Funny)

    by NotoriousGOD (936922) on Monday December 19, 2005 @09:10PM (#14295728)
    The only way ISPs could block P2P is if they blocked every single goddam port excluding 21, 80 and a few others for AIM. Then someone would make filesharing that used those ports. So no worries, P2P isn't going anyway. Besides, it's part of the constitution. Remember prohibition? I don't, but I heard that shit was crazy.
    • Re:Banning P2P (Score:3, Interesting)

      by canuck57 (662392)

      The only way ISPs could block P2P is if they blocked every single goddam port excluding 21, 80 and a few others for AIM.

      Want a bet on this? Any service can run on any port. You can also run any protocol through a tunnel through another. Further more, you can even do a file download over DNS that looks like DNS traffic to evade detection.

      Trust me when I say an ISP would have to disconnect paying customers to stop it. Which is lucrative enough they will not. Only a fool with too much stupidity would

      • by pdxmac (460696)
        Want a bet on this? Any service can run on any port.

        You mean, like when GP said:

        Then someone would make filesharing that used those ports.

        I understand that reading multiple paragraphs or TFA is too much to ask. But, you couldn't read the next sentence in the same paragraph?

        Bad form....
    • Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't they actually look at the content of the individual packets in order to determine which of these packets belong to P2P ? Etherpeek [etherpeek.com] and (I think) Ethereal both have this capability, so it should be possible to implement this at ISP level.

      An obvious countermeasure would be to tunnel P2P packets through SSH, but this solution has problems of its own. Current P2P clients are not equipped for it, and I don't think it's easy to anonymize.

  • by komodotoes (939836) on Monday December 19, 2005 @09:15PM (#14295754) Homepage
    ...because removing anonymity is the Holy Grail of the RIAA/MPAA strategy. They've been flogging their legal team to produce results now, and after Trusted Computing takes hold, expect the lawsuits and 'cease and desist' orders to increase (although I have great faith some smart person on the side of good will have TC broken before it goes mainstream). Lawsuits don't work now and they're not going to work in the future.



    NeverEndingBillboard.com [neverendingbillboard.com]
    • The funny thing about trusted computing is that it will allow trusted computing, not just for banks, commercial websites, but also for warez groups, p2p networks etc.

      There are already many private warez/p2p groups, and with trusted computing identifying each user, they will be able to ensure that the wrong people don't get their foot in the door of these 'underground' networks.

  • Excellent.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by teutonic_leech (596265) on Monday December 19, 2005 @09:16PM (#14295763)
    Good news - P2P is the thorn in the backs of music publishers that will force them to embrace legal digital distribution schemes like iTunes.
    • offtopic (Score:3, Insightful)

      I have mod points, but how about if you expand on your post so it doesn't get modded to -1 overrated/offtopic. iTunes infringes on fair use rights. Get that through your thick skull. How can you turn up your nose on "illegal" p2pers while using your iTunes and rendering copywrite law useless by total lack of legitimacy? Where there is not legitimacy there is anarchy, which builds new legitimate laws. Your comment which caves to legal/social pressures is not only offtopic, it is bad for society, and ref
  • by planckscale (579258) on Monday December 19, 2005 @09:26PM (#14295803) Journal
    In order of most effect deterents:

    1. Downloading music with crappy bit rates, clicks, pops, and incomplete songs.

    2. Downloading "fake" songs that are only garbled nonsense.

    3. Downloading songs in zip or rar format that require a password to unzip.

    4. Ominous feelings that the RIAA will slap my neighbor with a cease and desist letter because he lets me use his wireless connection.

    Perhaps the record companies could take a look at #1 and release some decent quality songs with caveats. Something like reduced quality, incomplete, or with a small advert at the end of the recording that says: Purchase this song, video, and other exclusive features at www.youmustpayforyourtoppings.com. Maybe if they flood the networks with new releases with these annoyances, people will pay for legitamate full-featured, full-versioned copies.

    • Maybe if they flood the networks...

      You just lost my respect. They're ALREADY flooding the network with bad and incomplete files.

      Did you ever stop to think that maybe they should, y'know, embrace the internet and actually find a business model that works with the digital age? People want the song they just heard on the radio, and maybe that one from the other day, and maybe they'll take that other one their friend has. They don't want to have to go through the hassle of buying individual tracks when they
  • by Powercntrl (458442) on Monday December 19, 2005 @09:31PM (#14295825)
    http://hymn-project.org/jhymndoc/ [hymn-project.org]

    If you can't buy downloadable music online without DRM, piracy begins to look pretty appealing. Pay and be restricted, or pirate and play anywhere?

  • by od05 (915556) on Monday December 19, 2005 @09:34PM (#14295844)
    I was listening to Hard Attack and Sirius Radio and really started to like Between The Buried and me. Never heard of the band but liked it. I looked it up on the internet and bought two tickets to a show in town. Tickets were $13.50 each, but with the fees a set of TWO tickets cost me $47. That's almost double the price! That's a lot of money to spend on a band I've only heard on the radio a few times.

    So I tried to buy the CD on the bands website, and the store keeps fucking up. Won't let me buy it. Page acts like it's about to load up and then stops. Maybe it's because I'm using a mac, maybe it's just messed up.

    I'd like to copy the CD onto my iPod so I can listen to the whole thing first. I don't even want the CD, I'd like to listen to it tonight, don't want to wait for the mail.

    Can somebody upload a Bitorrent of the the Alaska CD please? I tried to buy it really.
  • by Chaffar (670874) on Monday December 19, 2005 @09:39PM (#14295874)
    The temporary rise in various non-BitTorrent P2P networks in November is DEFINITELY due to the launch of Azureus 2.3.0.6.

    Thousands of users made the switch after realizing that they're STILL going to have to put up with the infamous NAT Error [aelitis.com], and it STILL drives Ubuntu users [whirlpool.net.au] crazy...

    • Uh, what? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gottabeme (590848)
      I don't know what "infamous NAT Error" you are talking about. If you correctly configure your NAT device and Azureus, it works just fine. I run Debian through a NAT'ed DSL connection, through ports that I chose and configured, and it's fine. The "NAT Error" link you gave simply explains how to correctly configure things, and the Ubuntu problem you linked to has nothing to do with NATs, it has to do with Ubuntu's native Java support, which can be fixed by users. I hardly think the number of Ubuntu Azureu
  • Consumer Backlash? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ilex (261136) on Monday December 19, 2005 @09:48PM (#14295925)
    Legit download sales have fallen, CD sales have fallen and P2P users have increased. Hmmmm let me see If I actually want to pay for music I can choose to have either a file which may or may not work with my mp3 player or A DRM'd malware infested CD that may or may not play on my CD player. /me bashes Carrey Sherman over the head with a clue!
    DRM and financial persecutions encourage music piracy.

    I wonder if we are now seeing the beginning of the end of the music cartels as tech savy teens begin to question the moral ethics of buying music and supporting such corrupt entities.

    An industry which treats both the content creators and the fans with contempt should not survive. I'm surprised they've lasted this long.
  • ummmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by arrrrg (902404) on Monday December 19, 2005 @09:54PM (#14295954)
    last i heard, bittorrent made up more than 1/3 of all internet traffic (not just P2P). i'm not sure what proportion of traffic is p2p in general, but bittorrent is almost certainly the biggest piece of the pie.
    • And also the hardest to track, which is why they left it out.

      Other than IPSs examining packet headers, there really isn't a way for private companies to keep track of BT users.

      When people talk about 'private' BT communities, they don't mean 'register here' The boys and girls who have been doing Distros & dumps for years can keep their own trackers really truly private in the same way they've always kept their IRC & FTP resources private.

      /As an aside, I used to download 30~50 GB a day off Bittorren

  • by rampant mac (561036) on Monday December 19, 2005 @09:56PM (#14295968)
    "At 9.45 million users, it is only slightly below its greatest height of 9.6 million users in August."

    I hate being the one asking, but, I gotta wonder...

    How many trillions of megabytes is that, in porn?

  • by cciRRus (889392) on Monday December 19, 2005 @10:30PM (#14296107)
    There is an upcoming new use of the P2P distribution model: P2P TV [wikipedia.org].

    Instead of downloading videos off eDonkey and then watch them afterwards, I watch video streams "live" with PPLive [pplive.com].

    Stay tuned, I'm guessing that P2P TV is the next big thing after Napster/KaZaA/eDonkey!
  • by drgonzo59 (747139) on Monday December 19, 2005 @10:30PM (#14296110)
    Didn't MPAA scare everyone into accessing P2P networks? -Oh, wait! I guess it didn't.

    It is one of those things that most people don't feel like it is a crime and there is nothing MPAA and RIAA can do. No amount of lawsuits, no amount of sappy ads before every movie in the theatres showing poor set designers that are now starving because those pirates stole the bread from their kid's table, is going to change that. Because people don't think it is such a big crime to share and download mp3 files and movies.

    I am not saying whether it is good or bad, or that it is right to download music from P2P without paying for it - all I am saying is that most people don't see it as such a bad thing. As it turns out the order and peace and quiet in a most societies is not kept by police or any forceful tactics, but by the fact that the majority of the citizens like it that way. For example if tomorrow morning everyone got it into their heads that pillaging, vandalism, looting and killing each other is perfectly "ok" there will not be enough police or lawyers or soldiers to stop everyone acting in that manner.

    I think the same goes for illegal file sharing, the majority of people don't see it as a particularly bad thing and they will continue to do it. In fact what people finally see is how Sony/BMG, Universal, EMI and friends have been screwing everyone all these years by selling crappy music for $15-$20 a disk. The artists weren't getting the money - it was all going into building vacation homes and buying Ferrari's for the executives of those production companies.

    Now someone might say that the laws in our supposedly democratic society clearly reflect the attitudes and the will of the majority of people, so how come downloading is still illegal. I think it is because the laws today are created by those who have large amounts of accumulated wealth and can sponsor and lobby the Congress to make it pass whatever they want. Also, when is the last time any of us contacted our local Congressman and petitioned him for anything?

    I think the best the recording companies can do is to bite the bullet and re-structure their business accepting that the old days when they could make billions by selling overpriced crap are coming to an end.

    • Didn't MPAA scare everyone into accessing P2P networks?

      They seem to have almost successfully killed eDonkey at least. Although then again, Napster died...Kazaa is still up, but there's virtually nothing there these days. I suspect Kad/Overnet and Gnutella are going to end up being our only choices. Then there's Direct Connect...but that is a lot closer to IRC than p2p in my mind.
    • It's illegal for the same reasons that Marijuana is a Class 1 (No Medical Use) Narcotic, there was Prohibition from the '20's into the 30's, and Copyright has been heading towards infinity.

      You ready for the explanation?

      A relatively small group of people thought it would be a good idea. Wehther that small group are relegious, corporate, concerned parents (won't somebody think of the children), etc. They will always try to spoil it for everyone else.

      And yes, I'm defending copyright infringement.
      Sue me.
    • Crime? Tell me who's the criminal here.

      In one corner, we have people who infringe copyrights.
      In the other, we have corporations who spy on people, subvert computer security and massively breach laws they lobbed for themselves.

      The former is the same crime as copying the recipe of a prize-winning bakery. Sure, you take away profits the inventor of the recipe would get -- but you don't even steal a single cookie. Or, as another analogy, copying the dress design of a lady who paid bazillions to go to a royal

All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. -- Dawkins

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