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The Internet

Earthlink Releases SIP Based P2P File-Sharing App 145

Kaseijin writes "'We believe that if peer-to-peer flourishes, the Internet flourishes.' Earthlink's Research and Development division has released SIPshare, a prototype file-sharing application based on SIP. The code is available under a BSD-style license."
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Earthlink Releases SIP Based P2P File-Sharing App

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  • Music and movie collections definitly flourish.

    I do agree with them however, network technology such as p2p is important.
  • The subject says it all......

    • I agree.

      This reminds me of WASTE and Nullsoft/AOL.

      It sounds like someone forgot to tell the legal department they were doing something special ;-)
    • by JediDan ( 214076 )
      The customer service is what will doom Earthlink, not the R&D to fix network routing problems.

      To quote what is on DSL Reports [dslreports.com] "To dodge potential legal bullets, the company notes SIPShare is NOT a supported EarthLink product. 'It is more than anything else a manifestation of an idea,' says the company. 'So if you call our Tech Support with SIPshare questions, they will have no idea what you are talking about. So please, if you use SIPshare, you're on your own.'"
      • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @12:31PM (#10268241)
        > 'So if you call our Tech Support with SIPshare questions, they will have no idea what you are talking about.

        And this differentiates SIPshare from anything else offered by Earthlink... precisely how?

      • by valmont ( 3573 )

        Okay what part of "earthlink is not putting this out as a product" do people not get??? There are no legal issues to dodge here. This is not a product. This is not meant for average consumers. This is a research project. A science project. They're trying to show that "SIP is cool" and "can achieve cool things".

        people are interpreting this as earthlink supporting p2p file sharing development when in fact, file sharing is a completely irrelevant use case for this technology. Even if you can share files wi

        • In this case, earthlink is merely pointing out the fact that SIP enables two computers to talk to one-another behind across opaque networks. The relevant applications of this revolve around VoIP, Video Conferencing, and yes, 1-to-1 data exchange based on a priorly established relationship.

          Maybe finally someone will make an IM client that can actually transfer files behind a nat box without this bullshit port forwarding. . .

          Here's hoping.
          • Maybe finally someone will make an IM client that can actually transfer files behind a nat box without this bullshit port forwarding. . .

            Yea! And then we will only need to make sure that it can connect over HTTP proxy servers and pretend to be a web-browser. That way the IT people cant filter for it. Yea! We will p0wn all those corporate PCs! Yea! Nothing like a music sharing app to get all those dumbasses in marketing to install it. Cool idea!

  • by sketerpot ( 454020 ) * <`moc.liamg' `ta' `topreteks'> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:03AM (#10265608)
    The most important part is this bit here:

    EarthLink believes an open Internet is a good Internet. An open Internet means users have full end-to-end connectivity to say to each other whatever it is they say, be that voice, video, or other data exchanges, without the help of mediating servers in the middle whenever possible. We believe that if peer-to-peer flourishes, the Internet flourishes. SIPshare helps spread the word that SIP is more than a powerful voice over IP enabler --- much more. SIP is a protocol that enables peer-to-peer in a standards-based way.

    • Re: Caveat! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Scoria ( 264473 ) <slashmailNO@SPAMinitialized.org> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:25AM (#10265881) Homepage
      I'll "induce" a moral conflict: Earthlink is often accused [google.com] of directly supporting the Church of Scientology. In fact, Sky Dayton, the man responsible for Earthlink, is a devout Scientologist.
      • by ToasterTester ( 95180 ) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @10:42AM (#10266822)
        Sky Dayton is long gone from EarthLink and the Scientology crowd that was there. After MindSpring took over control of Earthlink the Atlanta Christian Right took over. If you weren'
        t part of their in-crowd your days as at Earthlink were limited. That is unless you're in India and work for two dollars a day. Then you're okay.
      • Re: Caveat! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by valmont ( 3573 )

        Yeah there had to be the obligatory earthlink and scientology post. Okay could we like, move on? This is old and utterly irrelevant gossip that takes away from talking about what's more important, such as the future of the internet, the future killer applications of the internet and how earthlink just might be the last big player to keep the other big players and regulators in check.

        on one hand you have the major telcos who are lobbying like mad motherfsckers to keep their stronghold on the pipes, while

    • by DrEldarion ( 114072 ) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:54AM (#10266244)
      EarthLink believes an open Internet is a good Internet. An open Internet means users have full end-to-end connectivity to say to each other whatever it is they say, be that voice, video, or other data exchanges, without the help of mediating servers in the middle whenever possible.

      Translation: Earthlink likes an open internet - an open internet allows for P2P file sharing and other things that require lots of bandwidth. Oh hey, did we mention that we sell broadband service? It's fast. You'll want that speed for downloading all this data. C'mon, just try it. The first one is free. Yeah, yeah, that's good. You like that, huh? Now, about this contract...
  • by Vaystrem ( 761 ) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:04AM (#10265616)
    If I recall correctly, ISPs would not be held liable for content traded over P2P networks, recent legal case. But how does this change when the ISP develops a P2P client?

    • I'm sure their devils, I mean lawyers, have looked into this quite a bit. Besides, courts have already upheld in some cases that it is not the P2P software's liability if someone shares something illegal.
    • by GodHead ( 101109 ) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:08AM (#10265678) Homepage
      I would think it doesn't. Not anymore than crowbar makers can be liable for breaking and entering.

      Then again we've all seen the US court system make mind-bending leaps of illogic so I guess anything's possible.
      • "Not anymore than crowbar makers can be liable for breaking and entering."

        The crowbar analogy isn't so great because, on the other hand, lockpick tools are (generally) illegal.

        The difference between the crowbar and the lockpick tool isn't that they have the potential for bad uses (obviously both do) -- it's about what they're generally used for.

        The question about this Earthlink P2P will boil down to: is it mostly just another market for illegal filesharing, or will it mostly be used for legit sharing

      • It's not really their fault they are tied to regulating something that is blatantly immoral.

        They know people should be able to look around heck people even have the constitutional right to spread information but then they are trying to draw lines to prevent it.

        That's because all the policy people haven't gotten their thumbs out about developing a system to keep intellectual development moving and if they don't they worry that some of the emerging economies with diffrent political systems will triumph.
    • Hmmmm, not sure, but wouldn't that be similar to someone using AOL's mail client to send an MP3?

    • But how does this change when the ISP develops a P2P client?

      Assuming that INDUCE gets passed, Earthlink will be responsible for fixing their P2P app to recognize "digial rights." This may be as simple as adapting Creative Common's sharing scheme, or it could be as convoluted as flagging and enforcing DRM.

    • I would hope not. Is the FTP protocol maker liable for any data transfered over that? That dude is in a WORLD of shit if he is.....
  • I was actually thinking of changing ISPs anyway. A P2P-friendly ISP? Who woulda thunk it.
  • It should read (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ignignot ( 782335 ) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:04AM (#10265631) Journal
    "We believe that if people keep needing more bandwidth, Earthlink will flourish." Earthlink is an ISP, and this is entirely for their own benefit. If more people are using file sharing, then they need more bandwidth to do it. If everyone buys more bandwidth, then the value of the internet is much greater (because it is proportional to connectedness). Then Earthlink gets more money. so you might even say:

    1 - Release new P2P program
    2 - Everyone needs more bandwidth
    3 - People buy more bandwidth
    4 - Profit!!!
    5 - Internet flourishes kind of or something.
    • Earthlink is probably telling the truth when they say they believe in an "open Internet" as they are one of the ones that are pushing for the end to Cable companies monopolizing the lines *and* the ISP connections for cable HSD.
      • They have a vested interest in doing so. That's not open internet, that's using a resource to which you did not contribute and thus should not be entitled to. The POTS network was built at least partly with government money - our money. The cable networks were built by the cable companies. It might be good for the consumer to open those networks, but that's not why they're doing it - they're doing it because a free ride is good for Earthlink.
    • Re:It should read (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GodHead ( 101109 ) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:11AM (#10265718) Homepage
      1 - Release new P2P program

      That should read "release proof of concept that wont work for 90% of users". It's a tech demo. It's not like there's some shortage of p2p apps anyway.

      I think the bit that's missing is why SIP-based p2p would be better than other p2p apps. Someone care to explain that?

      • Re:It should read (Score:3, Informative)

        by KDan ( 90353 )
        Not only that, but what makes SIP better than, say, JXTA [jxta.org]?

        Daniel
      • Re:It should read (Score:3, Informative)

        by halfelven ( 207781 )
        Since it's good for VoIP, it's good to carry persistent streams of data, which is typical for P2P.

        Also, it's more likely that SIP would be allowed by default through various corporate firewalls, while typical P2P protocols will be blocked. Think of it as a firewall circumventing feature.
        I was actually impressed, the idea is clever.
      • That should read "release proof of concept that wont work for 90% of users". It's a tech demo. It's not like there's some shortage of p2p apps anyway.

        After reading the article I got the impression there was some kind of voice over ip connection protocol being established in a p2p format (connect to p2p network share id and allow p2p network to share your ip for incomming callers to connect to) but the guy above seems to think it's straight p2p as do most of the commentors.

        CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL US WHA
    • So what? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by revscat ( 35618 )
      I hate libertarians as much as the next guy, but let me put on that hat for a minute and ask: so what? If Earthlink honestly provides a good or service that people want, and people use it, why should they not be financially rewarded for their efforts? Profit motive is not inherently bad, however much it may cause unscrupulous players to behave unfairly or unjustly. I don't think Earthlink has done anything to warrant criticism, here, nor are their motives worthy of scorn.
      • Re:So what? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Fnkmaster ( 89084 )
        Let's see, you're liberal, but believe fundamentally in individual freedoms (including the second amendment), but scorn libertarians? So you're like a libertarian, only not a heartless Randian bastard?
      • Where, exactly did I say that Earthlink was doing something wrong? Maybe you read it into what I wrote, but you are the one that has a problem with corporate profit then. What you just wrote is the equivilant of me saying "rabbits live in holes in the ground" and you turning around and saying "but there's nothing wrong with living in a hole in the ground if you are a rabbit!"
        • Where, exactly did I say that Earthlink was doing something wrong? Maybe you read it into what I wrote, but you are the one that has a problem with corporate profit then.

          Settle down, partner. I wasn't attacking you. If that's not what you meant, ok, but the tone was certainly in that direction, and it certainly wasn't clear why you brought up the point. It's been my experience that people don't usually bring up profit as a motive unless they are denegrating it. Without further context your message could

          • Settle down, partner. I wasn't attacking you.

            Where, exactly did I say that you were attacking me? Maybe you read it into what I wrote, but you are the one that has a problem with you attacking me. What you just wrote is the equivilant of me saying "muskrats live in extensive burrow systems," and you turning around and saying "but there's nothing wrong with living in extensive burrow systems if you are a muskrat!"
    • So what?

      You think that's an intelligent observation or something?

      They know who butters their bread, and it's not any *AA group, or the lobbyists behind the INDUCE act.

      Companies exist to make money.
    • Re:It should read (Score:4, Informative)

      by Sheepdot ( 211478 ) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:21AM (#10265832) Journal
      I like how everyone screws up the South Park quote. For those of you that don't know, read this:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underpants_Gnomes [wikipedia.org]

      The Underpants Gnomes had 3 steps. If you make it into more, or don't end in "PROFIT!!!" then you aren't doing it for the right reasons. The goal is profit. The goal is ALWAYS profit.
      • I'm sorry I didn't realize that my license to change jokes around a little had been revoked! I'll immediately report to the nearest Fanatically Unchanging Quotes Station (FUQS), you can bet. Don't worry, from now on I will only parrot formulaic jokes that we can laugh at for all time without ever doing something new!
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:05AM (#10265634)
    Will EarthLink SIPshare work behind NAT?

    No. All messaging, including the file transfer protocol, are based on UDP. If you want to extend EarthLink SIPshare by incorporating something like STUN for NAT traversal, by all means do so.


    Obviously this wasn't originally intended for anything other than the proof of concept as a large group of users interested in P2P would be using some form of NAT. If anything it may be dangerous (if it became popular) because users would DMZ or disconnect from their router to put their machines straight to the net to use this application.
    • Err, don't you just forward the appropriate port and ...poof!...it works behind NAT? Or do they mean on multiple machines behind a NAT, each with its own client/connection?
    • Anything that hastens the demise of NAT is a good thing. I use it, but I recognize that it is an ugly kludge that should be eliminated as soon as possible. It breaks the end-to-end transparency of the Internet. If you want a firewall, install or buy a firewall.
    • Hey that's just what I did with Bittorrent!

      Yea not having single firewall support (one user outside one inside) is really really weak when so many programs implement it easily.
  • I would be interesting how (enabled) ISPs prioritize SIP traffic. Does this mean we can expect better data transfer rates? :P
    • Or perhaps blocking it entirely at the request of the RIAA/MPAA/whatever because it happens to be used by a p2p protocol, thus forcing VOIP users onto more expensive "VOIP enabled" internet connection plans, or back onto PSTN.

      Nah, can't see any reason that might happen, wouldn't be in any big company's interest to kill SIP now would it...
  • Adoption (Score:3, Insightful)

    by webword ( 82711 ) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:08AM (#10265687) Homepage
    The key for adoption of P2P is getting it into companies. Like IM, if P2P is compelling to average users, it will weasel its way into corporations. Don't miss the disclaimer: "Finally, EarthLink SIPshare is NOT a supported EarthLink product. It is more than anything else a manifestation of an idea. So if you call our Tech Support with SIPshare questions, they will have no idea what you are talking about. So please, if you use SIPshare, you're on your own." The problem is that this is for geeks, mostly. Until it is easy enough for "average" folks and grandmothers, it probably won't be adopted. So, might be good technology, but not so sure about adoption. We'll see. TWT.
  • by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:09AM (#10265705) Journal
    A goal for SIP was to provide a superset of the call processing functions and features present in the public switched telephone network (PSTN). As such, features that permit familiar telephone-like operations are present: dialing a number, causing a phone to ring, hearing ringback tones or a busy signal. Implementation and terminology are different.

    Does SIP reproduce the "Doot-doot-doot-We're sorry, the file you are downloading has been disconncted."?

  • ...that screenshot was taken in Linux. Interesting....
    • Re:Looks like... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cs02rm0 ( 654673 )
      It's written in Java. Write once, run anywhere!

      Well. Didn't work when I just tried it in 2k. I only wanted to try it at work because I think they used a look and feel I've been trying out with some of my apps.
  • Well, if SIP can do P2P. What about Jabber/XMPP?
  • by ShatteredDream ( 636520 ) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:17AM (#10265788) Homepage

    What good are laws that are simultaneously unenforceable and make the people more contemptuous of the thought of paying for your products? If the labels had said publically, "we believe the No Electronic Theft Act more than adequately addresses online piracy, and the DMCA is bad for consumers" then they would have been the good guys. The people who pay attention to what they were doing at the time would have bought more CDs, and the RIAA would have been right, the NET Act was more than enough.



    As I have pointed out on my blog before [blindmindseye.com] the solution to illegal file sharing is not in lawsuits, but in repealing the DMCA and replacing it with a "right of private action for prosecutions in IP." That's right, let copyright holders hire a lawyer and prosecute you. Think about it for a second. It makes them pay to prosecute you, which means your tax dollars don't get drained by endless hours of DOJ/US Attorney expansion and action. It also gives the copyright holders a real means to go after people that'd work in the USA. Lawsuits aren't too scary, private initivative on prosecution is to college students and other young file sharers. When 5,000 sit in prison, not getting hit up for a few grand, people will stand up and take notice.



    Yes, it would cost the RIAA considerably more in the short term, but it'd put a deep chill on illegal file sharing use. I have lost my patience with people who steal from the labels and musicians and hide behind things like "oh I am just sampling." If I sample something off a newsgroup or something, I either delete it right away and buy the album or I delete it because it's pure shit not worth keeping on my hard drive or buying. A few of my friends work the same way, but most of my peers do not.



    The only reason I still have some support for the "other side" is that if the RIAA and MPAA were left unchecked they'd make my computer into a VCR that can run Microsoft Office and licensed video games. But seriously, the copyright holders are not entirely wrong. There is a moral problem with those who say that no one gets hurt. We have already been forced to deal with the fact, thanks to people like Courtney Love, that the artists don't get a fair deal in most contracts. Are you going to compound that by making it even harder to get out of debt? I seriously doubt most of the whiners even buy merch or go see them live.



    "Normal people" aren't nuanced, at least in America. They will end up just seeing a bunch of free loaders and will be too lazy to challenge the MPAA/RIAA's latest IT industry killing plan du jour. If you make moral arguments for your freedom to be left alone from the copyright holders, you have to be virtuous so that the people can see that you are a libertarian, not a libertine.

    • How this got modded as Insightful I will never understand. This is about as shit an idea as you can get. Even looking past your a priori assumption that there is a "problem of illegal file trading," which by itself is extremely shaky, you go on to advance the preposterous notion that giving a private cartel criminal prosecution powers would be a benefit to society. If it wasn't for plugging your blog, I'd think this was a clever troll.

      Supposing, sadly, that you believe this notion, I should like to point o

  • by underpar ( 792569 ) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:19AM (#10265811) Homepage
    "Finally, EarthLink SIPshare is NOT a supported EarthLink product. It is more than anything else a manifestation of an idea."

    Trouble us not with your lame questions! We are busy making the internet flourish!
  • Level of integrity (Score:2, Insightful)

    by moankey ( 142715 )
    Lets hope Earthlink keeps it just a little program to help promote their ISP.
    I would hate to think they are starting down the road of many other P2P companies which eventually start throwing spyware on your machine and making money the sleazy internet way.
  • Why they did this. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sheepdot ( 211478 ) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:38AM (#10266039) Journal
    For those of you scratching your heads for a reason to implement this over SIP when established protocols exist out there, here's what you were looking for:

    Companies and universities use packet-shaping to stop and block P2P from taking up too much bandwidth. They wouldn't dare touch the data over SIP though, their bosses would kill them if the conference calls ever died.
    • SIP tends to be shaped into the special queue that says "forward with no delay until you hit bandwidth limit". This pretty much kills that idea. And therefore, it may well kill SIP entirely for voice applications. Meanwhile, that queue is not very useful for P2P because of the bandwidth limit.
      • SIP is only used for call setup in VOIP applications (and I'm assumeing for this file shareing app as well, I didn't RTFA).

        Once set up, the media is a seperate connection. So your bosses conference call won't die more often if this application hogs the BW, but it might become impossible to actualy make or recieve the call in the first place...

        =Shreak
  • For my electrical engineering degree my thesis was about VoIP/SIP. After finishing the stuff I had a plan for a SIP-based gpl app incorporating audio/text/video communication for 2 and more (conference) users which would've included music streaming and file sharing between the peers.

    While I still have the plans, I never started on it, and I most certainly will never have the time for it now, so I'm very happy and pleased to see such apps popping up.

    SIP was and still is a personal favourite of mine for
  • CALEA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by faqmaster ( 172770 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (mt.senoj)> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @09:58AM (#10266288) Homepage Journal
    Hmm. I wonder what will happen if the "VoIP" protocols (SIP and H.323) are suddenly used for much more than only VoIP? If apps like this generate a lot of traffic how will it affect the CALEA [askcalea.net] and other IP wiretapping [wide.ad.jp] efforts? Suddenly the SIP data is just a bunch of garbled white noise. Is it encrypted or is it P2P traffic?
  • So if you call our Tech Support with SIPshare questions, they will have no idea what you are talking about.

    Sadly, I've found that even if you have even a basic problem, Earthlink Tech Support still has no idea what you are talking about. Three-cheers for outsourcing call-centers! Hip, hip...

    Earthlink is a pretty good service, with very little down-time (so I don't call support often) but their support is terrible. So please, if you use Earthlink, you're on your own.
  • from the blocklist:
    Port 1080: SOCKS versions 4 & 5 - Same as Port 80 above.

    that's a really smart inclusion, to proactively scan for vulnerable SOCKS hosts.
    i remember way back when on irc, just scan chatters' hosts for open socks ports and try plugging their hosts into mirc if it bounced back, voila, 3/5 times i had a new hostname as visible on irc. unbannable, especially if using an ops hostname ^^
    in wonder if that's still the case...

    ya gotta plug the kiddie holes first, imho
    (GOD could that be taken p

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