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Delving into the Commercial P2P World 45

Anonymous Coward writes "PBS has an interesting look at the emerging commercialized P2P networks brought to light by Cringely. With the news of Sky's default bundling of commercial P2P applications in its broadband software, many users seemed to be against the idea of getting nothing from providing Sky with their upstream bandwidth for free. Meanwhile, PeerImpact, seems to be rewarding users for their P2P system through PeerCash, and GridNetworks is building an system called PeerReward."
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Delving into the Commercial P2P World

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  • Not a bad idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grapeape ( 137008 ) <mpope7 AT kc DOT rr DOT com> on Saturday March 04, 2006 @01:51PM (#14850433) Homepage
    Commecial P2P to me never made sense, I was supposed to pay for the song then give my bandwidth so others could pay someone else for the same song. At least they are trying, and now I know if I share there is something I am getting back.
    • Re:Not a bad idea (Score:3, Insightful)

      by djsmiley ( 752149 )
      How long until this becomes like a pyrimid scheme where everyone is spamming their money earning links and no one earns anything as they are all bored of them.
    • I guess it would make more sense if we play less because we are sharing our bandwidth thereby help bring down the distrubution cost.

      One more way is the create your own internet television using platforms like http://www.getdemocracy.com/ [getdemocracy.com] where the user doesnt have to pay anything to view and one could make money based on advertisements. The cost of distrubtion woulld be low because the users are sharing their bandwidth.
    • This could work in a very similar way to how the student housing co-operative I live at works. By having people work together to shoulder the effort of cleaning (uploading) we can, at least in theory, not have to hire a professional cleaning staff (reduce the provider's bandwidth usage) and have the hiring cost (bandwidth cost) passed back along to us, resulting in cheaper rent (download costs). I'm not sure how much of the cost you could actually save from sharing, though.

      The same question that comes up
  • Steam? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Is Valve's Steam P2P? I recall hearing that they hired the guy that developed Bittorrent.
    • Re:Steam? (Score:3, Informative)

      by slavemowgli ( 585321 )
      That guy would be Bram Cohen. And quoting from Wikipedia:

      "In late 2003, Cohen was hired by Valve Software to work on Steam, their digital distribution system introduced for Half-Life 2. However, by early 2005 he was no longer at Valve, and his primary source of income once again became donations from BitTorrent users."

      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bram_Cohen [wikipedia.org]) So yes, they did hire him, but he's not working there anymore, and Steam isn't P2P from what I know, either (and certainly, one cannot assume that it
      • It's definately not. With as many players on worldwide simultaneously as they have, downloads would be considerably faster.
  • Cash, Reward, Save (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saskboy ( 600063 ) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @02:08PM (#14850493) Homepage Journal
    When I see anything "bundled" with the words Cash, Reward, or Save, the little SCAM bells go off in my head.
  • by throwaway18 ( 521472 ) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @02:24PM (#14850536) Journal
    Metamachine, the company that made edonkey, tried a system called transmission films. They put films on the ed2k network (edonkey, emule, shareazza) in windows media format with DRM. The idea was that people would pay to watch the films.
    They had a few classic horror films and other stuff.

    It appears to have been a complete failure. They took the link to transmission films off the edonkey homepage in early 2005 and the site has been down every time I'v looked since then. I tried downloading one of the films a few years ago when the site was still up to see how it worked. It took about two months because nobody was resharing the DRMed files.

    It seems to me that if commercial p2p downloads don't work on the ed2k network with several million users and a link from the edonkey homepage then the idea that individuals could make any money by uploading or recommending content is laughable.

    People using p2p networks simply do not want to pay.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      People using p2p networks simply do not want to pay.

      Or maybe they didn't want DRMed horror movies.
    • Well... There is a reason that companies spend millions on advertising.

      You could have the greatest product in the world and nobody would buy it if they didn't know it existed.

      Maybe Metamachine's service failed because they didn't pump enough money into spreading the word.

      I know /. likes to bitch about advertising dollars, but business people do it for a reason.
    • This is completely true. Unless (until?) there is an incentive for users to keep their sharing programs opened, and keep providing their bandwidth, it just won't happen. Some incentives that work in the P2P community:
      -Status --> This could work with companies. Somehow elevate "good" customers who share against the others.
      -Feeling that you're doing something good-->I don't foresee people wanting to help companies with their bandwidth if they already paid for something
      -Getting faster downloads -->
    • That's because bittorrent is much better suited for this kind of stuff.

      Bittorrent is better than direct download because it's easy to manage mirrors (you just set up another seeder) and bittorrent is scalable (huge popularity doesn't increase money spent on bandwidth).

      Bittorrent is better than ed2k because users share *during* the download. So it doesn't matter if they decide not to share DRMed files *after* the download.

      Besides, isn't World of Warcraft's patch system basically a commercial p2p? If it's use
    • People using p2p networks simply do not want to pay.

      I wouldn't say this is something you would recognize as p2p file sharing.

      1. All the content is determined by a single source. You can't share your own files. This is just a distibution method.
      2. The interface will be similar to the iTunes music store. You wont be primarily searching your peers, but instead the store's inventory. Once you buy, then you search for peers, but not before.
      3. People will use it (for a while) because they don't pay any more to
  • by Dietrich ( 16248 )
    Well, it looks as though Peer Impact is a bust. It is chock full of people trying to make money with hardly anyone using it to discover or buy new games/music/videos/software. This seems like a classic example of a really good idea that is very well implemented but can't reach critical mass.

    If only they had the money to advertise heavily they'd have a shot. Also, it might help if they were more low-key about all the "Earn money!" stuff because while that brings evangelistic eyeballs it doesn't make for a co
  • Several communications systems that are commercial are using P2P underneath now too. Of course Skype is (at least hybrid) P2P, and there has been lots of (early) work lately in the IETF and related groups on P2P SIP http://www.p2psip.org/ [p2psip.org]. Several companies are building on this technology for commercial purposes, incuding the one I work for, SIPeerior Technologies http://www.sipeerior.com/ [sipeerior.com].

    It seems that people are finally taking P2P seriously as a commercial technology, which is good. Now it remains to be s
  • by bbzzdd ( 769894 ) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @02:58PM (#14850626)

    ...buying a new car with the caveat you have to drive Stan, the guy at the service desk, to work every other Thursday.

  • p2p, capacity etc. (Score:4, Informative)

    by br00tus ( 528477 ) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @03:00PM (#14850631)
    Cringely talks about the capacity to broadcast Desperate Housewives over the Internet, and how much bandwidth that would take. Having worked in Internet-related companies for a decade, the first thought that comes to my mind is Mbone [savetz.com] - does anyone remember that? It was a technology set up to save capacity on broadcast, but from what I recall, your Cisco routers would have to allow its multicasting. And when this was requested of ISPs they would balk, saying we don't want that much broadcast over our pipes. Which of course is ironic, because people could broadcast over their pipes anyway, Mbone just existed to save them bandwidth when people did so. Anyhow, Mbone realistically died out long ago, anyone interested in this can do research into its failure to catch on. It failed due to political reasons instead of technical ones, the brighter lights of networking of the day were working on its specs.

    Then of course, there's that many people have broadband lines to their home where they can pull down more than they can push up. I can upload about 4-5KB a second and still be able to browse the web, send e-mail etc. without a problem. Meanwhile, I can download at about 90KB a second. So if all my p2p transfers on say Bittorrent after the first one were tit-for-tat, I could only download at 4-5KB a second. This situation is similar for most other broadband users. Anyhow, Bittorrent already includes technology where you tend to share more with people sharing with you. With the advent of Bittorrent I stopped using the ed2k network, but many of those clients have a similar concept. And Gnutella has this with partial file sharing as well, although people mostly use Gnutella for small files. But getting back to the currently important one, Bittorrent, as I said, the applications usually have this anyhow. If that's not enough, some trackers and Bittorrent websites do counts of which of their members are good and bad in an attempt to deal with people who still manage to leech.

    One mistake Cringely makes is assuming if I'm downloading, say a video of Noam Chomsky and Alan Dershowitz debating Israel, that someone else at my ISP will be wanting or sharing this same video. Sometimes I'm downloading files where only one person is sharing them and I download it all from them. If its several (often with people from Brazil, Australia, Germany etc.), still what are the odds one of the people sharing this file on this protocol will be from my ISP?

    A lot of this could have been solved long ago with Mbone. But the ISPs didn't want it.

  • What you do is this:
    1. Buy any popular CD with a major label on it.
    2. Rip a song.
    3. Release it via P2P.
    4. Tell the company you're fucking telling the RIAA unless they give you a whoping "STFU" check.
  • trust me there are goos ways of making money, and alot of it!
    from filesharing

    i was recently involved in making a rapidshare.de style system

    the money earned from adverts covers the cost of dozens if servers and makes a nice profit
  • ...and its pretty cool. For one, its an extra service they provide to their existing satellite TV subscribers, but at no extra cost. Something like that is almost unheard of, so I'm quite impressed. Sure it uses some of my upstream bandwidth, but if this makes it so much cheaper for Sky that they can do it without charging me a fee for movies without any adverts at all then I'm more than happy to oblige. It even works when you are off-like, so you could potentially download a few movies onto your laptop
  • Grid Netorks better pony up a large licencing fee to Peer Impact if they want to offer a incentive scheme seeing that Peer Impact's parent company holds this patent .

    "Abstract of WO2005038617
    Methods and computer systems for increasing the revenue stream from a work made available in digital form are provided. The methods and systems of the invention are particularly useful for musical, video, interactive game files, and artistic or commercial works that can be digitally copied and transferred or distribut

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