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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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  • 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.
  • 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 [] - 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.

  • Re:Steam? (Score:3, Informative)

    by slavemowgli ( 585321 ) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @04:18PM (#14850831) Homepage
    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."

    ( []) 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 is just because Bram worked on it, anyway).

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer