Sometimes it’s tough to be the winner. CNN attracted by far the largest online audience for its web stream of President Obama’s inauguration, delivering a total of 25 million streams on Jan. 20th. It did so by utilizing Octoshape’s P2P plug-in for Adobe’s Flash player, a fact that was widely known within the industry but only received very little coverage. Until yesterday, that is, when Windows Secrets suddenly came out blasting the network for “deceptive marketing,” alleging that CNN hijacked its users’ upload bandwidth. Others quickly jumped on the bandwagon, going so far as to suggest that “the most trusted name in news just stole your computer.”

I got in touch with CNN and Octoshape to get both sides of the story, which are, unsurprisingly, slightly different. Both companies reject the claim that they misled viewers. But Mike Wise, technical adviser of the R&D group of CNN parent company Turner Broadcasting System, had an even more important point to make: CNN used P2P, he told me, because it had to. Continue reading on

Tags: , , , , ,