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05/31 2006 | 01:55 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
We knew this guy was up to something with his internets: Apparently George W. Bush maintains a Bittorrent website and a blog. Just why does he publish all these torrents for liberal propaganda like PBS frontline, BBC documentaries and the Muppets?
05/30 2006 | 01:00 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Benjamin Stephan's and Lutz Vogel's "Trusted Computing" animation short film was all over the web last fall. In case you missed it: They just won the audience award of Germany's Animago Film Festival, so you have a good excuse to be late to the party. Just call it revisiting a classic.

Trusted Computing Bittorrent Download (made possible by Legaltorrents.com)
05/30 2006 | 12:52 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
On Monday the LA Times published an interesting article about comic book piracy and its impact on smaller comic book publishers. The reference to P2P networks and especially Bittorrent was a little off tho:

"There are multiple-image readers and formats for passing around comics. Users typically scan the files, turn them into readable formats and upload them onto sites such as Pirate Bay, http://www.thepiratebay.org , for users of the BitTorrent protocol.

These sites work by breaking a large file into smaller pieces stored on different users' computers. When a user wants to download a specific file, BitTorrent searches around the Web for the fragments and pieces them back together, allowing for the faster transmission of large files."


Granted, I've heard worse descriptions of P2P technology. But still, the Times probably should have asked someone other than Gyro Gearloose to explain that whole Torrent thing to them.
05/29 2006 | 02:35 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
One of the often overlooked problems online music stores are facing these days is localization. Back in the old days, when music was still made with real instruments and shipped in wood boxes to the iTunes music store, localization was easy. You were local if you spoke the language - with the language being money and your Visa card being proof of eloquence. You were welcome at US download stores if you had a US credit card.

Then tons of free promotions made the whole thing a little more difficult. Or was it credit card fraud? Anyway, online outlets started using IP numbers to localize their customers and shut out whole parts of the world. Nothing to see here, unless you are one of us.
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05/29 2006 | 02:26 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
"The virtual moneylender" is one of the most interesting articles of the last weeks. It describes how Prosper.com brings people together to borrow and lend micro-loans outside of the traditional banking system.

One of the really interesting aspects is how Prosper uses social network dynamics to secure its members aganst fraud: Peope organize in groups to better their credit standig or organize funds to invest.

"This sort of peer pressure has long been used as a tool to goad borrowers into paying back micro-loans in the developing world. It reflects, says Elizabeth Warren of Harvard, an axiom of money lending. "Making decisions about whom to repay when you're in financial trouble is less about law and more about social relationships," she points out."
05/26 2006 | 10:20 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
The folks over at ZDNet must be masochists. How else could you explain that they actually read the terms of use for MTV's new music download platform Urge?

They didn't really like what they found in there either, pointing out that the license agreement makes "it clear that MTV can basically reach into your PC to monitor it (for attempts at content piracy) and/or make changes to it at will, without first clearing it through you."
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05/26 2006 | 01:48 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Let's face it: Cachelogic has had a crush on Bittorrent for quite some time. Now it looks like they finally get some love back. The BBC reports that Bittorrent and Cachelogic are cooperating on a new version of the popular P2P protocol and software that will incorporate cache servers. Kind of like a P2P version of Akamai, if you will.

Once authorized downloads are available over Bittorrent, like one of those upcoming Warner Brothers movies or maybe some Chinese porn, it will be superseeded by Cachelogic servers. This seems to be based on a technology trial that's going on for a while in the UK already, but I'd suspect that the new model doesn't depend on ISPs that much anymore.

Oh, and by the way, while we're dishing out romance gossip: The BBC seems to really like Digg. The article is accompanied by an audio version of an interview with Bram Cohen. But in order to get the audio link you first have to go to Digg.com, where you can Digg the article while you'e at it. Clever.

05/25 2006 | 08:17 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Who wouldda thought? When TV 4 US called here recently, the nice lady with the weird arguments didn't even know their web address. But it looks like the anti net neutrality camp got some more tech savvy folks on their side as well. Mark Glaser reports that a handful of people are roaming the Blogosphere to comment on net neutrality pots, making it look like a lot of users see this as unwanted government interference. So far Glaser and others couldn't really establish whether or not these folks are being paid by anyone. Maybe they are just some concerned citizens who got a call from TV 4 US.
05/25 2006 | 12:00 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
The story of the day, if not week, comes from CNet News: Torrentspy filed a lawsuit against the MPAA, alleging that the trade organization hired a hacker to illegally obtain evidence against the Torrent website. The lawsuit has some other pretty harsh allegations, that, if true, would show the war against P2P communities had reached TV-movie-esque qualities. From the filed papers:

"On information and belief, the MPAA did hire a private investigation firm which examined the trash of individuals associated with Torrentspy.com, at the MPAA's request."

05/24 2006 | 06:40 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Supporters of P2Pnet have started collecting money to help Jon Newton with his defense against Sharman Networks. So far they got about 400 bucks, and some prominent support as well: Cory Doctorow has promised to donate 100 dollars.

I still have very mixed feelings about this whole affair: It's unfortunate Sharman is unleashing the lawyers against Jon. But it's bordering the grotesque to paint the whole thing as a freedom of the press issue hat might influece the future of online media in Canada and beyond.
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Lala.com's short tail

05/24 2006 | 01:20 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Over here at P2P Blog headquaters we just started testing Lala.com - and so far our feelings about the service are mixed. The idea of course is great. An online repository of second hand CDs helps to connect music fans to each other, while at the same time generating lots interesting data that might help the music industry in the long run. Or not, because they seem to hate the the whole thing.
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Massive Edonkey crackdown in Germany

05/23 2006 | 08:29 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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German authorities raided 130 houses of accused Edonkey users on Tuesday. A total of 3500 file sharers are supposed to be under investigation. The BBC has a story on the case, which seems to rely mostly on the IPFI press release tho.

The German website heise.de offers a more detailed account: Apparently the police had access to Edonkey server logs with 40.000 IP addresses, which allowed to identify 3500 file sharers. Supposedly the log files ammounted to 14 Gigabytes of data. People with more than 500 files shared got raided, and the police confiscated about 100 computers. One of the users had more than 8000 files shared.
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AT&T & Co. rally consumers against net neutrality

05/23 2006 | 01:42 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
8 Comments
I just got a phone call by a nice lady that tried to persuade me that net neutrality is bad. Because there is an internet price increase coming really really soon, and Google wants me to pay for it.
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Pearl Jam Life Wasted Torrent

05/23 2006 | 12:52 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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Legaltorrents.com just added Pearl Jam's Creative Commons-licensed music video "Life Wasted" to their collection - just in time before BMG starts charging for it.

Direct Link to the Torrent
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Bittorrent goes .hk - Update

05/22 2006 | 05:35 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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I've been trying to come up with a joke about this involving the lack of box covers, questionable compression rates and local street vendors for ... let's say a little too long. Anyway: Asiamedia reports that Bittorrent wants to start distributing licensed Chinese-language movie downloads. (via Slyck.com)

Update: Guess one can make some decent jokes about this after all ...
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Sony BMG uses Emule

05/22 2006 | 12:06 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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This is quite amusing: Sony BMG used MP3s acquired from P2P networks to add sound to the website of Eurovision song contest winner Lordi. Neowin has the full story.
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Amazon Bittorrent seeds

05/20 2006 | 01:16 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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Amazon got a lot of press recently because the first slate of commercial backup services powered by Amazon's S3 storage launched. We believe this will become really interesting once somebody offers a one-click Bittorrent solution. Two months ago Colin Faulkingham wrote about the fact that S3 already supports Bittorrent seeding out of the box. Combine that with Amazon's unbeatable pricing structure ($0.15 per GB-Month of storage used and $0.20 per GB of data transferred), and you got yourself a nice Prodigem competitor.

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Overpeer, back alley style

05/20 2006 | 12:35 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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Looks like the Overpeer fake file concept is surviving somehow after all: South Africa's film industry started to sell fake bootleg DVDs on the streets. Once someone plays the DVD, he is greeted by a message stating "Thank you for buying this DVD. Your R40 has been donated to the Anti Piracy Foundation. Piracy is a crime", according to Southafrica.info. The fooled buyer also gets a free ticket to the film of his choice - which is probably done to minimize the amount of, uhm, let's call it returns.
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Pearl Jam goes Creative Commons

05/19 2006 | 06:43 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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Did Sony BMG really know what they got themselves into with this one? The label is releasing Pearl Jam's latest video as a free, Creative Commons-licensed download. But only until the 24th, and apparently also only for US-based viewers - which might be a Google Video downside, and not Sony BMG's fault. Anyway, they actually plan to sell the video starting next Thursday. Now what's preventing the Internet Archive from hosting it for free? Or people swapping it on P2P networks, which in this case would be completely legal?
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Artists for internet freedom

05/19 2006 | 12:21 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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This is pretty remarkable: Moby, REM, Q-Tip and other musicians are fighting for net neutrality. Moby actually took part in a press conference yesterday, and the video is up on Moveon.org. Copyfight has more.
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We love Technorati

05/18 2006 | 06:01 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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... but it doesn't respond that well to our advances yet. Guess we're just a little early in the dating cycle. You know, buying flowers, claiming blogs and then - third base! Ehm, or something like that.

Sorry, this was just an odd test posting. Won't happen again.
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Creative Commons Porn

05/18 2006 | 03:09 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
3 Comments
Every now and then we'll link to some exceptional or otherwise remarkable content that can be downloaded legally from P2P networks. In the tradition of other P2P players we start this feature off with porn. Creative Commons-licensed porn, that is. Erika Lust's film "The good girl" is quite possibly the first porn movie ever that has been released under the terms of a CC license. Get it on your favoured P2P network (Magnet Link, ED2K), or straight (no pun intended) from Lust's website. Unless you are under 18, in which case you should instead go to Legaltorrents.com. Or just wait until you are legal yourself.
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Sharman Networks sues P2Pnet.net - Update

05/17 2006 | 05:33 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
5 Comments
The details of the libel suit against P2Pnet.net become clearer: P2PUnite reports that Canadian court records identify Sharman Networks as the plaintiff. Following this lead, we just discovered that the lawsuit not only involves Sharman networks, but also their CEO Nikki Hemming. The named defendants are Jon Newton, his ISP Interserver Inc. as well as John & Jane Doe and Richard & Jane Roe - the latter four of course representing anonymous as well as pseudonymous defendants. P2Pnet has erased a couple of stories about Hemming and Sharman Networks, but regarding the timing we'd suspect the reason for the lawsuit might have been a story titled "Nikki Hemming's money mansion" that quotes extensively from an unnamed "reader's write" comment, alleging that Hemming as well as Sharman Network's investors are part of some sort of tropical island money laundering scheme. Which of course is pure speculation, and presenting it as factual might just get you sued.

Update: The Register has published Sharman's initial cout filing, confirming our suspicions regarding the article in question.
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RIAA sues XM radio

05/17 2006 | 12:44 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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Here we go again: "The recording industry sued XM Satellite Radio on Tuesday over its new iPod-like device that can store up to 50 hours of music, sending to the courts a roiling dispute over how consumers can legally record songs using next-generation radio services." Looks like the music industry has found a new enemy after almost every commercial P2P service has given in.
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Altnet celebrates (faux?) victory

05/16 2006 | 04:28 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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Altnet yesterday announced that it has settled a lawsuit against P2P spoofing outlet Overpeer. From the press release: "In a significant turn of events, Overpeer has admitted that its P2P interdiction activities infringed the TrueName patents in question, as alleged by plaintiffs. Both companies have further undertaken not to engage in those activities in future." Both meaning Overpeer and Loudeye. Sounds like a clear cut victory - if it wasn't for the fact that Loudeye bought Overpeer last year and then decided to end P2P spoofing anyway.
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That other Peer to Peer Blog

05/16 2006 | 03:34 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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First things first: Here at P2P Blog we have tremendous respect for the folks at Weblogs Inc. that cover Peer to Peer, the music industry and related issues. Brad Hill is a great writer, and we wish Grant Robertson all the best for his Peer to Peer related bloggings plans. That being said, if this is how Google displays your blog - then you really do have a problem. :-)
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Podcasts: Liberal Media's next Assault on America?

05/16 2006 | 12:41 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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This is too funny: "Apple neglected to mention that every iPod ever sold included a hidden feature called "Podcasting" which they unveiled in mid 2005. This feature allows liberal media direct access to young Americans without any of the safeguards that make TV channels like Fox News fair and balanced. A quick scan though some of America's most popular podcasts is proof enough that a dangerous liberal minority have seized control over this influential channel." (via Podcastingnews.com)
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Physical P2P: Lala.com

05/16 2006 | 12:15 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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The LA Times has an interesting article about the CD-swapping service Lala.com. One quote from fellow Phoster Ted Cohen got me confused however: '"This is a nudge-nudge, wink-wink way to get around the law," said Ted Cohen, senior vice president of digital development at EMI Music. "It makes it easier for people to copy CDs and steal music"' Since when are people stealing music if they make copies of CDs they own?
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Allofmp3 will be back - Update: ... is back

05/16 2006 | 12:54 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
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The Blogosphere is buzzing about a possible shutdown of Allofmp3.com. I believe it's too soon to write the eulogies just yet. If you take a close look at the source code of the page that announces the current server maintenance you'll find the following sentence commented out: "We expect to bring it up as quickly as possible. Please turn back later."

Update: Looks like it was really just some server works. The site is available again ...
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About P2P Blog

05/15 2006 | 11:57 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
5 Comments
This blog is covering the business, technology and culture of P2P. It is maintained by Janko Roettgers, who has been writing about the P2P revolution since 1999. Roettgers is a freelance journalist based in Los Angeles and a regular contributor to OE1 ORF, the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper, Zeit.de and other German-language print, online and radio outlets. Find out more about him on his website Lowpass.cc.

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