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08/31 2009 | 10:55 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Germany's Pirate Party continues to attract support and attention in the weeks leading up to the country's federal election. Representatives of the party were elected to participate in two city councils in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Pirates also did reasonably well in Saxony's state election, where 1.9 percent of the votes were cast for the party.

piratenpartei

Roughly 2000 people voted for the Pirate Party in this Sunday's city council election in Muenster, a town known for its large student population. That's about 1.6 percent of the vote - enough to seat one party member in Muenster's city council. The pirates also won 1.7 percent of the vote in Aachen, which is the home of a well-known technical university. This means there will be a Pirate Party politician in Aachen's city council as well.

Possibly even more remarkable is the result of Saxony's state election, where 34,620 people, or 1.9 percent of the participating electorate, voted for the Pirate Party. That's far from the 5 percent needed to enter the state's parliament, and unfortunately only about a third of the number of votes cast for the neo-fascist NPD party - but it's impressive nonetheless.

Saxony's Pirate Party did particularly well in urban areas like Dresden, where it was able to get 3.43 percent of the votes. The Pirates were apparently a little bit overwhelmed with these results themselves: The party's web server has been returning error messages ever since word about the results got out late Sunday.

08/26 2009 | 11:59 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
L.A.based start-up Media Hog officially launched the open beta of its S4ve.as one-click hosting service this week. S4ve.as offers unlimited file hosting (as in: files can be as small or as big as you want), and the service is currently both free and and-free, but it comes with a catch: Files can only be downloaded for 24 hours, after which they expire.

save.as

Media Hog was founded by a couple of Napster veterans. We're talking the music service, not the file sharing platform, but that didn't stop the start-up from trying to venture into the world of P2P. Media Hog's original idea was to launch a file sharing platform that would feature files from users as well as sponsored content from media companies.

The founders pitched this idea to entertainment execs in L.A., but received a somewhat muted response. However, it doesn't hurt to chit chat when you're already in Hollywood's offices, and the Media Hog folks kept hearing one thing over and over again: What we'd personally really like to see, folks in the business told them, would be an easier way to share files for work.

And S4ve.as aims to offer just that. Users don't have to register, and the site automatically spits out Bit.ly links to its files, something that should make the Twitter crowd happy. There are not really any additional features at this time, but I've been told that Media Hog is carefully watching the behavior of its users to see what the service should offer next.

08/24 2009 | 09:23 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
P2P CDN solutions for online video used to be all the rage last year. Literally dozens of start-ups were pitching their unique flavor of BitTorrent to facilitate video streams and save content and platform owners some dough.

One of those companies was Mediadefender, better known for spamming BitTorrent sites with fake files in oder to prevent file sharing of major movies and albums. Mediadefender initially tried to go into the consumer space with its own P2P-powered video hosting site Miivi.com, but that ended in a disaster because people were assuming the site was set up to catch file sharers.

The company retreated, and eventually started to pitch its own P2P CDN solution dubbed Picast. Well, to make a long story short: Picast is no more. The Picast.com website is still up, but the project itself wasn't mentioned at all when Mediadefender announced its rebranding as Peer Media Technologies last week.

I wanted to know more, and asked whether Peer Media Technologies is still trying to get into the P2P CDN market. Here's what a representative of Peer Media's parent company ArtistDirect told me:

''Picast is a great technology but we have decided to focus primarily on anti-piracy services for the time being."


I wouldn't be too surprised if other P2P CDN start-ups closed shop in the coming months as well.

08/24 2009 | 03:58 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Once again, my vacation schedule couldn't be better. After all there's not really anything P2P-related going on this week, right?

Oh well, never mind. Don't expect too much coverage about these current issues around here this week. I do have a few things prepared, and I'll be back to full speed next week. Also, don't forget to check my Twitter feed if you want to know what I'm up to when I'm not blogging ...

08/22 2009 | 02:19 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
TVU Networks this week introduced PVR-like functionality for its P2P TV platform, letting subscribers record 300 or so live TV channels from around the world, including Cartoon Network, BBC World News and Telemundo. Users can record shows in real time or schedule them for later. Due to the nature of the service, however, there’s no TiVo-like programming guide available; Mountain View, Calif.-based TVU essentially picks up signals from its broadcast partners and redistributes them with the help of P2P technology.

That also means users have to install the startup’s software in order to make use of the DVR functionality — or watch any of the TV channels in real time, for that matter. And finally, they have to cough up $2 per month for TVU’s DVR service. But while all these factors make the service seem unlikely to succeed, something tells me that TVU’s audience is a forgiving one. Continue reading on Newteevee.com.

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08/20 2009 | 09:25 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Social storage service Wua.la is celebrating the one year anniversary of its beta test - no, not by dropping the beta label, but with a bunch of new features as well as a newly designed logo.

new wua.la logo

It's no coincidence that the new logo looks very similar to the one used by LaCie: The hard disk maker bought Wua.la back in March, and the company is apparently working ona tighter integration of Wua.la with its products. From the Wua.la blog:

"While Wuala and LaCie have their own respective roadmaps, we also have strong plans to release joint products, combining hardware and software. (...) We loved the old logo, but we also love the new one, and we're excited to see it soon in stores and in many other places."

How this integration may look like becomes more apparent if you take a closer look at the new features that Wua.la rolled out yesterday. The two most important features are sync backup and versioning. Paying users will now be able to sync any folder on their PC with Wua.la's distributed storage, meaning that any new file in that folder gets automatically uploaded to the cloud. The versioning apparently works with a neat "time machine" slider, but it's also just available to pro members.

Both features do make a lot of sense to enhance LaCie products. Imagine for example you're buying a 1 TB network attached storage drive to use as a media server as well as a central backup drive in your home. If you're like most users, you won't fill up that terabyte immediately - so why not trade 50 Gb or so with Wua.la? Users will instantly receive a pro account in return and be able to securely back up 50 gigs of their own files to the cloud for no additional cost. That's a great feature for users that don't want to rely on one single backup, and it's a cheap way for LaCie to offer online storage.

08/19 2009 | 10:49 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
A German software developer is alleging that a company hired by rights holders to hunt down file sharers actually helped to seed the file he eventually got sued for, according to a report from heise.de.

Hannover-based software developer Daniel Finger got sued for downloading and distributing a pornographic video via Emule. However, Finger not only maintains that he got duped into downloading the movie through misleading file names, he also thinks he actually received the movie from the very people that later helped to bring charges against him - a practice that would be very close to entrapment, and in this case quite possibly illegal itself.

The crux of the case is that Finger used a modded no upload Emule client, meaning the client was only able to download dta, but not contribute anything to the network. That kind of behavior is frowned upon in P2P communities, but it's also been regarded to be an effective shield against potential lawsuits. Don't upload any data, and no one will know what kind of files you're downloading. No one except the people you're downloading from, that is.

Of course it's debatable whether rights holders can use their own works as baits to catch file sharers. Some might call this entrapment, while others would probably argue that rights holders can distribute their works however they chose to, and still insist on the exclusive right of distribution.

Finger's case however is a little bit different. Once rights holders had logged his IP number, they went to the police and accused him of distributing pornography - something that's illegal in Germany unless you provide very strong safeguards to make sure your porn isn't available to minors. Pornographic web sites for example have to establish their users identity by having them go down to the post office and show their ID.

Nothing like that is in place when you offer porn in P2P networks, which is why uploading porn could likely been seen as an illegal act. The producers of the movie allegedly downloaded by Finger then used the criminal case against him to get his name, which they used to sent him a letter, threatening a copyright infringement lawsuit unless he paid for an out-of-court settlement.

Rights holders have been doing this in thousands of cases, but this one could prove to be a tad more difficult. If the company hired to track the porn movie in question really seeded it on P2P networks, Finger argues, then it also violated Germany's anti-porn laws. Finger has already started to document the case by writing an excellent layman's guide to modded emule clients (German PDF), and he intends to ask authorities to start a criminal investigation against whom ever seeded the movie. The results of that investigation could really interesting.

08/18 2009 | 09:25 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Online video has significantly contributed to the growth of the market for content-delivery networks, two new research reports show, but it’s unclear how much the industry as a whole will benefit from this trend going forward. The worldwide value of CDN services is estimated to reach more than $2 billion in 2011, In-Stat reported today. That’s up from $1.25 billion in 2008. In-Stat attributes this growth largely to the increasing popularity of online video.

Those numbers are echoing similar predictions from competing market research outlet AccuStream, which is predicting CDNs to bring in $1.16 billion in 2010, up from an estimated $1.37 billion this year. However, the price war for online video delivery has actually resulted in video becoming a smaller piece of the cake in terms of percentage of overall revenue. And then there’s the big unknown: How will Apple’s and Microsoft’s plans to shoulder more of their data delivery in-house affect the industry? Continue reading on Newteevee.com.

08/18 2009 | 12:22 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Remember the time when P2P safety wasn't all about fear mongering, but about preventing people from clicking the wrong buttons and giving them smart choices? Well, I hardly do either, but apparently it's only been a year or so. The FTC launched a website in 2008 that aims to, amongst other things, inform about "the benefits and risks of P2P file-sharing."

tic tac toe

Part of the site is a somewhat dorky Flash game that lets you play Tic Tac Toe while quizzing you about P2P safety. Granted, readers of this blog probably won't learn anything, aside from the fact that it's really easy to beat the FTC in Tic Tac Toe. Some of the recommendations are also a little dubious - properly configured software doesn't really get any less safe if you let it run longer - but overall, it's refreshingly non-alarmist.

(via the DCIA newsletter)

08/17 2009 | 03:00 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
The OS X Bittorrent client XTorrent got released as a public beta a few days ago. The new version features enhanced search functionality, giving users the ability to include torrent sites of their choice, as well as Twitter integration and performance improvements.

xtorrent screenshot

The improved performance should largely be due to the fact that XTorrent switched from the libtransmission library to its own implementation of Bittorrent. From the delevoper's blog:

"Xtorrent 2 features a brand new torrent engine named Xcore. This engine has been designed exclusively for Mac OS X and written in 100% Cocoa. The result is a lightweight, powerful, and very stable download engine that supports torrent extensions such as encrypted message streams."


I tested XTorrent over the weekend and found it to be a very clean and responsive torrent client. The design is definitely something others have looked at and learned from, and the integrated RSS feed catcher is an important bonus for users that need this feature but otherwise prefer lightweight clients like Transmission.

xtorrent screenshot

However, XTorrent's restrictive shareware policy is somewhat of a turn-off. The client restricts the number of peers it downloads from after an hour of usage, essentially slowing down your downloads until you either restart the client or pay up for a registered version.

xtorrent screenshot

I also found the search unreliable at best. Granted, it did usually return some relevant results, but those were accompanied by a ton of links to torrent files that didn't really seem to make any sense at all. This might be due to an unreliable search algorithm at one of the engines used, but it didn't really help to make the case for XTorrent.

08/14 2009 | 09:58 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Canada’s Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has decided that incumbent Bell Canada can charge its wholesale ISP customers based on the bandwidth usage of their end users, as first reported by CBCNews.ca. This decision puts pressure on smaller ISPs that are using Bell’s network infrastructure to implement bandwidth caps similar to those the telco is imposing on its own customers, or significantly raise prices for unmetered accounts.

Bell’s new wholesale pricing structure includes bandwidth limits of as little as 2 GB per month for the lowest-priced wholesale DSL account and charges of as much as C$1.75 ($1.59) for each GB above that limit. Customers of resell ISPs will be able to subscribe to higher tiers if they’re wiling to pay more, but Bell’s highest cap stands at 60 GB per month. Good luck to all those Canadian HD video startups. Continue reading on Newteevee.com.


08/13 2009 | 03:07 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Austria's High Court has decided that ISPs can't be forced to give personal details of their subscribers to rights holders without a court order. The verdict was the result of a four year long spat between a Performing Rights Organization called LSG and the Austrian ISP Tele2, according to Futurezone.at.

Lower courts had consistently decided that Tele2 should hand out personal information of suspected file sharers because of Austria's copyright law. The High Court however decided that a provision of Austria's telecommunications law trumped these requirements by making illegal for ISPs to even keep data that would allow to link an IP address to a subscriber.

The decision doesn't mean it's completely impossible for rights holders to pursue file sharers in Austria. They just have to go to a court first, which makes it more costly.

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08/12 2009 | 10:48 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Germany's Pirate Party recently introduced its official campaign posters for the upcoming federal election contest. The party used a crowd-sourced approach to come up with the design of these posters, and the results are surprisingly tame. In fact, the posters kind of look like advertising for the Green party, only in orange.

piratenpartei wahlplakat

Check out the rest of the designs here. One subject that's notably absent from both these posters and the official Pirate Party branding ("liberty, privacy, civil rights, education") is copyright reform. In fact, not one of the posters explicitly mentions Internet or tech related subjects. Sure, there's this one ...

piratenparte wahlplakat 2

... demanding "free access to information and education", but the visual design (pen and paper, anyone?) suggests that it's much more about student tuition and similar issues than about decriminalizing non-commercial file sharing, which is after all one of the central ideas behind the founding of the Pirate Party.

That's a stark contrast to the U.K.'s newly-formed Pirate Party, which came up with this poster:

uk pirate party poster

Of course, the U.K. elections are still almost a year away, whereas the German election is coming up at the end of September. Will the U.K.'s Pirate Party tame its rhetoric for the sake of electability? Or will the German Pirates suffer because they're watering down their strongest issue in public? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

08/11 2009 | 09:50 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
One of the hottest viral videos of the last couple of days shows a man in a neoprene suit on a DIY waterslide, flying 115 feet and then landing safely in a kiddie pool. It’s accumulated more than 1.4 million views since it got uploaded to YouTube last week, and reactions were all over the place, ranging from dropped jaws to sheer amazement to a more cynical, “Nah, this can’t be real.”

And, after a bit of investigating, we’ve verified that it indeed wasn’t. The video was a carefully crafted viral ad for Microsoft’s Office suite, and the production of the clip involved, among other things, a stuntman, a lot of editing, and a long piece of rope. Read on for more details about the campaign as well as an exclusive snippet of unedited video from the waterslide shoot. Continue reading on Newteevee.com.
(Admittedly somewhat off-topic, but still a fun story.)

08/11 2009 | 10:42 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
CNet's Greg Sandoval wrote up a great piece about the demise of the ad-supported music start-up Spiralfrog, which was supposed to lure people from file sharing sites by giving them DRM-protected free music. Sounds like a great plan, doesn't it?

Of course it didn't work out, and Spiralfrog shut down earlier this year. The company's demise has often been painted as a result of exorbitant music licensing fees, but Sandoval shows that Spiralfrog actually paid way more on advertising to get traffic to the site:

"According to a list of projected expenditures from July 2008, SpiralFrog expected to spend $2.8 million with Google that year and $1.5 million with Yahoo. Charges at rival MSN are unclear. The tab for AOL's affiliate marketing in 2008 was more than $3 million, an AOL attorney confirmed."

Spiralfrog also spent a ton of money on promotional stunts. The dance club site Spiralfrogclub.com, which I still think was one of the worst viral campaigns ever, cost the company half a million dollars. Ouch. And then they had to spend some more money to generate some traffic for it so that investors wouldn't question the nonsense. It's like an addict making up excuses for getting the next fix.

As I said, a great piece: However, it kind of left me with a question: Was it a mistake for Spiralfrog to spend that much money on traffic - or did they have to spend it because their product was crap?

08/10 2009 | 01:08 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Ever wondered why there are so many torrent meta search engines out there that pretty much do the same thing, namely aggregate torrent search results from websites like the Pirate Bay and Mininova?

Because it only takes five minutes to set up such search engine, thanks to a bunch of PHP scripts that turn any shared web hosting account into an instant torrent site. And then, the money starts to roll in. Or so promises at least one of the programmers selling such a script:

"Once you setup the script, there is no need to update the content. It receives latest RSS feeds and API results to bring you the best and freshest content. After the setup, you are ready to get $$$."

Torrentify X, the script in question, sets you back 50 bucks for a single domain installation. Scripteen on the other hand only costs 35 bucks, but apparently hasn't been updated in half a year. The demo sites for both scripts look kinda, ehm, ugly if you ask me, but also remarkably familiar.

The downside of this is obviously that Google is increasingly flooded with search results from sites that just aggregate stuff from sites like Mininova (which in itself just lists torrents tracked by other trackers), making your jump through dozens of hoops before you eventually get what you want. And don't expect an innovation from a site that was set up with such a low-cost torrent scipt ...

08/07 2009 | 04:43 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
uTorrent, the world's most popular torrent client, has hit an important milestone with the release of version 2.0 beta. The new version features improved support for the UDP-based uTP transfer protocol, support for UDP trackers, a setup guide and a lot of small improvements and bug fixes. However, uTorent stays true to its nature as a light-weight torrent client - the beta setup executable is only 279 KB small.

utorrent setup guide

One of the most obvious changes is probably the new setup guide process, which features a speed test in order to determine optimal upload and download settings for your machine and broadband connection. However, this feature is only enabled if there's no previous version of uTorrent installed on your system, so you should do a clean install if you want to check it out.

uTP support is a feature that's a little more under the hood, but it could prove to be equally interesting in the long run. uTP is BitTorrent Inc.'s UDP-based transfer protocol that aims to solve network congestion issues by making the client more network-aware. Here's how the company explained this functionality in a recent submission (PDF) with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission:

"The uTP transport collects one way delay measurements between peers as it transfers data. By using these measurements, uTP can sense congestion building in the network before it is felt by any other application. When this pre-congestive state is observed, the protocol is designed to slow down or stop, in effect, yielding capacity to other applications (e.g. VoIP, gaming or even web surfing)."

The submission also revealed that uTP has been used by around 400,000 uTorrent beta testers, and that the company is only weeks away from making it available to all of its users, presumable by releasing a stable version of uTorrent 2.0. The release of uTorrent 2.0 beta is certainly an important step in that direction.

uTorrent is by far the most popular Bittorrent client, according to a recent Torrentfreak report about an analysis of 150.000 peers. uTorrent was used by almost 56% of all of the Bittorrent users that participated in the 400 swarms that the analysis was based on. Vuze, which turned out to be the second most popular client, was only used by around 17%.

08/06 2009 | 10:51 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
The German Young Liberals, representing the slightly less aged part of the Liberal Party (FDP), seems to be very concerned about the recent successes of the Pirate Party. Or concerned enough at least to write up an internal five page position paper with arguments that are supposed to help Yong Liberals to engage with Pirate sympathizers.

The document, which recently leaked to Wikileaks (PDF), especially expresses concerns about the Pirate Party's pro civil liberties positions - a topic that has long been near and dear to at least parts of the FDP. So how do you deal with a young and net-savvy party hat threatens to steal your votes? Apparently, the first rule of anti-Pirate Party politics is: Don't talk about the Pirate Party. From the documemt:

"The best strategy is to refrain from bringing up discussions about the Pirate Party, which could further its popularity (no joint press releases or actions.) The party is already getting enough attention and good press!"

Of course, you can't always completely avoid the topic, especially in light of the upcoming German federal election, which is why the paper compares central positions of both parties. Turns out they're not always that far apart, or in case of civil liberties even "nearly identical".

Good thing that the Pirate Party also deals with this whole intellectual property thing, because that's where both parties have fundamentally different positions. The Pirate party wants to legalize non-commercial file sharing. The Young Liberals on the other hand believe that "making available and using copyright-protected content in file sharing networks is (...) illegal." Guess which position will be more popular with the kids?

Granted, the FDP has one argument going for them: It has been in the German parliament for about 60 years, and actually been part of coalition governments for the better part of this time. The Pirate party on the other hand will have to pull off a major surprise to get the 5% of the votes cast to be seated in Germany's parliament, which is why the Young Liberals argue:

"Each vote for the Pirate Party is a vote wasted."


At least it would be a vote cast ...

(via @netzpolitik)
08/06 2009 | 11:43 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
The German Green party has defended the idea of a "culture flat rate" to pay for a legalization of file sharing, according to a report from heise.de. Germany's Greens have been proposing collective licensing in combination with the legalization of non-commercial file sharing for a while, and party officials recently came out to defend the idea against critics from other parties as well as industry associations.

Party board member Malte Spitz told heise.de that the actual fee to cover file sharing and many other aspects of the proposal still has to be determined. He also clarified a few essential ideas of the party's proposal: The Green part doesn't believe that such a culture fee should be rolled into the TV access fees that everyone in Germany has to pay. Instead, the money should just go to ISPs, which already have a billing relationship with Internet users.

Spitz also said that users probably would have to pay different amounts, depending on the speed of their Internet connection. A cost-free access to media via P2P for people below a certain income level is currently being discussed, and the same goes for the question whether certain forms of art should receive more money from the collective licensing pool than others - a practice that's common amongst some performing rights organizations, which tend to pay classical and jazz musicians more than pop musicians.

The German Greens want to establish this type of collective licensing through changes to the country's copyright. That's a fundamentally different approach than the one taken by most U.S. collective licensing advocates, who tend to prefer more or less voluntary approaches based on licensing agreements between rights holders and ISPs or other intermediaries.

We'll have to wait and see which approach will be more successful in the end. A first test of the popularity of the model proposed by the Green part could be the country's federal election at the end of September.

08/05 2009 | 07:03 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
People all over the world are downloading movies via BitTorrent, according to new research (PDF) presented at last week’s P2P Research Group convening at the 75th IETF Meetings in Stockholm. And we’re literally talking all over the world: A popular movie torrent analyzed as part of the research was within a week accessed by people from 165 countries. “Considering that there are about 192 countries recognized by the UN, this is a sizable spread of the swarm across the countries,” said Bell Labs researcher Vijay K. Gurbani.

The fact that Hollywood fare is popular around the world probably isn’t all that surprising, but the research also shows that foreign movies can be just as popular. In fact, a Cantonese movie analyzed by the researchers received even wider global distribution through BitTorrent than a Hollywood flick with roughly the same number of downloads. Continue reading on Newteevee.com.

08/04 2009 | 10:55 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
A vast majority of Internet users isn't paying for online content, according to a new study commissioned by the European Union, and most of them aren't willing to change this behavior even if sources for free content disappear.

The European Commission's annual Digital Competitiveness Report got published today (PDF), and it highlights a number of issues related to IT policy in Europe from broadband penetration rates to the use of social networks and health information online.

One chapter of the study deals with online entertainment and its impact on content makers, and the results aren't really all that encouraging for the entertainment industry. Less than three percent of European Internet users had paid for online content during the three months preceding the survey the study is based on, and not many users are willing to bust our their credit card in the future. From the study:

"When looking at the individuals that did not pay for online audiovisual content, half of them state that nothing would make them change their minds."

What would get the other half to pay, you might ask? Lower prices were on top of the list, with 30% stating that price cuts would make them open their wallets. Around 20% of the non-paying online population would change its behavior if paid content had a better quality than free services. That's not all that much. The study explains:

"The limited willingness to pay in return for service improvements suggests that the take up of advanced content services is linked to the perception that many of these services are free or are provided in exchange for a flat rate internet connection."

In other words: People just expect stuff to be free online. Turns out this belief in free is so deeply vested in our collective consciousness that only 20 percent of the non-paying users would pay for content even if all the free options would be taken away from them.

That's a pretty important finding, and it goes counter to what entertainment industry executives have been claiming for years. It's impossible to compete with free, they argue, but paid online entertainment would thrive if only those file sharing sites and networks would get shut down. The study disagrees:

"(T)he low percentage of individuals that consider the possible lack of freely available online content as a reason for paying, calls into question the argument put forward by representatives of the content industry that European consumers will in the long term suffer from a lack of commercial availability of high quality content if the current model of audiovisual content distribution, based on illegal copying, is not curved."

Even if there was a hypothetical way to make all free online content disappear, users still wouldn't pay. People expect online content to be free because they have seen that it can be free. Which of course means that the only way to compete with free stuff is with free stuff.


08/04 2009 | 09:30 AM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
You gotta give him some bonus points for the effort: A fan of the anonymous P2P communications protocol Freenet has launched a site called "The Real Pirate Bay" that tries to convince users of the Pirate Bay to join him. The Pirate Bay, the site argues, has sold out, and it's time to find a good replacement:

"We (as the community that respects freedom over money) need to learn from the mistake and disallow this from happening in the future. If you switch to Demonoid, isoHunt, or your other pet project what is to stop them from selling themselves also? Nothing. So here is the way to beat the system: Go anonymous!"

The appeal is accompanied by a list of things you need to do to share files via Freenet, and that's where the problems start. The list is long. Very long. It's a total of 44 steps and notes - enough to stop many potential users before they even get started. Combine that with advice like ...

"Note: When Frost says "Sending IP address to NSA" it really is a joke, if you don't believe it you can read the source code."

... and you'll understand why there's no way that the Pirate Bay's 20 million concurrent users will suddenly decide to join Frenet.


08/02 2009 | 04:05 PM
Posted by: Janko Roettgers
Stop slowing down our torrents! That’s the message BitTorrent Inc. has been sending to Canadian ISPs this week with a last-minute submission (PDF) to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Bell, Rogers and other Canadian ISPs have been throttling their subscribers’ BitTorrent traffic for years, and the CRTC recently started public hearings to figure out if government intervention is necessary.

The whole episode is reminiscent of the controversy that broke out when Comcast started to slow down its subscribers’ torrent downloads in the U.S. — especially when it comes to BitTorrent Inc.’s allegations. The company did, however, share a few interesting tidbits in its submission that clarify how much of an impact such throttling measures have and what BitTorrent is doing to address network congestion issues. Continue reading on Newteevee.com.