Johan Pouwelse is a busy man. The P2P researcher based in the city of Delft, in the Netherlands, is heading up development of the social BitTorrent client Tribler; heís also deeply involved with the EUís P2P Next project, which aims to use P2P streaming for an open source, next-generation video delivery infrastructure. And Pouwelse, whoís been tracking the P2P phenomenon over the last decade, has just published along with some of his colleagues an article highlighting some of the key points of his research. Itís a good 21-page read, but hereís the short version: That whole copyright thing ainít gonna work.

In fact, Pouwelse thinks the existing copyright system could fall apart as early as next year unless significant reforms are put into place. He draws this conclusion from an analysis of not only movie file-sharing, but activity on social networks like Facebook and streaming video sites like YouTube. All of these platforms are prime examples of user-based collaboration, or peer production, as Pouwelse likes to call it. These forms of peer production are not only getting more and more popular, but also increasingly sophisticated, to a point where they poise a significant challenge to our established system of content production and monetization. Continue reading on

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