Items tagged "P2P"

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Thoughts on the Copyright Alert System

July 7, 2011 Broadband , DMCA , Filtering , P2P , Piracy

UPDATE: Added mention of the $35 appeal fee in the "Appeals" section below.

Today, major ISPs joined the RIAA and MPAA in announcing a joint program to deal with file-sharing. The document governing this agreement, a "Copyright Alert System," is hosted here. Public Knowledge and the Center for Democracy and Technology issued a joint statement on the CAS, available here.

Beyond that, what does this agreement represent? It extends some of the characteristics of some ISPs' existing voluntary notice-forwarding agreements, while stopping short of a three-strikes-and-you're-out procedure.

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LimeWire Liable for Inducement, Vicarious Copyright Infringement

May 12, 2010 Enforcement , Filtering , P2P , Piracy , RIAA

Today, a federal district court in New York found LimeWire liable for inducing copyright infringement and vicarious copyright infringement. The court’s decision, at least on those aspects of the case, may not be terribly surprising, given the precedent set in earlier cases like Grokster, Aimster, and Napster. But a few details of the court’s ruling deserve further mention.

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RCN Settlement Demonstrates the Perils of ISP Self-Regulation

April 20, 2010 BitTorrent , Network Neutrality , Non-Discrimination , P2P , Regulatory Reform

When the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals called into question the FCC’s ability to protect broadband users earlier this month, the ongoing debate about the legal classification of broadband services took on a new urgency. While we’ve argued that the Commission should waste no time in reclassifying broadband as a “telecommunications” (Title II) service, others have suggested that no action from the Commission is necessary, seeing how Comcast’s blocking of BitTorrent was an isolated act that no other ISP is likely to emulate. As if on cue, cable provider RCN has provided us with a timely reminder that Comcast isn’t the only ISP that has stood accused of blocking its users’ traffic. In a proposed settlement for a suit brought against the ISP for throttling its users’ peer-to-peer traffic, RCN is not only not held accountable for its actions, it’s also not prohibited from using similar network management techniques in the future. As this series of events demonstrates, if we’re going to rely on the ISPs to self-regulate, we might as well kiss the open Internet goodbye.  

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Walmart Buys Vudu, Becoming a Disruptive Peer-to-Peer Video Provider

February 24, 2010 Broadband , Competition , DMCA , Network Neutrality , P2P

Just as it has sought to offset slower CD sales with its digital music store, Walmart–the nation's largest DVD retailer–is looking to insure against lower DVD sales by purchasing the online video company Vudu.

But Vudu isn't just another Internet video company with a loopy name offering a pure over-the-top video service. Like Sezmi, its delivery method is an interesting hybrid. While Sezmi leverages free over-the-air TV, leased spectrum, and broadband (with ample local storage as a force multiplier), Vudu uses a hybrid peer-to-peer model. Content is both delivered to a Vudu device through a standard client/server model, as well as peer-to-peer between different Vudu devices. Additionally, content is pre-positioned at the edge of the network to increase the number of peers.

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Streaming, Sports, SOC, and Stuff.

December 18, 2009 DMCA , FCC , P2P , Piracy , SOC

Although overshadowed by Joe Biden's big party for his Copyright buddies, the good folks at the House Judiciary Committee staged their own holiday party for Hollywood. Since "p2p" is now passe, the Judiciary's Secret Santa brought Hollywood a whole new villain to attack in the name of piracy, streaming media. (Hey everyone, remember when 'streaming media' was the good way to get content online because it could be protected unlike that evil peer-2-peer stuff so Hollywood pretended they loved streaming media so they could outlaw peer-2-peer? Boy, we were so young back then . .

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Canada Adopts Comcast/Bitorrent Standard For Network Management

October 21, 2009 Broadband , Data Caps , FCC , Network Neutrality , P2P

On the eve of the FCC's upcoming Network Neutrality rulemaking, Canada has now settled its definition of "reasonable network management" and set rules for traffic throttling. Amazingly, the rules the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) settled on for "reasonable network management" look a lot like the standard our own FCC settled on in the Comcast/BitTorrent Order, but even stronger on the notice and transparency side. Hopefully, the FCC is paying attention here as it considers its own rulemaking on the definition of "reasonable network management."

You can read the CRTC press release here and the detailed order here.

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A rather Phony Attack on Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Applications

July 30, 2009 BitTorrent , P2P

This would have been a funny story, destined for the “weird” section of the hallway bulletin board.  Unfortunately, someone is taking this so seriously that we’ve now had a Congressional hearing that lambasted the publisher of LimeWire software for security flaws that the software doesn’t have!

But now, a public-service announcement: top-secret files don’t belong on computers that have unrestricted access to the Internet.  In fact, there are a whole set of rules to keep classified material from mixing with “normal” computers.  If some classified file has wound up on the Peer-to-peer file-sharing networks, then something has gone terribly wrong many steps before that happened!

So, here’s the breakdown:

Limewire is file-sharing software. It’s feature-rich, stable, and mature. It’s also not very popular — a distant third in the popularity polls behind #1 BitTorrent and #2 Emule. 

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H. R. 1319 wants you to know when you’re sharing files, but will drown you in pop-ups. UPDATE

May 5, 2009 Network Neutrality , P2P , Piracy

Back in March, Reps. Bono Mack, Barrow, and Barton introduced H.R. 1319, The Informed P2P User Act, a bill that was intended to "prevent the inadvertent disclosure of information on a computer through the use of certain "peer-to-peer" file sharing software." The bill tries to respond to the problem you may have read about or seen on TV where people have installed file sharing software on their computer and unintentionally exposed their private and sensitive information to the public. The bill will be at least part of what's discussed at today's House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. While the bill maybe well intentioned, it's flawed in a number of ways:

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MixApp: Group Listening in Your Living Room — On Your Desktop

March 19, 2009 Fair Use , P2P , Piracy

If you were to take your living room, complete with stereo and a few friends in lounge chairs, and shrink it down enough to squeeze it into the Internet’s tubes, you’d have MixApp. MixApp – currently in an invite-only beta – allows groups of friends to create virtual rooms where they can chat while they listen to a shared playlist. The music can come from multiple users’ libraries, and can be rearranged by anyone in the room. Everyone in the room hears the same music at the same time. And while right now, it’s Mac-only, PC and iPhone versions are on the way.

Sound familiar? It should. It’s a lot like what happens when you invite some friends over and listen to CDs at your house. The primary difference is that your friends can be in the room or across the country. And for groups of friends who share music as a common interest, MixApp provides an incredible opportunity to connect and share where distance was once an insurmountable barrier. So where's the catch?

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Some Middle Ground: How Cox Can Trust Its Customers, Control Congestion, and Preserve Net Neutrality

January 30, 2009 Broadband , Internet Protocol , Network Neutrality , P2P

To some, Cox's forthcoming traffic discrimination is an unequivocal violation of net neutrality (NN). The network is the gatekeeper; its terms of use, the law. A bit is no longer just a bit, first come is not first served, and our communication space is ever less Free.

But to others, traffic discrimination just makes sense. If the network is congested then the network has to drop some packets. Some types of traffic need speed but not throughput, while others need throughput not speed. So customers benefit when the congested network drops packets based on whether it has to get out in a hurry to be valuable.

Both views are right.

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