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Google Wins the Filesharing Wars?

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the winner-takes-all dept.

Music 200

The Importance of writes "Compulsory licensing schemes such as those proposed by the EFF have been critiqued, but now LawMeme has an interesting article that claims Google will win the filesharing wars if a compulsory license is adopted."

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GNAA wins the semen sharing wars? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962462)

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Re:GNAA wins the semen sharing wars? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962472)

Who the hell is enough of a moron to post this trite anwyay?

Re:GNAA wins the semen sharing wars? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962561)

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Go away, poorly endowed loser.

Cock (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962464)

Balls?

super google (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962465)

this is my first poste from switzerland

fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962466)

is it??

Slashdotted, and not one comment! (-1, Redundant)

Michael's a Jerk! (668185) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962471)

Compulsory Licensing - The Death of Gnutella and the Triumph of Google


Posted by Ernest Miller on Monday, September 15 @ 06:05:16 EDT File Sharing
Never have so many companies fought so hard to change the law so that they can so quickly be put out of business.

Back in July, a number of filesharing companies (Blubster, Grokster, BearShare, eDonkey 2000 and LimeWire - Kazaa being conspiculously absent) formed a trade association (P2PUnited - website coming soon, apparently), to push for, among other things, compulsory licensing, as noted in this New York Post article (File-Share Firms Hire a Lobbyist). I wonder how much they have really thought this through. After all, a compulsory license that legimitized filesharing would quickly put most of these companies out of business.

The Death of Gnutella

Why do most of these companies even exist? One very simple reason: the courts put Napster out of business. Napster was an extremely elegant solution for filesharing. It acted as a massive centralized database that allowed downloaders to easily find the uploaders with the files they wanted. By comparison, decentralized P2P networks, such as those based on the Gnutella protocol, are clunky and have serious issues with scalability, search efficiency and bandwidth use. Although services based upon the Gnutella protocol have gotten better, adopting strategies such as "supernodes", they remain hampered in their efficiency by their very reason for being: avoiding contributory and vicarious copyright liability (at which they have been successful, so far - though the farther they push for efficiency and control, the more shaky the legal ground they stand on, see, Decentralization, Gnutella and Bad Actors).

However, if filesharing becomes legal through a compulsory license, what is the purpose of the Gnutella-based software anymore? Napster's liability was based on theories of contributory and vicarious liability, which requires an underlying copyright violation. To the extent that filesharing is no longer copyright infringement, Napster could no longer be held liable. Since the Napster solution is far more efficient, particularly for searches, why would anyone use a Gnutella (or any decentralized P2P) network anymore? Virtually anything a Gnutella network can do can be implemented in a Napster-like network as well. Sure, current interfaces are better than Napster's, but they could easily be ported from a Gnutella client to a Napster-like one.

All that effort, all that clever programming optimizing the Gnutella protocol, gone in a flash of compulsory licensing. Sure Gnutella will still be around, but what will it be used for? Why will so much effort be devoted to develop and optimize it? Gnutella will be, as far as I can see, a dead end technology, at least for filesharing.

There Will Be Only One

So what, you say? Of course all these companies will swiftly shift to a Napster-like network when the law is passed. Absolutely! However, it is very likely that all but one of these companies will soon go out of business. The reason is that, like the auction market eBay, there is reason to believe that very strong network effects occur in the filesharing market. After all, in the auction market, sellers go to where the buyers are and buyers go where the sellars are. If you attract more buyers, you will attract more sellers, which then attracts more buyers, and so on in a positive feedback loop. Such network effects should operate similarly in the filesharing market, though most people will be buyers and only inadvertantly sellers. For example, if I am looking for an obscure track, I will go to the filesharing service with the most participants, since I will have the greatest chance of finding what I am looking for. Therefore, once one filesharing service clearly distinguishes itself in popularity from the others, it will take off and its competitors quickly wither away.

True, there is nothing that would prevent people from participating in several filesharing services at once, but there is little that keeps people from posting listings on multiple auction sites either. People will most likely experiment with a few services at first, and there might be some shifting initially as rapid innovation occurs. There will likely be attempts to mimic Trillian for making the various networks work together. The competition will also likely be vicious and expensive. As few of these filesharing services have compelling and profitable business plans, particularly given the changes wrought by a compulsory licensing scheme, it will be interesting to see how many will be able to raise the money necessary to fight this battle. Ultimately, I think things will likely settle down in a year or two with one service triumphant.

The Triumph of Google Of course, I think the likely winner is none of the current participants. I think the winner will be Google. The most important aspect of a centralized filesharing service is fast, accurate and efficient searches. Downloaders want to find the right tracks from a reliable source. I think that Google will win this fight because nobody does searches better, and I don't see any reason why Google wouldn't want this market given that filesharing is legalized. The way I figure it, the brilliant minds at Google Labs will rather easily be able to create a P2P Google Tool that will be just as efficient as anything the competitors will be able to devise.

Even if Google technologists aren't up to the task (yeah, right), Google certainly has the deep pockets that will allow it to remain competitive and, if necessary, buy one of the leading competitors, just as they bought a certain blogging software company. Finally, because of strong network effects in the filesharing market, the winner must be able to handle catastrophic success. There must be scalability; the company that wins will have to be able to handle very rapid growth in the number of search queries their system can respond to. Interestingly, the decentralized nature of the current networks doesn't necessarily bode well for the existing P2P companies' ability to scale as quickly. I'm not sure if Google would even notice the increase in queries from filesharers.

Good or Bad?

If I'm right about what would happen to P2P filesharing services following the creation of compulsory licenses, is this good or bad? Well, I'm not sure. Google, despite its power, has been a pretty benign dictator so far. Also, I'm not entirely clear on how strong the lock-in effects of the main filesharing service will be. Somewhat stronger than the lock-in for search engines, I would imagine, but not as strong as in the auction market. The lock-in effect will determine to a large degree how much the winner of the filesharing war can abuse the system. In any case, it is certainly something to think about as we consider the merits and likely consequences of compulsory licenses.

Mahir (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962485)

Lets get mahir on the case !

Article Text (-1, Redundant)

Mohammed Al-Sahaf (665285) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962492)

Never have so many companies fought so hard to change the law so that they can so quickly be put out of business.

Back in July, a number of filesharing companies (Blubster, Grokster, BearShare, eDonkey 2000 and LimeWire - Kazaa being conspiculously absent) formed a trade association (P2PUnited - website coming soon, apparently), to push for, among other things, compulsory licensing, as noted in this New York Post article (File-Share Firms Hire a Lobbyist). I wonder how much they have really thought this through. After all, a compulsory license that legimitized filesharing would quickly put most of these companies out of business.

The Death of Gnutella

Why do most of these companies even exist? One very simple reason: the courts put Napster out of business. Napster was an extremely elegant solution for filesharing. It acted as a massive centralized database that allowed downloaders to easily find the uploaders with the files they wanted. By comparison, decentralized P2P networks, such as those based on the Gnutella protocol, are clunky and have serious issues with scalability, search efficiency and bandwidth use. Although services based upon the Gnutella protocol have gotten better, adopting strategies such as "supernodes", they remain hampered in their efficiency by their very reason for being: avoiding contributory and vicarious copyright liability (at which they have been successful, so far - though the farther they push for efficiency and control, the more shaky the legal ground they stand on, see, Decentralization, Gnutella and Bad Actors).

However, if filesharing becomes legal through a compulsory license, what is the purpose of the Gnutella-based software anymore? Napster's liability was based on theories of contributory and vicarious liability, which requires an underlying copyright violation. To the extent that filesharing is no longer copyright infringement, Napster could no longer be held liable. Since the Napster solution is far more efficient, particularly for searches, why would anyone use a Gnutella (or any decentralized P2P) network anymore? Virtually anything a Gnutella network can do can be implemented in a Napster-like network as well. Sure, current interfaces are better than Napster's, but they could easily be ported from a Gnutella client to a Napster-like one.

All that effort, all that clever programming optimizing the Gnutella protocol, gone in a flash of compulsory licensing. Sure Gnutella will still be around, but what will it be used for? Why will so much effort be devoted to develop and optimize it? Gnutella will be, as far as I can see, a dead end technology, at least for filesharing.

There Will Be Only One

So what, you say? Of course all these companies will swiftly shift to a Napster-like network when the law is passed. Absolutely! However, it is very likely that all but one of these companies will soon go out of business. The reason is that, like the auction market eBay, there is reason to believe that very strong network effects occur in the filesharing market. After all, in the auction market, sellers go to where the buyers are and buyers go where the sellars are. If you attract more buyers, you will attract more sellers, which then attracts more buyers, and so on in a positive feedback loop. Such network effects should operate similarly in the filesharing market, though most people will be buyers and only inadvertantly sellers. For example, if I am looking for an obscure track, I will go to the filesharing service with the most participants, since I will have the greatest chance of finding what I am looking for. Therefore, once one filesharing service clearly distinguishes itself in popularity from the others, it will take off and its competitors quickly wither away.

True, there is nothing that would prevent people from participating in several filesharing services at once, but there is little that keeps people from posting listings on multiple auction sites either. People will most likely experiment with a few services at first, and there might be some shifting initially as rapid innovation occurs. There will likely be attempts to mimic Trillian for making the various networks work together. The competition will also likely be vicious and expensive. As few of these filesharing services have compelling and profitable business plans, particularly given the changes wrought by a compulsory licensing scheme, it will be interesting to see how many will be able to raise the money necessary to fight this battle. Ultimately, I think things will likely settle down in a year or two with one service triumphant.

The Triumph of Google Of course, I think the likely winner is none of the current participants. I think the winner will be Google. The most important aspect of a centralized filesharing service is fast, accurate and efficient searches. Downloaders want to find the right tracks from a reliable source. I think that Google will win this fight because nobody does searches better, and I don't see any reason why Google wouldn't want this market given that filesharing is legalized. The way I figure it, the brilliant minds at Google Labs will rather easily be able to create a P2P Google Tool that will be just as efficient as anything the competitors will be able to devise.

Even if Google technologists aren't up to the task (yeah, right), Google certainly has the deep pockets that will allow it to remain competitive and, if necessary, buy one of the leading competitors, just as they bought a certain blogging software company. Finally, because of strong network effects in the filesharing market, the winner must be able to handle catastrophic success. There must be scalability; the company that wins will have to be able to handle very rapid growth in the number of search queries their system can respond to. Interestingly, the decentralized nature of the current networks doesn't necessarily bode well for the existing P2P companies' ability to scale as quickly. I'm not sure if Google would even notice the increase in queries from filesharers.

Good or Bad?

If I'm right about what would happen to P2P filesharing services following the creation of compulsory licenses, is this good or bad? Well, I'm not sure. Google, despite its power, has been a pretty benign dictator so far. Also, I'm not entirely clear on how strong the lock-in effects of the main filesharing service will be. Somewhat stronger than the lock-in for search engines, I would imagine, but not as strong as in the auction market. The lock-in effect will determine to a large degree how much the winner of the filesharing war can abuse the system. In any case, it is certainly something to think about as we consider the merits and likely consequences of compulsory licenses.

PzqeGnpb fhpxf qvpxf sbe zbarl

-1 troll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962501)

carma hoar

Trolllll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962536)

True, there is nothing that would prevent Michael from having sex with Taco's horse.

please mod down troll

WHAT? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962494)

enlish please?

Off-topic, but indicative (5, Funny)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962497)

Yesterday in the subway, there was a man reading a newspaper written with about nothing but chinese characters.

There was a word written in roman script, though, which I understood.

The word was GOOGLE...

Troll? WTF ARe moderators smoking?? N/T (-1, Offtopic)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962558)

No text

Really interesting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962640)

However, you should be aware that GOOGLE is a very bad word in chinese. Among the several bad meanings, the worse one is: "your mother's sister got turdlets in her mustache while your sister was sweeping long dong silver's dick". Not to say it also means "penis in the ear" and "golden shower" in some places, and it is also an universal compliment between 50-years-old hardcore faggots. How could they have chosen this name without looking at other languages dictionaries?

Re:Off-topic, but indicative (1)

LeoDV (653216) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962653)

Is it some kind of Chinese dish? ;-)

Re:Off-topic, but indicative (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962695)

Probably the full title was "Google Still Being Censored".

Re:Off-topic, but indicative (-1, Flamebait)

Adm1n (699849) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962856)

I'm Canadian so the RIAA and the MPAA can eat me, don't go into that Jourismydiction crap! I'm going to get lots of storage and become a super-node with over a terrabyte of music, than when they sue me in canadian courts I'll go Lookie, you already lost here we repeald those draconian laws because were semi-scociallist bastards who happen to smoke pot in public and like our tunes. And you poor americans stuck with right wing bi-partizan idocies. Here we have a whole schwak of parties and some are on the left, and others are further to the left. And McArthy thought Commies were bad, You know your scoicoty is Screwed when you need an "Enemy" to garner political clout.

Re:Off-topic, but indicative (2, Funny)

PetWolverine (638111) | more than 10 years ago | (#6963117)

The word was GOOGLE... ...and it was good.

HELP (-1, Offtopic)

mrsev (664367) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962502)

We are under attack!!! Run away! run away!

google p2p (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962510)

I don't know if this is a good idea. Doesn't Google employ a big ex government/fbi person? Not to mention the huge databases they maintain on people's searches. I wonder if that those could be part of their future business model.

What's that you say? (4, Interesting)

CaptainAlbert (162776) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962514)

Compulsory licensing, eh? What's that when it's at home?

Perhaps I haven't been following closely enough, but exactly who is to be compelled to license what, from whom? Is this a big license signed between big companies, or a little license signed by people who listen to music, or those who make it, or just those who download it, or is it a shrink-wrap license like you get with software? Is it free, or does someone pay for it? Who? How much? What does it all mean? Am I the only person who doesn't know? PLEASE MOM, I WANT TO KNOW? WHY? WHY?

Ahem.

Re:What's that you say? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962534)

RTFA, Buffoon.

Compulsory Licensing (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962535)

A Compulsory license is one which defines a preset rate for anyone to use without discrimination. Eg. The radio stations have a compulsory license that allows them to play any song they like as long as they pay the rights holder an amount based on number of listeners.

Musicians also have a compulsory license that allows them to perform or record any song written as long as the songwriter get payed a set amount.

Re:What's that you say? (5, Informative)

!the!bad!fish! (704825) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962540)

From EFF Makeing P2P Legal [eff.org]
The first American compulsory was adopted when the music industry fought the Napster of 1909: the player piano. Sheet music publishers claimed that the creation of piano-readable sheets was against the law and that they should have the right to monopolize the booming piano roll industry. Congress disagreed and instead crafted a compulsory license that paid recording artists while protecting the new technology. Today, this license allows bands to record (or "cover") another band's song (so long as they've paid the $.08 per copy of the recorded track).

Re:What's that you say? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6963150)

Today, this license allows bands to record (or "cover") another band's song (so long as they've paid the $.08 per copy of the recorded track).

But somebody can still prevent covers. At least Megadeth had a big hullabaloo with somebody about their cover of the song "These Boots" (known best as a Nancy Sinatra song, written by some other dude). Who's the somebody, I don't know . . .

Re:What's that you say? (5, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962625)

I think it is something like the TV license. Not sure if the rest of the world has it so I will explain.

In England and Holland you have to pay a license fee to the goverment (well a subset of it) for each receiver. It was originally a sum made up out of the number of radios, bw tv's and color tv's you had. Later this was simplified at least in holland.

From this license fee the programs were funded. In england this is the BBC who own a couple of stations and are required by the law to supply programming to the intrest of the nation. In the netherlands we have license holders who according to the number of members they have, membership fee is about 5 dollars last time I checked, get a number of hours to fill on the various radio channels and a amount of slots on the tv channels. In holland they also get income out of advertising. England doesn't have ads. Hmmmm adfree simpsons.

Because you need to pay the license fee on the basis of owning a receiver, not based on actual consumption you can say it is compusery. When the original home computers came out they used ordinary tv's, with receivers for their displays. This of course meant a hike in your license fees despite the fact that you did not watch any tv with them.

On the other hand the fee was hardly gigantic and it ensured that tv was of a reasonable quality. BBC programs are known around the world for their execellence (no I don't mean their news service). Dutch programs slightly less because of the language barrier nonetheless they used to win international prices routinely.

Plus it assured a restrained amount of ads. They are only allowed between programs. Plus programs are thightly regulated on things like sponsoring.

Okay now I explained tv licenses. You may have heard of the BBC director proposing to put all their content on the net. You see because it is a semi-goverment company paid by the citizens according to written law you could say that these citizens have paid for the creation of the content and therefore OWN the content. So copyright in this case becomes far less of an issue. Even more because the BBC can rely on its income from the licenses it doesn't rely have to worry about how the content it creates is watched. No ranting about people not watching the ads, like fox did, because there aren't any. No ranting about people recording eps, in fact they have several time olds series they lost but they found copies made by viewers, and then sharing them because as long as their is a tv involved they paid to view the content.

In holland we stopped the license fee since it was suggested that everyone owns a receiver anyway. So it is now collected through regular taxes. So it can be reasonably argued that any program is taxpayer owned.

So their are some clear benefits to doing it this way. Sure americans probably hate it but they are a silly bunch anway.

So why not use something similar for other content? Well the BBC is a monopoly, they get the all the money and they decide what to make with it. Of course there are all kinds of bounds and checks but a monopoly it is.

In holland we got competition between license holders. Currently one license holder BNN is having an ad campaign to get more people to become members of them. They need X amount of members to get Y amount of tv/radio hours. The bigger you are the more and better hours you get. Although there are some minority stations that get some according to intrest group.

But how would you do this with music? There is a lot of different companies. How would you decide how to distribute the money?

But I think that a compulsary license would work something like what I described above. In any case at least for TV it has been proven to work.

On the other hand we also have a different compulsary license in holland. Each DVD recordable has a .50/1.00 euro tax (depends on if it is + or - format) attached. Yes you read that right. The money goes to the movie industrie to compensate them for illegal copies. Of course under dutch law it is 100% legal to make backups so you now have to pay to make backups. And of course dvd recordables are also used for other things. They also pay the movie makers.

So I see this as a compulsary license. It gives me the license to download any and all content I want. I think .50 is not that much for the 4 movies I can burn with divx :P

Re:What's that you say? (1)

bbbbblustery (615789) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962659)

then i don't understand why my country has compulsory tv license, yet have ads during the programs =\

Re:What's that you say? (1)

kormoc (122955) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962862)

easy, the tv station buys rights to air a show, they have to make the money back again, so they sell ad space. What's so hard?

man, five dollars.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962787)

Here in the uk it's 115 last time I paid my license ...!

Re:What's that you say? (1)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962781)

"exactly who is to be compelled to license what, from whom?"

It's just that sort of question people should be asking! I just wrote an article for Salon about the rhetoric [salon.com] and it was published simultaneously with a response by the EFF [salon.com] .

If you're not a Salon subscriber, you can click the free 'day pass' link for the full articles.

By coincedene, LawMeme also reacted [yale.edu] to the pair of articles on Salon.

I'd like to hear more specifics about alternative systems *before* I decide that they're any better.

blablabla (1, Insightful)

platypus (18156) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962531)

Sorry, but the article writer is a dumbass

However, if filesharing becomes legal through a compulsory license, what is the purpose of the Gnutella-based software anymore?

Sharing bandwidth, perhaps?

Re:blablabla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962547)

Actually if you want to get really specific, the purpose of Gnutella-based software is to suck the big one, long and hard.

Re:blablabla (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962552)

He means Gnutella, a decentralized network, will give way to a faster, more efficient centralized network, such as Napster, and the RIAA and friends can't sue because of the licence.

Bandwidth is (or should be, turn uploading on leechers) shared on any network. Just the who gets what and where is centralized.

Re:blablabla (1)

wirah (707347) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962564)

It's for trading kiddie porn of course! Ask congress or the RIAA if you don't believe me...

Re:blablabla (3, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962648)

RTFA, it is because Gnutella is designed to be de-centralized. This is needed to avoid being targetted by dimwitted judges. If you no longer need to fear them you can go back to the centralized method that napster used and for that matter bittorrent.

Gnutella and its ilk are a nightmare on searching. They consume an awfull lot of bandwidth on the protocol not on the actual exchange of files. For the moments that is how its got to be. But it is not efficient.

Oh and filesharing is legal people. It is copyright violation that you can at the moment be sueed for.

Re:blablabla (1)

platypus (18156) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962774)

RTFA, it is because Gnutella is designed to be de-centralized. This is needed to avoid being targetted by dimwitted judges. If you no longer need to fear them you can go back to the centralized method that napster used and for that matter bittorrent.

And still the bandwidth (and processing power) you need for running the central database is quite expensive (note: that's why you can't compare bittorrent to napster, it just isn't centralized in the same way, and it solves the big-expensive-central-server problem.). Decentralized networks (including bittorrent following the reasoning above) are the only possibility way to do filesharing organized only by hobbiists, and that's why they will prevail.

Re:blablabla (2, Insightful)

DOsinga (134115) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962868)

And still the bandwidth (and processing power) you need for running the central database is quite expensive (note: that's why you can't compare bittorrent to napster, it just isn't centralized in the same way, and it solves the big-expensive-central-server problem.). Decentralized networks (including bittorrent following the reasoning above) are the only possibility way to do filesharing organized only by hobbiists, and that's why they will prevail.

Well, that is the point of the article. Once compulsary licensing allows anybody to setup bittorrents (however that is going to work), Google will win out. Distribution will be done through bittorrent, searching through Google. Kazaa with its smart tricks of hiding the central server will have no place to go.

Re:blablabla (0)

herrison (635331) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962913)

If not a dumbass, then certainly not much good with research. Firstly, most p2p "companies" aren't companies in the sense that the writer means. Code writers with an attitude and server space is different. Secondly (as mentioned elsewhere) there are many legit users of p2p Thirdly (sorry)... loved the Trillian "meta-p2p" reference - this 'may' happen? What's shareaza then???

Uses for P2P (4, Insightful)

jd678 (577145) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962533)

So what this article is suggesting is compulsary licensing of P2P networks. I assume in this case it also requires licensees to ensure that no material is being shared that is subject to copyright control.

Firstly, I cannot begin to comprehend the effort required to stay on top of the copyrighted material being shared around the network. File hashes can be used for sure, but imaging the resources required for checking and verifying this. Sure, a few automated systems currently exist for music, but when we're talking about w2k3 iso's, DiVX movies etc, these are going to require some serious resources, whether computing or man-power to acheive this. Certainly this will be required to satisfy the RIAA, MPAA et al.

Secondly, assuming they acheive this, then what, in all honesty is the network going to be used for. Sure, there's currently the odd RH iso that get's distributed by bittorrent. With most sharers scared to offer their mp3 collection (ie combination of ripped of their own cd's and downloaded), few will bother weeding out their copyright free music to share. With no sharers, there's no network. Besides, at the moment indepedent music seems served quite happily by services such as mp3.com and others.

Re:Uses for P2P (4, Informative)

StenD (34260) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962589)

So what this article is suggesting is compulsary licensing of P2P networks. I assume in this case it also requires licensees to ensure that no material is being shared that is subject to copyright control.
No, compulsory licensing forces the content "owner" to license the content at a predetermined rate. An explanation of this is here [findlaw.com] .

Re:Uses for P2P (1)

darien (180561) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962893)

I assume in this case it also requires licensees to ensure that no material is being shared that is subject to copyright control.

I think the licence in question is precisely a licence to distribute copyrighted works. If it were just a licence to participate in a P2P network then this would have a severe impact on legitimate networking, without making it any easier to prevent copyright violation (which is already illegal).

If Google ever decided to do this... (5, Interesting)

overbyj (696078) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962537)

then they would certainly rise to the top. Their search engine is by far head and shoulders above the rest. It is fast and efficient. However, I am not sure of two things.

The EFF can push all they want but I seriously doubt filesharing will ever become legal, even under a compulsory licence. The RIAA is now equating P2P with kiddy porn and therefore the reactionary dumbasses in Congress will jump on this now.

Second, Google picks and chooses its battles carefully. The recent purchase of blogging company illustrates this. I think they would have to decide that it is worth the hassle assuming again, it became legal in the first place.

In the event all this ever pans out, I, for one, will welcome our new Google overlords. (thought I would just go ahead and get that out of the way.)

Re:If Google ever decided to do this... (0, Offtopic)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962668)

"I, for one, will welcome our new ________ overlords."

Dammit, what is the source of that quote? I Googled for it and all I got was 50 blogs all linking to each other. Bleh.

Anyway, first one to answer gets modded up. Oh crap, I can't mod if I post. I'll owe you.

Re:If Google ever decided to do this... (1)

!the!bad!fish! (704825) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962713)

Google this. [google.co.uk]
... the origin is Kent Brockman in the Simpsons episode [Deep Space Homer].

Re:If Google ever decided to do this... (2, Informative)

josquin00 (675292) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962728)

It's from the Simpsons. This is from here: [matthewsturges.com]

As with many Internet memes, this one was spawned from the popular TV show, The Simpsons. The quote is from newscaster Kent Brockman, who reports on the threat of an alien attack: "And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to . . . toil in their underground sugar caves."

Re:If Google ever decided to do this... (1)

aallan (68633) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962729)

I, for one, will welcome our new ________ overlords.

Kent Brockman on the Simpsons, "I for one welcome our new insect overlords [the-ocean.com] ". Although I've got a niggling suspicion that like alot of things on the Simpsons its a cultural referecne to something a bit older. Anyone?

Al.

The quote is from The Simpsons... (1)

akadruid (606405) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962775)

Since no-one has bothered to answer you, it comes (of course) from The Simpsons.

Ken Brockman (or whatever his name is) the newsreader uses it.

IIRC, he is predicting the invasion of alien ant-like creatures or something similar.

Feel free to correct me on any missing details.

Re:The quote is from The Simpsons... (1)

akadruid (606405) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962798)

Apparently I need to reload the page before making sweeping statements.

GOOGLE could do it right now. Here's how. (3, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962773)

Perhaps Google could do at least a poor mans version of this right now?

Suppose one had a GoogleNut tool. You query Google for a song. Google then distributes this Query to all of its distributed servers and on each one launches a Gnutella/Kaaza search, then replys with the a link that when activated uses your Gnuttell app/plugin to download the file from the location it found.

the Added value here is that 1) google's network would act as a fast bridge across the mostly small-world Gnutella networks. 2) they could cache simmilar requests 3) they could also develop lists of nodes to block if they detected RIAA style hanky-panky (e.g. different file sizes or fingerprints).

Since this mightbe more expensive than a regular search for Google, they could pay for it with say ultra-mercials while you download or make it a fee for service.

Re:GOOGLE could do it right now. Here's how. (2, Informative)

dknj (441802) | more than 10 years ago | (#6963076)

Suppose one had a GoogleNut tool. You query Google for a song. Google then distributes this Query to all of its distributed servers and on each one launches a Gnutella/Kaaza search, then replys with the a link that when activated uses your Gnuttell app/plugin to download the file from the location it found.

A simple HTTP GET request to the machine with the requested file is all you need.. no need to launch Gnutella or any other plugin

-dk

Wrong and right (5, Insightful)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962541)

I don't believe the P2P companies are asking for compulsory licensing because they believe it is a good thing. I think they want it because then they can claim "we are seeking a legal alternative", knowing full well that although some kind of legalized P2P sharing is inevitable, it will take 5-10 years and the emergence of new media groups for it to happen, not some court ruling that "Hey, it's OK to download those trax now, d00ds!"

However, I agree with the other half of the article, which basically says "Google is God", something that has been obvious for several years. For many people, Google is the Internet, something AOL and MSN never managed to do with their fluff-filled "portals". Whatever new things come along, Google will be there, doing them better, leaner, faster,...

But it will be several dotcom lifetimes before Google will be the place to go to download no-longer-pirate tracks and movies. I don't think the P2P companies really have such a long horizon.

Re:Wrong and right (2, Informative)

Katchina'404 (85738) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962697)

I'm not sure if that many people "think" that "Google is the Internet" as you stated. Most fairly computer-litterate people realize that Google is a tool. Others (a.k.a. Joe Blow and his grand'ma) tend to think that the Internet is whatever their provider's portal is (ISP portal and/or MSN/AOL).

What really bothers me is most people that think the Internet is the Web (i.e. the html/http protocols suit and their applications) or, worse, the Internet is Internet Explorer. I remember a friend's girlfriend who couldn't understand that we each needed a copy of some game to play on the Internet ("But, if it's on the Internet you just need to all go to the game site, right ?").

Oh well, in the end the human kind will get what it deserves.

Re:Wrong and right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6963130)

I remember a friend's girlfriend who couldn't understand that we each needed a copy of some game to play on the Internet

If that person is truely your friend, you would tell him to get rid of her, she requires too much initial training to be effective.

Re:Wrong and right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962746)

give me a break, google will rule because it has deep pockets, thats the whole argument.
Deeper than big blue, MS or AOL ? very weak and makes no sense.

Slightly offtopic, but shows google's high spot. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962544)

I was bored, browsing AskJeeves (ask.com) to see what people were searching for (you can do that). One person (don't know if they were just stupid or what) was searching for "Where can I find the search engine Google?". I wouldn't trust one search engine to find another, now if they were looking for elgoog, ok, but they weren't. I suppose they could have been in china, but whatever.

Re:Slightly offtopic, but shows google's high spot (1)

dollargonzo (519030) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962793)

i see your point, but i think it would be less funny if the first search engine was msn instead of ask. at least they knew how to get to ask. imagine this scenario: this newbie's friend tells him about google and how great it is. newbie clicks on "Internet" icon, which automatically takes him to the msn website (which, by what he can figure, is "the internet"). he proceeds to ask a question hoping to find what his friend told him, mostly because he does not know what a URL is. sadly, this happens way too often. *sigh*

y2k business plan (0, Insightful)

Amonynous Coward (705852) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962554)

1. p2p services require search
2. google is the main web search tool

so

google is going to be the leader p2p!

w007!

Google? A dictator? (4, Insightful)

Talez (468021) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962563)

Come on. If google was the only search engine in town then I might agree with the idea but they aren't.

If Google started being assholes to their users most of them will simply go and use another search engine to find things. But they don't. So people keep using Google and the wonderful features it provides.

Re:Google? A dictator? (4, Insightful)

larien (5608) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962607)

Google was the first search engine I found where you didn't get a porn site on the first page (well, unless you were specifically looking for one...) unlike most of the other search engines I used. Up till now, they've kept being nice, not doing popups or any other crap that other search engines do, but I'm a little worried that they might IPO and then become slaves to money, at which point the ideals may take a back seat to profits. If they do IPO, I hope that they realise that being a good search engine and playing nice is a large part of the reason they are so successful.

Re:Google? A dictator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962839)

" Google was the first search engine I found where you didn't get a porn site on the first page"

precisely why I don't use google.

Re:Google? A dictator? (1)

Surak (18578) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962757)

Come on. If google was the only search engine in town then I might agree with the idea but they aren't.

Microsoft? A dictator?

Come on. If Microsoft was the only OS/office suite company in town, then I might agree with the idea but they aren't.

If Microsoft started being assholes to their users most of them will simply go and use another OS/office suite. But they don't. So people keep using Windows and Office and the wonderful features they provide.

Yes, other engines were dominant before that... (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962878)

Particularly I remember altavista was very well known and respected for their search engine. Then Google took over and dominated.

The long-time "near-monopolies" like Intel, Windows are the exception, not the rule. Remember the GFX industry? 3dfx were king, head and shoulders above the rest. Then came nVidia, and suddenly dominated. Now, ATI is providing very competitive alternatives.

Even my mom (who doesn't use a computer except to read the web at work) has asked me about Google. Though I had to tell her the internet address was www.google.com, couldn't find that on her own...

Kjella

Re:Google? A dictator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962975)

This reminds me of a famous dialog:

N.: Choice, the problem is choice.

A.: [...]nearly 99 percent of all test subjects accepted the program as long as they were given a choice, even if they were only aware of the choice at an near unconscious level. [...]

monopolist (3, Insightful)

Gorny (622040) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962567)

Well nice article and he clearly made some good points. But I'm not sure wether we want to have one (primary) source of information (searching) such as google. Monopolies tend to become to addictive to their own power which will make it even harder for them to give up. They'll try anything to fuck up the competition (look at some RedMond based compagny).

And some more alarming privacy issues are listed on http://www.google-watch.org/.

I'm still in favor of having the choice between several sources for searching/news/p2p/blogs. This will enhance the competition between the competitors and will make their services better.

Look at all the OSS. Most pieces of software have several forks or similar/related projects which ultimately results in a better piece(s) of software for a specific task

Re:monopolist (5, Insightful)

Talez (468021) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962613)

Google Watch always verged on the "tin foil" brigade to me.

They still trumpet on about the Google Toolbar being spyware despite the fac that when you install the toolbar it spells everything out in plain english under a big red heading labelled "READ THIS CAREFULLY! IT'S NOT THE USUAL YADA YADA YADA!".

They still trumpet on about Google's immortal cookie yet fail to realise *gasp* Google does have user preferences and uses the cookie to track those preferences. Some small part of me believes that the Google reps never responded because they died laughing about... THE COOKIE.

They trumpet on about geotargeting but in reality its almost required by governments with lax freedom of speech policies who try to prevent their citizens from accesssing certain material. You can always turn it off in the prefs by telling google to go back to google.com for searching but now the legal onus is on you.

While the site does have some valid points, most of them are either overexagerations or crying sour grapes. Personally, I think the only thing that really needs to be addressed is Google's transparency. Sure it's a fairly big concern to address but Google hasn't steppped far out of line yet. If they were to say, for example, sell every user's personal search data to the highest bidder I would be incredibly pissed and be calling for their blood.

But they haven't.

So I won't. And I'll continue to use Google while they remain like they are.

Re:monopolist (1)

Gorny (622040) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962960)

True.. you've got a good point there. But nonetheless the question remains if we are willing to accept one monopolist as the main entry of information on the web?

Re:monopolist (1)

xigxag (167441) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962977)

SCO used to be nice guys, too.

Re:monopolist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6963231)

If it was just about tracking preferences, there are other approaches they could use. The cookie could contain either the actual values, or if that's too long, just a unique identifier for that combination of preferences.

Then instead of having one cookie per user, you have one cookie per unique set of preferences. It will still be a big number, but nowhere near the number of users. It also keeps them from tracking you uniquely anywhere you go.

Re:monopolist (1)

ratamacue (593855) | more than 10 years ago | (#6963036)

As long as governement doesn't interfere, there will always be competition for Google. Remember, as big as Google becomes, they will never have the right to adopt force as a business model. They must abide by the rules of voluntary association like everyone else. Should government decide to tilt the market via force, then we have something to worry about.

Microsoft is a perfect example of how government contaminates the market with force. Microsoft would never have been able to dominate the market without exploiting the overly complex, ambiguous system of law (including but not limited to IP law) created by government.

Why Google? (-1, Flamebait)

Snorklefish (639711) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962579)

The article claims network effects will tend to create a single network of shared music files...assuming that's true (and I don't believe it) why should Google- which isn't even in the p2p game- end up the dominant p2p provider.

Re:Why Google? (1)

Sphere1952 (231666) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962719)

Try googling "free music" now, and google isn't even thinking about it.

Flaws (2, Interesting)

Mattcelt (454751) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962581)

1/ but there is little that keeps people from posting listings on multiple auction sites either.

Well, except for the fact that you are contractually bound to sell the item only once!

2/ Of course all these companies will swiftly shift to a Napster-like network when the law is passed.

Not so. These networks exist because there was something that Napster was inherently lacking - privacy. And these networks will continue to provide that, because the RIAA/MPAA won't be able to sue to receive personal information if no law is being infringed. So anyone who wants to trade files anonymously will still use these networks.

3/ What does Google do, exactly? They index what is already present, leveraging existing protocols and content. They will leverage what Gnutella/Kazaa/&c. currently present unless there is more money to be made otherwise. While it is possible that they will create their own filesharing system, I consider it doubtful they will.

But of course, only time will tell. And if compulsory licensing (which makes so much sense!) does come through, it will be a huge win for consumers, no matter who provides the medium for distibuting it.

Mattcelt

Re:Flaws (1)

SnowWolf2003 (692561) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962898)

Not so. These networks exist because there was something that Napster was inherently lacking - privacy. And these networks will continue to provide that, because the RIAA/MPAA won't be able to sue to receive personal information if no law is being infringed. So anyone who wants to trade files anonymously will still use these networks.

Wrong - Both Napster and all other P2P applications provide exactly the same level of privacy. Your IP is available through both services and nothing more.

These other P2P networks were created because Napster had one centralised search function, which the RIAA showed could be shut down, which effectively makes the network useless. So now it's decentralised, so even if they shut down the client application provider, they can't shut shown the network.

Compulsory licensing will never work (5, Interesting)

mattso (578394) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962586)

Right now all compulsory licensing deals actually involve money. Radio stations pay money to play songs. Sure the compulsory license means they don't have to make a deal with each artist and record company, but there is still a non-zero fee involved. Any P2P compulsory licensing will involve some sort of fee (per download, per month, per something) and a system to collect that fee along with reporting what that fee was for so the money could make it back to the record company. In a P2P world like that no one is going to want to share files and bandwidth. It's one thing to give away files and bandwidth for free as part of a community, but if all your bandwidth and files are making a bunch of other people money I doubt your going to be so happy about it. The only thing compulsory licensing could do is create better versions of PressPlay type services. It is not likely to even apply to P2P as we know it. It would effect things like Apple's iTunes though, in ways they might not be so keen on. Unless that compulsory license involved a $1/track fee. In any case I don't see Google getting into this. It's not a search business, it's a content provider business. Which of course is why all the current P2P software companies are running on borrowed time, they have no content and no money to host it even if it was licensable. While they might think they can work out a model where uploaders are paid from the fees the downloaders pay(thereby giving people a reason to offer files) I doubt there is a company on earth that could handle all the tax issues making every uploader a small business would entail. Not to mention all the other issues involved in quality control and correct reporting of what the file was. The future of compulsory licensing is a bunch of businesses not in the P2P field but more like PressPlay and Apple. They host content, they charge for that content. If Google wanted to get into that I'm sure they could but I don't see it happening.

Re:Compulsory licensing will never work (1)

Sphere1952 (231666) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962741)

Besides, all the content would be on Freenet, where the tax would be uncollectable.

Decentralization is just a part of the problem (3, Informative)

acegik (698112) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962600)

Lets say that companies can go and centralize their networks - great, it will be much faster and efficient no doubt. But today the companies are not at risk any more, its the users! Users demand anonymity and centralized servers are far from it, the companies that will Prevail will be those who will give their users the best privacy they market can offer. So centralized networks will fail.

Re:Decentralization is just a part of the problem (2, Insightful)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 10 years ago | (#6963024)

Users demand anonymity

They won't if filesharing is legal, or at least if there is no risk of getting sued. Look at Napster - centralized database, millions of users. As long as there's no risk to them, people don't generally give a shit about privacy.

Google's Predestiny? (5, Insightful)

plasticmillion (649623) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962619)

I disagreed with pretty much the entire article, but one point in particular stood out: the assertion that Google is destined to dominate a world where copyrighted content can be legally distributed. This shows deep ignorance on the part of the author as to the reasons for Google's current success.

Specifically, the problem of indexing the web is an extremely thorny one. There is a massive amount of content, almost none of which has any structure whatsoever, and much of which is of dubious interest (i.e. it's total crap). The page rank system used by Google is simply brilliant and deserves all the accolades heaped on it.

Indexing a bunch of MP3s is a much, much simpler problem. As the author of the article points out, Napster had this pretty much nailed years ago. So Google's technical advantage is definitely questionable. What about its deep pockets, market presence, etc.? Sure, this indicates that Google might be a contender in this theoretical new market, but there are a couple of other companies out there with brands, deep pockets, etc. Say IBM, or eBay, or Amazon, or Microsoft, or Yahoo, or... okay, you get the point.

To me this article is a perfect example of attracting attention by taking a superficially intriguing stance, basing it on today's much-hyped company to gain topical interest. Upon examination, the conclusions of the article don't hold water.

Re:Google's Predestiny? (4, Insightful)

fhwang (90412) | more than 10 years ago | (#6963006)

I wonder if indexing MP3s is actually easier than indexing HTML. Web pages link to one another, so there's a lot of human indexing that happens there. MP3s don't, so there might be other problems. I certainly don't think the file-sharing search problem is anywhere near solved. For example, there are a lot of mislabeled MP3s -- either the tags are "Unknown Artist / Track 8" or they're completely misspelled. Or you sometimes get the annoying thing where they're ripped from a compilation and the tags reflect that: the author is "Greatest Dance Hits" or even "Pottery Barn" ...

Another need is that you might know a few lyrics of a song but not know who it's by or what it's called. My friend a while ago couldn't find that Bob Dylan song that goes "Everybody must get stoned" -- I had to tell him that it's called "Rainy Day Women #12 & #35."

Google has a bunch of smart people working for it, but I don't know if they'd necessarily have a head start on this problem. It's not the same as indexing the web.

Re:Google's Predestiny? (1)

plasticmillion (649623) | more than 10 years ago | (#6963079)

I was wondering whether someone would make this point. You're right that indexing MP3s isn't entirely trivial, and there is scope for innovation.

But I still stick by my original point. As a matter of fact, I wrote a program that deduces title and artist information from MP3 filenames in two days, and it works amazingly well. I hardly think that Google's page rank technology could be implemented in this timeframe!

Re:Google's Predestiny? (1)

zatz (37585) | more than 10 years ago | (#6963105)

I would like to think that the average dedication of someone ripping and encoding music is inversely proportional to its popularity, so odds are reasonably good that there exists at least one correctly labeled copy of any musical recording. It's just a question of how to route around the legal impediments to central indexing.

help me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6963071)

Indexing a bunch of MP3s is a much, much simpler problem.

Finally someone who can solve my problem? Would you please sort my ~/mp3s/mixed directory? You will find nearly 3000 songs (some badly encoded or with wrong name, many without ID3tags, some broken or cut)

Re:help me (2, Informative)

zatz (37585) | more than 10 years ago | (#6963090)

You might find EncSpot [nstemp.com] helpful for sorting on one axis--quality of encoding method.

Re:help me (2, Informative)

plasticmillion (649623) | more than 10 years ago | (#6963162)

Also you might want to check out MusicBrainz [musicbrainz.org] . This worked really well for my collection.

No money for EFF's bad idea (5, Interesting)

wfrp01 (82831) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962651)

I mostly support the EFF. But when they started promoting compulsary licencing, I decided not to support them. Perhaps they should revamp their support structure, such that if you donate money, you can direct it to a specific cause. And in such as way as the causes you *don't* believe don't indirectly benefit (by sharing the same overhead expenses, etc.) I'm not going to waste a penny on an organization that promotes ideas completely contrary to what I believe in.

Re:No money for EFF's bad idea (1)

Zebbers (134389) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962852)

christ, you must not support very many organizations....do you even agree with yourself 100% of the time?

"you assume too much" (2, Insightful)

smd4985 (203677) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962658)

this author in this article has flawed reasoning. if compulsory licensing was ever introduced, a whole slew of companies would get into the game (search engines, p2p companies, M$, etc.) so the victor in the wars is hard to predict. i do agree p2p companies would have to modify their business plans, but i believe compulsory licensing would present as many opportunities as challenges....

Uh, markets don't work that way (2, Insightful)

Ath (643782) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962693)

The filesharing services would start differentiating themselves with new functionality etc.

Some would die as happens with all markets with too much overall supply. While I agree that the majority of people would flock to fewer services, niche markets would exist just as they do right now in the music industry.

The problem is that the cost of entering the music distribution market would drop considerably. Therefore you would see MORE services, not fewer, with each catering to market segments.

The reason why compulsory license is opposed by the RIAA and their members is because it just legalizes exactly what they are trying to prevent: loss of control of music distribution.

Re:Uh, markets don't work that way (2, Insightful)

Sphere1952 (231666) | more than 10 years ago | (#6963225)

"The reason why compulsory license is opposed by the RIAA and their members is because it just legalizes exactly what they are trying to prevent: loss of control of music distribution."

Exactly. Why isn't the RIAA out there busting every pirate on the street corner selling CDs? Because the pirates don't threaten their control over their slaves -- I mean artists.

Links (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6962704)

Thanks for linking to Google. Probably nobody reading this would have been able to find it otherwise.

"yeah, right" (1)

some_god (614082) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962765)

"Even if Google technologists aren't up to the task (yeah, right)" google's web search feature is truly the best one, but for example thire image search is not as good as good ol altavistas, sure on some searches googles image search will give you better results, but altavista image search is still in general better so yes, google tech might not be up to the task. also wouldn't such a search put a bit more strain on the poor p2p servers out there since, files go up and down on the networks more easily than web pages, so they will have to search even more to stay current, or only post results on files with many shareing...

As soon as they have compulsory licencing (1)

Sphere1952 (231666) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962776)

I'm putting out stuff as public domain and not telling people about the fact that it is public domain.

Article contradicts itself (4, Insightful)

DOsinga (134115) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962778)

Network effects will bring one party to the top, as is already happening. Kazaa is not the best p2p app, but the most used and therefore most people use it. If legal changes make it possible again to have a central database, Kazaa is still in the best position to capitalize on that, because most people are still using Kazaa for downloading stuff.

Of course Google is bigger, but Google is bigger than eBay too and as the article states, eBay is the biggest auction site because of the same network effects. People go to eBay for auction searches and to Google for general searches, just as they go to Kazaa for music searches. If I type in the name of a song in Google, lots of results will appear, not just the mp3's.

It doesn't mean Google couldn't go after this market. If they would, they would stand a pretty good chance of winning, but so would Microsoft or Yahoo.

more from Douwe Osinga [douweosinga.com]

Google has nothing to do with it (2, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962795)

Compulsory licensing is just one way for IP owners to perpetuate their hold on copyrights.How would one keep track of when a copyright expires? With compulsory licensing, the media companies would keep charging this tax forever.


On the other hand, Google is a practical expression of the maxim "information wants to be free". Being able to find out where to get information is exactly the opposite of all "intellectual property" laws, whose purpose is to limit the people's access to information. If compulsory licensing comes into effect, how long until one is automatically charged a fee each time one looks into a website?

Slashdot (5, Insightful)

Sphere1952 (231666) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962866)

Slashdot is a P2P network. Every message put here is just as much copyrighted as the latest hit by Stupid Band of The Week, or that eBook you want to get your hands on.

Compulsory licencing will end up being a tax on speech.

Microsoft and/or Apple will be the winners! (3, Insightful)

javatips (66293) | more than 10 years ago | (#6962894)

The guy who wrote the article does understand end-users.

Who is going to win is not the one with better technology. Technology is not important to the end-users. The user interface and convenience is what matter.

Why do you think that Kazaa is more popular that Gnutella. That's because the search engine is more convenient... You can search meta data in addition to filenames. The underlying protocol or matching engine has nothing to do with it.

Anyway, if I search for "Evanescence" music files, even the most crappy search engine will yield good results (especially if sorted by the number of hosts who have it - automatic google ranking!)

The one who are going to win are the ones who are going to make filesharing part of their OS or services. The winner will be Microsoft, Apple, and maybe AOL could be a distant second (in the MS space).

Filesharing is NOT illegal (2, Interesting)

awalrond (707370) | more than 10 years ago | (#6963007)

The article seems to suggest file sharing is illegal. It isn't. Infact by creating this reply I've shared a file with slashdot. OH NO - LOCK ME UP! Sharing copyrighted files may well be illegal, depending where you are, but anonymous distributed filesharing (Freenet et al) make is near impossible to police. And of course, filesharing is a global activity; There are no border patrols and you don't need a passport. So the difference any new US laws or licensing will make is... zero Give up, go home and have a bud. But NEVER feed the lawyers

I guess this dude never heard of Software (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#6963030)

because I know all my friends only download the latest software from these services, not crappy music that sucks so bad you would not even buy it.

Is it possible... (2, Interesting)

SeXy_Red (550409) | more than 10 years ago | (#6963157)

That all the file sharing companies are doing it because they believe it is the right thing. After all, isn't the whole idea of file sharing that software should be for everyone and not just for a select few that can afford it? And isn't it true that most of the file sharing software that were mention are themselves bases off of open source code, further perpetuating the concept of free-trade?
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