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Has P2P Become a Passing Fad?

Cliff posted more than 11 years ago | from the legislation's-true-effect-on-innovation dept.

The Internet 393

plasticmillion asks: "As the RIAA launches increasingly rabid attacks against P2P networks and users, pundits continue to debate the future of P2P. On the one hand, some argue that P2P is just a clever way to escape detection from copyright owners, like in this recent Slashdot story. Others, like Clay Shirky, make a strong case that processing is destined to move to the 'edges' of the network. I'm curious to know what Slashdot readers think: is P2P the start of a major new trend that is just getting started, or is it a passing fad that will fade once legal client/server systems for media distribution finally take hold? If the former, which of the supposed advantages of P2P over client/server systems are really significant?"

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Suck it up soldier (-1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968210)


Re:Suck it up soldier (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968231)

suck a dick

IMPORTANT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968258)

I'm looking for the full "Show me how you suck a guy's cock" monologue from Bad Lieutenant for a school drama project. Could one of you nice guys grab the film from P2P and follow up this posting with a copy of the entire scene script?


no passing fad (5, Insightful)

ummit (248909) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968223)

I'm not heavily into P2P at all, so I'm speaking out of some ignorance, but: do we now accept the RIAA's definition that P2P is synonymous with piracy? It seems to me that, even if all sharing of copyrighted music were discontinued, P2P would still have a perfectly valid place in our spectrum of networking possibilities.

(As an example, I'd like to see P2P used to maintain collaborative anti-spam blacklists, so that there wouldn't be single-point-of-failure central repositories.)

Re:no passing fad (4, Insightful)

dirk (87083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968324)

While there may still be uses for P2P without copying copyrighted files, it is safe to say that if there were no copyrighted files on P2P systems, there would be less than 1% of the users they now have. P2P without copyrighted files would be about as popular as gopher.

Re:no passing fad (2, Interesting)

Lshmael (603746) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968370)

What about the implications of using P2P systems to distribute large uncopyrighted files, like Bittorrent does for Linux ISOs and game demos?

Re:no passing fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968348)

The RIAA is misusing terms for the purposes of FUD and confusion. P2P is NOT piracy, not even close.

Re:no passing fad (4, Insightful)

thomas.galvin (551471) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968493)

There are some very real, very good uses for ananymous P2P; for instance, it would allow the people of China to see and share information deemed 'subversive' by their government. I expect this to be the 'killer app' of P2P in the fairly near future.

It just so happens, though, that the features that would make P2P useful for fighting represive regimes are also useful for fighting the major media companies.

Which, when I think about it, is a redundant statement.

No, but like any fad (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968224)

There comes a time when it moves to the mainstream. Long-term and practical uses for P2P are just now being developed. It's a bit like the internet in general. At first, a few early adopters, then it was everywhere and everything, and now, it's calmed down to a more reasonable level. Instead of, you have real uses for the web and the internet.

Re:No, but like any fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968298)

Seriously, who cares what Clay Shirky thinks? The man hasn't had a original thought in a decade. All his stupid articles are just rehashed, reheated, dumbed down collection of ideas thought up by people much smarter than he is.

Re:No, but like any fad (0)

wmaker (701707) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968459)

$ whois

Whois Server Version 1.3

Domain names in the .com and .net domains can now
be registered
with many different competing registrars. Go to
for detailed information.

Whois Server:
Referral URL:
Status: ACTIVE
Updated Date: 13-apr-2003
Creation Date: 21-sep-2000
Expiration Date: 20-sep-2011

Re:No, but like any fad (1)

Lawbeefaroni (246892) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968484)

Expiration Date: 20-sep-2011

Ahhh, optimism.

P2P is here to stay (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968229)

Props to all dead homies.

killer app (5, Insightful)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968237)

p2p is the killer app of the internet. really. access to information (the web) and communication (email, chat) is nice, but people want stuff. it's like one big mall... and we know how much americans' love their malls.

Re:killer app (1)

javelinco (652113) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968374)

Does this really address the question? First of all, using the term "killer app" seems kind of silly in these circumstances, but since i don't want to pursue that - I'll leave it be. But comparing this to a mall? People BUY things at a mall. The mall comparison didn't work for webpage stores. If you use P2P to GET STUFF, then it has better be FREE stuff, 'cause otherwise it will be as the original poster said - P2P will give way to commercial solutions (or lawsuits).

Re:killer app (2, Funny)

computersareevil (244846) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968383)

"and we know how much americans' love their malls"

I'm afraid you haven't been keeping up... ;-)
The era of malls is over -- what next? []

-1 Offtopic...

Re:killer app (5, Insightful)

darkov (261309) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968467)

This is what mystifies me. Software, including anything that can be encoded such as music or movies, is absolutely made for the Internet and p2p. The cost of distribution is zero. The marginal cost per unit is zero. All these stupid corporations need to do is work out that they're sitting on a gold mine and increase their profits exponentially. They ought to figure out that 1000 times the sales at one tenth of the price is still 100 times the revenue, or something in that order.

But, as all monopolies and oligopolies inevitably do, they have become fat and lazy and will eventually alienate or destroy (through overpricing) their market. Technology is just helping that process along. One day's they'll wake up and make a mint.

Meanwhile p2p and such tech will grow and flourish.

Copyright will be abolished. (1)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968238)

In that new environment, P2P will rise again. Instead of wasting resources on hiding from the law, the true potential will be realized. Napster was much more elegant than Gnutella.

Re:Copyright will be abolished. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968365)

Why would copyright be abolished?

The importance of physical stuff is shrinking every day and immaterial rights is more and more important. At this point in time IP rights are the most important rights.

Has P2P Become a Passing Fad? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968240)


FP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968241)

i got it

p2p is lame to begin with (0, Troll)

wmaker (701707) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968242)

p2p is lame to begin with because the files were mp3(a data loss format). How often could you find a song you wanted in .shn (shorten files no loss). Plus, p2p is always the LAST place anything ever is. You can find the mp3's to a new cd you want on an ftp somewhere before you'll find it on kazaa or the gnutella networks.

flac is better (1)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968352)

Plus it's patent free.

Re:p2p is lame to begin with (1)

mikewren420 (264173) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968359)

What about FurthurNET [http] ? Legal P2P appears way under-reported by the media. Perhaps it's because it isn't as sexy as all the geeks and kiddies 'breakin the law' and stealing music.

Re:p2p is lame to begin with (1)

mikewren420 (264173) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968396)

Correct link: [] . Remember kiddies, preview posts *first*. :)

Re:p2p is lame to begin with (2, Insightful)

mdvolm (68424) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968495)

You're referring to P2P as though it were a particular program or piece of software. This is akin to saying that FTP is lame because you can only download .tar.gz files with it.

p2p is NOT DEAD... (4, Interesting)

greenskyx (609089) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968244)

especially for legal content... bitTorrent has made it so that you can get all sorts of legal content like game demos, linux distros, etc. off p2p without having to be on horribly slow ftp servers.

Re:p2p is NOT DEAD... (1)

wmaker (701707) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968299)

yes. instead of having horribly slow ftp servers, you can download from a horribly slow p2p client with a 12.8 kilobyte upstream.

Re:p2p is NOT DEAD... (1)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968301)

Hell yeah. I downloaded the Mandrake 9.2RC2 at almost 200K/s from BT. Don't think the FTP mirrors were ever that fast the first week of a release.

Re:p2p is NOT DEAD... (1)

wmaker (701707) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968381)

BitTorrent isn't p2p

Re:p2p is NOT DEAD... (1)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968485)

On Bittorrent, downloaders contribute their bandwidth to upload to other downloaders. The tracker is centrally hosted, but so was Napster's index server. How is that not p2p?

Re:p2p is NOT DEAD... (1)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968350)

Of course, BitTorrent isn't really peer-to-peer in the same sense as the rest of the apps that share that moniker. It is p2p in the truest sense, but rather than being a Kazaa or Gnutella-like app that lets you search for files, it's more of a special type of web download manager, and not all that different from posting files on a website, save for where the bandwidth comes from.

Re:p2p is NOT DEAD... (1)

greenskyx (609089) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968392)

true, but BT is pretty new. I can imagine it being tied into a Kazaa type system ... Give it some time to evolve...

my head I'd be scratchin' (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968246)

I'm curious to know what Slashdot readers think

while my thoughts were busy hatchin' If I only had a 'brain...

Did we establish the legality of P2P yet? (1)

Osrin (599427) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968254)

The cases that the RIAA are pushing will define it's "fad" status... if swapping music over p2p apps turns out to be a practice that is out of the reaches of the law then we should guess that the practice will be here to stay.

It's not a passing fad (4, Interesting)

Brahmastra (685988) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968255)

P2P is not used just for piracy. P2P is used to download the latest Linux kernel, the Matrix preview when the official site was slashdotted, etc. It might stop having millions of users downloading copyrighted stuff, but it will always exist, and will be extremely useful to a lot of people involved in legal activities.

P2P is eternal. (4, Insightful)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968261)

is P2P the start of a major new trend that is just getting started, or is it a passing fad that will fade once legal client/server systems for media distribution finally take hold?

P2P will be around forever, in whatever form it takes through the future's unimaginable technology, for one simple reason:

It's free.

Legal systems for digital media distribution will always cost money. Why pay money when you can get something almost as good -- or as good, with a little know-how -- for free?

Re:P2P is eternal. (2, Insightful)

wmaker (701707) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968337)

It's free.

Yes, until the government starts taxing bandwidth because of file sharing... god forbid

It's "Free" as in "gopher"?. (0)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968342)

which did ...not manage to be around forever.

Netcraft confirms - P2P died long ago. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968266)

He's dead Jim.

Maybe Yes, Maybe No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968271)

What's needed is invisible, untracable P2P.

Re:Maybe Yes, Maybe No (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968466)

Shhhhhh, you damnfool, you'll put them onto us!!!

Re:Maybe Yes, Maybe No (1)

moehoward (668736) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968480)

Yes. You can call is "GodZa". Or "Godster".

Invisible, undetectable. And you can't interact with it. But, you can ask it all the questions you want. We'll all feel better just by thinking that we know it's there.

P2P as we know it (2, Informative)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968276)

One thing which I think is interesting is that recently, VOIP over P2P was mentioned. Of course, you don't have to be kreskin [] to see that some form of legal online music purchasing has to eventually become legal. However, I think that the recent mention of VOIP over P2P shows that the technologies made for decentralised P2P will still be used, just not for the purposes that are currently used for.

We Know What's Really Involved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968278)

"Unfortunately, the civil liberties types who are fighting this issue have to fight it, owing to the nature of the laws, as a matter of freedom of speech and stifling of free expression and so on. But we know what's really involved: dirty books are fun! That's all there is to it. But you can't get up in a court and say that, I suppose."

- Tom Lehrer, introduction to "Smut!"

Truly anonymous P2P services would become very popular.

And of course, for the non-pr0n uses, it's also because you get the MP3s without having to pay for them. Nobody signs up for KaZaa so they can pay $0.99 per download.

Other technical differences between P2P and client/server pale beside these two factors.

A little of both (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968281)

I don't think P2P will completely die off. However, there is definitely a fad stage going on, that will settle over time.

Sue everyone and let the courts sort em out... (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968282)

P2P is not going anywhere. The old media companies just have to come up with a new business model. Thus far their business model is 'sue the hell out of everyone'.

Banwidth hogging (1)

henrygb (668225) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968286)

Forget the copyright issue; P2P is too inefficient for those who have to pay for bandwidth.

The big question is... (5, Insightful)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968295) are you going to keep them (from) down(loading) on the farm after they've seen the lights of peer-to-peer? Apparently more people use P2P than bothered to vote in the last Presidential election. With that many people engaged in the activity, it's not like it's going to dry up and blow away because the RIAA starts cracking down. Heck, if legal crackdowns ended illicit behavior, we wouldn't have had any booze since the '20s and we wouldn't have a drug problem now.

On the other hand, there's a certain case to be made for the vast majority of those sixty million P2P users being ignorant sheep who can only use P2P in the first place because it's so easy to install the app--and who may not even be aware that they're uploading songs at the same time as they're downloading them, strange as that would seem to a Slashdot reader. And so, even if someone comes up with a totally "safe" method of filesharing, it could lose many of its prospective users if it is even slightly nontrivial to get working properly. (As an example, consider what happened to the mp3 websites after the RIAA's last legal crackdowns...they retreated behind a web of spawning browser windows, porn ads, top ten lists, and so on, until you have to be a hacker just to find where the MP3s actually are.)

So balancing the two questions...I think peer to peer will always be with us, but depending on how easy it is to use, it may lose a lot of its users--and, thus, a lot of potential sources for files.

It could have great uses in certain contexts (1)

Blue Neon Head (45388) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968296)

Researchers, for instance, could benefit from a P2P network to distribute academic work. In general, it would be well suited for swapping data in any community which actively encourages that kind of sharing, and which could enjoy increased efficiency by cutting out middlemen (e.g. academic journals).

Re:It could have great uses in certain contexts (1)

computerlady (707043) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968487)

Yes, and think even smaller.

Instead of uploading our photos to commercial sites and dealing with ads, or having to pay for large amounts of storage on web servers and doing our own sites, extended families could set up private P2P systems for photo-sharing.

Our local computer club has membership of 1,200 families. We'd like to post copies of instructional handouts, instructional PowerPoint shows, etc. for our members benefit - but buying the space on the server for that much content is out of our reach. Instead, all that content could reside on various members' machines on a P2P.

I can think of lots of these smaller applications. And the idea of cutting out a middleman appeals greatly.

Currently we make do in both situations (and others) by using file storage in commercial "groups" areas - MSN, Yahoo, etc. But maybe P2P could serve those kinds of needs better?

As a matter of innovation.... (3, Interesting)

3seas (184403) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968300)

There is no one way of doing things, but many ways in which some ways are better than others dependant upon what one is doing. And it is by having many different ways of doing things that different things are discovered or innovated.

So of course P2P is here to stay, but the RIAA, that' a different story, one of the old fighting to not move out of the way of then new and innovative.

Want to move a lot of music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968304)

Rip all your CD's to AAC, Mp3, whatever, then burn your collection onto DVD-R's (in my case about 13) then put them in one of those cheap CD's cases. Then, get about 10 other people to do the same...

Now, make a "mailing circle", you snail mail your CD case of DVD's to person 4, and person 2 mails their case to you (you are person 3).

No P2P, no RIAA, no broken songs, just GB's of music.

Re:Want to move a lot of music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968452)

Good idea, but person 4 is a flake and will never return your CD case. Since he lives on the other side of the US, how do you expect to force him to return them. Oh, better scenario: Person 4 left them on the bus. Uh oh! Too bad, so sad...

It is all about the porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968306)

Be brutally honest. The best use of P2P is to get Porn. People feel sleezy walking into your average adult video store, and honestly, they probably don't want to rent the whole movie for the 3 or 4 10 minute scenes they can whack off to. P2P will survive because of porn. In fact, maybe the it will get easier to find stuff once all the music-swapping, and warez people get off.

In the old days, you had to go through hundreds of fake porn sites with banners, just to get a lousy 2 minute clip. Today you're only a couple of clicks from choice 20-30 minute clips.

How can anybody take you guys seriously? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968312)

You stupid slashshits are always defending your "right" to steal other people's works. Grow up, already!

P2P allows for more than just sharing of "media" (2, Interesting)

sixteenraisins (67316) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968314)

As a Windows user (I know, I know), I can't tell you how many times I wished I could find a simple DLL or INI file from a user whose [insert name of utility or program here] was working when mine was not.

I suppose the same could apply to Linux scripts if not for concerns over security.


P2P is here to stay (1)

31415926535897 (702314) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968315)

First, no matter how much pressure media giants put on copyright infringers that use P2P software to swap their music/movies/etc., these users will always find a way to continue trade the media. Even if the communities are reduced to using something like freenet, that group of people will always be there (yes, I know that there are many legal and encouraging uses for services like Kazaa, but the majority of users are downloading and serving music they have not bought legally).

Second, there are many uses for P2P not yet explored and invented. P2P became very popular around 2000 because of Napster, but file sharing is just the tip of the iceburg. Scientific computers across a P2P network can share computing power.

P2P is here to stay. In what form is not quite clear. It will obviously evolve and transform with the computing/Internet climate, but with bandwidth always becoming cheaper, I cannot see P2P going away.

all major technological advances (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968320)

empower individuals, in a network effect

the telephone, the automobile (highways), the printing press, etc.

p2p is never going away, it's just revving up

"illegal" will not be beaten, it's just a giant game of technological whack-a-mole

napster was centralized, so they beheaded it

kazaa was transparent, so they went after the nodes

the next killer p2p filesharing app will hide user identities, and the monopolies and cartels of intellectual property will wage war against these systems via other means

ad nauseum whack-a-mole

p2p file-sharing is the future, it is never going away, it has captured the imagination of the average internet user the way the internet itself did in the early '90s

yes.... (4, Funny)

JoeLinux (20366) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968323)

Just like Data processing was considered a passing fad in the 1970s. After all, things are going from a community-based system to people working ISOLATED BY THEMSELVES.

For instance, there is something new out there called the INTRA-web. Rather than connect to the OUTSIDE world in an attempt to get information, you simply search your own hard drive.

Analysts predict that someday in the future, people will have no further need to ever be connected again, and people will live in isolated padded cells, not talking or communicating to anything at all, simply staring at the ceiling. /sarcasm

I said it back when (5, Interesting)

Lane.exe (672783) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968327)

I said it back when Napster took its famous stage dive, and I'm saying it again now that Kazaa is on the chopping block. Getting rid of 1 p2p service only enables 6 more to spring up, these even more widely dispersed. How long before p2p servers become located in non-US countries and routed through anonymous proxies to avoid the watchful eye of the RIAA/MPAA? How long before a pirates create apps to google through anonymous FTP proxies/IRC for the copyrighted material? p2p is the fall guy for piracy, the most readily available target. But because of that, its business is in the open. The pirated wares will be moved to the 'Net equivalent of a black market, while legitimate p2p (esp. with the right of first sale) will become like the 'Net equivalent of a flea market.

P2P vs. Commercial File Sharing (5, Insightful)

javelinco (652113) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968329)

I guess when you look at this, the best question is: why are these systems being used now? And the even better question: what are the legal uses of the system now?

My answer is that the best reason to use these right now is to share ideas, music, pictures, etc. with other people, including strangers: things that you own and have the right to redistribute, either because you created it, or you have permission from the creator. Email is used heavily in this fashion, but it has the limit of most providers attempting to make attachments a no-no: either for cost considerations (size); or for the fear of viruses. So, is there a legitimate use? Yes.

Next question would be: what are the usage numbers for these legitimate uses? Well, that one I can't answer too well. My first guess would be that it is a relatively small percentage of the current traffic, with a VERY high figure being around 40%. So, is that enough to keep these things around? Yep.

Okay, so, my conclusion is that P2P serves a useful purpose, outside of the illegal ones. So, the next question becomes, can a commercial solution replace these P2P solutions? That one is really easy - no! There is no way that any organization can afford the freedom that is required in moving these files back in forth. Anyone in IT is quite aware of all the potential dangers to the network, and anyone involved in the whole law side can see how heavily exposed these companies would be if they were allowing viruses, etc. to be damaging customer's systems.

So, ultimate conclusion? Unless they are outlawed, P2P networks are useful, and are likely to remain in existance for a long time.

File Sharing != P2P (4, Informative)

asv108 (141455) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968335)

I am so sick of people using the term P2P as a replacement for file sharing. Yes, file sharing is one use of P2P, but there are plenty of other examples:
  • Distributed/Grid Computing
  • IM
  • Web Services
  • groupware

Re:File Sharing != P2P (1)

Not_Wiggins (686627) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968438)

I agree completely.

Actually, there's going to be a huge future in grid programming once they can figure out how to best implement controls/tracking (for billing, of course... we wouldn't want to give people access to programs for *free*, right? 8P ).

Even Microsoft is looking at how they can do this. Of course, the face of a P2P network would change... you'd no longer have people with machines powering the network. Instead, you'd have machines controlled by "corporations" and the average user would be given the equivalent of a dumb-terminal to access those resources.

Think about it... for a simple monthly fee, you'll get access to games, apps, whatever. And if the network bandwidth increases enough, you can even off-load CPU intensive applications to the grid (like graphics processing... how'd you like it if you never had to upgrade hardware again!).

Of course, that will all require more bandwidth and connectivity than is commercially available/viable now.

Maybe the question isn't if P2P will survive... but, in what form will it move to next?

History (3, Insightful)

SnowWolf2003 (692561) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968343)

While P2P may be phased out by newer technologies, its main use - sharing files between users will not stop (a lot of them borderline legal to blatantly illegal). Look at the history of the Internet. First there were Newsgroups, FTP Servers (remember all those no leech policies), Bulletin Boards, Hotline, Napster, Kazaa, Morpheus, etc.

Since the beginning of the Internet people have wanted an easy and anonymous way of trading files. As each technology was foiled by the industry or upgraded by newer technology, one thing had remained constant - The sharing of files online.
That is not a fad - only the technologies supporting it.

It is a passing fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968345)

just like talking pictures and color tv!

Next on slashdot. (2, Funny)

eyeye (653962) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968347)

Have computers had their day?
Are the days of gravity over?
Is the sun about to cool?

it's here to stay in some form (2, Interesting)

c4ffeine (705293) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968354)

People have always stolen stuff(and will probably continue to indefinitely). If anyone can list a society that had no theft, I will be surprised. Greed is just too common among humans. I believe that it is probable that the RIAA will make use of some P2P networks nearly impossible. However, it will be back. How long will it be before secure large-scale p2p networks come along? No matter how little they end up charging for something, there will be people unwilling or unable to pay for it. Has anyone ever quizzed the general public(or even /. users) about this? that might be a good idea. OK, I think I strayed from the topic a little. Anyways, so i've shown that peoiple will always steal. p2p networks just happen to be one of the best, hardest to stop ways to do so. i can't think of a much better method. so, p2p is here to stay

Still early (5, Informative)

ryanr (30917) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968355)

I think p2p is here to stay, and there are still features that need to be put in place univerally before it's mature, and all the various p2p flavors are comparable.

The various bits are there scattered across different p2p networks. IMNSHO, all p2p networks/clients ought to have:

-Swarming (as defined/used in BitTorrent)
-Privacy/anonymity (perhaps as much as in Freenet)
-Good searching (Kazaa, Napster, those types. With room for improvement all around)
-Open-source clients with no ads/spyware
-Decentralized/self-organizing networks (no central point of failure, or at least minimal)
-Browser/web server hooks to autoswarm web content (there ought to be bittorrent:// links)

Pardon my BitTorrent bias. I moderate the bittorrent_help mailing list, so I have more exposure to that.

All these features should someday be pushed into numerous language libraries, so that they become ubiquitous.

I hope so. (0, Troll)

zlevenz (707505) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968356)

Until now, I've been extremely hesitant to submit a comment to Slashdot. Now, however, my entire lifestyle appears to be in jeapordy. You see, my wife and I have been employed by a record label for the past decade. Last week, she was terminated. The reason, as her manager explained, was illegal music piracy.

The advertising campaigns are true. The executives, instead of being inconvenienced by accommodating P2P, are attempting to eliminate it. Furthermore, employees such as myself are expendable, and that axiom is certainly manifesting itself today.

Music piracy is analogous to marijuana: both are gateways. Whereas marijuana is a gateway to other illegal narcotics, music piracy is a gateway to movie piracy and, another form of illegal distribution that may begin to affect the Slashdot community, software piracy.

Until now, I haven't complained. With a $250,000 mortgage and a lack of income, however, I am certainly becoming less tolerant. No man should ever be forced to see his wife in tears.

Re:I hope so. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968363)

Nice troll. I'd even bite, if it weren't for your 700,000+ user ID.


Re:I hope so. (0)

RIAAwakka_nakka_bakk (704088) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968442)

Your gateway theory is wrong. Research has shown that marijuana is not a gateway drug, so that throws your theory out the window. How about reading this book [] to see proof? As for the entirety of your post, I believe it is nothing more than a poor trolling attempt.

Re:I hope so. (1)

javelinco (652113) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968464)

Not to be insensitive, but please read some of the other posts I've seen referring to the real facts of the case. I am sorry your wife was recently laid off. That sucks. But to blame illegal sharing of music is wrong. Your industry is still making a hell of a lot of money. The profit margins are not significantly changed by the advent of these P2P networks. The issue that is brought up by these networks is copyright, and they serve as notice that the music labels need to reorganize their business models. They can make money in an industry where piracy is rampant, WITHOUT alienating the consumer (and some have). Please do some more research on this issue, and DO NOT compare file sharing with drugs. That's just silly.

Tool of the anarchist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968360)

P2P has lots of legitimate uses but I'm afraid that it will always be considered the tool of the anarchists because it lacks centralized control.

RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968362)

I think the RIAA has pissed off too many customers and they neglected the fast that CD sales increased 20% with Napster and not all users were out to screw the RIAA. (I won't mention that the RIAA started paying for it's over charging for CD's suit in 1999 and that attributes to some of their "losses") I personally found discontinued CD's that I went as far as to personally contact the artists directly (Thomas Michael - Sweet Candy Love) to see about getting a legit copy of their "unreleased" works that I found online. I think P2P networks are here to stay in one form or another. Since the lame tatics of RIAA and insane $150K per mp3 file I buy only artists under labels that aren't a part of the RIAA.

Screw the RIAA and their law suits!!

p2p not going anywhere (2, Interesting)

blackp (217413) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968366)

P2P has never been about breaking copyrights. Had Napster not come along, P2P would have moved along without it just fine. The legitimate purposes of P2P will not be damaged. The illegal purposes of P2P might be destroyed, but the core technology that allowed it will continue.

Since the P2P acronymn has been improperly linked to illegal activities (copyrighted materials sharing). Maybe we should get a new one (Colabarative Resource Sharing CRS, or maybe computer resources Co-op CRC)

It's not all about distribution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968367)

What makes you think P2P is all about distribution?

It's only 1 of the things you can do with it

Definition (2, Informative)

johnnyli (644642) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968384)

Seems to me that there's quite a bit of confusion what peer-to-peer really is...

In academic environments, P2P is commonly defined as having one or more of these characteristics:

1. Peers should be able to freely offer services to other peers.
2. The addressing system should be independent of lower layer network addressing systems.
3. Peers should be assumed to be of variable connectivity.

Yes, this means that even some partly centralized systems are peer-to-peer. Like distributed computing and instant messaging. P2P is clearly beyond just file sharing, and it has been used for ages.

Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968385)

The principle: it's impossible to prevent consenting people from exchanging {ideas,information,sex,christmas cards,etc}. Just ask Soviet Russia...

Even SMTP is a P2P protocol if you think about it. Even if you succeeded in completely eradicating the likes of Gnutella, people would just go flow on to other incarnations of the same, i.e. bulletin boards, e-mail, web boards, newsgroups, and so on.

One thing we can all agree on.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968386)

One thing we can all agree on, though, is that *BSD is dying. Even if P2P isn't dying, *BSD still is.

P2P here to stay (1)

turbogeek (224784) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968391)

Boeing, Texas Instruments, Sun, Verizon... the list goes on and on. P2P is everywhere and it is not being used for file swapping.

P2P is a stop-gap solution (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968402)

I watched that deal on TechTV last week, where they had the industry and P2P guys arguing about the future.

They boiled down the debate to this: RIAA side: "Artists deserve to get paid", P2P side: "Promising new technology can greatly increase blah blah".

It was completely disingenuous. Artists dont make shit through the distributors, and KaZaa/iTunes/Rhapsody are hardly necessary to obtain music.

What it really was, was a pissing contest between two sets of non-talen beurocrats to see who gets to be the middleman of the future.

Facts are, we need no middleman. We need KaZaa just as much as we need the RIAA. We can get music straight from the performers, most of whom will gladly offer it up for free to get us into a seat at their next concert. If some band thinks their shit is worth a buck a pop, go ahead, but I probably wont pay.

Just mp3s on the bands website, that's all. Google will be all the search engine needed.

Fuck RIAA, fuck P2P, and shut up now I'm sick of hearing from all these jackasses who've done nothing to entertain me, yet feel they deserve a percentage of my entertainment dollar.

All thats needed is performers (including necessary technical folk, mixers and whatnot) and audiences.

p2p not just filesharing ... (2, Interesting)

JonyEpsilon (662675) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968411)

I think it's important to separate the idea bheind p2p from its most popular use, filesharing.

p2p filesharing may yet be squashed by the RIAA's evil henchmen - this is an argument that will probably, in the short term at least, be settled by cash. However, it seems that p2p itself - the move away from the little client, great big server, towards lots of modestly proportioned servents - is unavoidable. Fact is, most people have more computing power/storage space/network bandwidth than they really need; p2p often makes better use of the resources that are available. Unless there is a really radical shift in the hardware market (super thin clients maybe ?) I think p2p will be here to stay.

p2p nothing new. (1)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968414)

p2p sharing is nothing new. It's just the old client/server with a new name, only everyone is a server.

Now, *distributed* filesharing, like bitTorrent and or Kazaa/Morpheus... that's new. And *that* is here to stay; it's equivalent to switching from circuit-switched networking to packet-switched networking, only with files rather than messages.

Let's See... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968416)

3,862,895 users connected, 6,031,232Gb shared...your right passing fad. (1)

AIX-Hood (682681) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968420)

What's a fad, is the pirated use of P2P apps. I started up (which is bit torrent heavy) because I felt all icky-gooey using illegal sites like suprnova to spread the game and movie files for my gaming web site. P2P has empowered even the smaller web sites like mine and gave me, almost overnight, as much as 6-10 percent of the total download numbers of some of my nearest competitors like Fileshack on popular new files. Smiling ear to ear. Akamai in a box is here to stay in my opinion.

just getting started.. (1)

joeldg (518249) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968424)

I personally think we are just seeing the tip of the proverbial iceberg for p2p.. a lot of companies would love to be able to use processing power of millions of computers (i.e. what kazaa did with their leech-ware product) .. Seti@home has proved that people are willing to donate computer time and energy, I mean, look at the battles that rage over the number one through ten slots at seti. (people even trying to cheat). I think you will start seeing p2p system for searching, archival and scientific pop up all over in the next few years. In addition, games like Everquest and Lineage pass off most of the processing to the client computers, so in effect it is a large p2p network (albeit obviously not so, but you get my drift).
Anyway, there are a lot of things that p2p is good for (besides the obvious pirate-ware).
And there are ways around it as well for pirates.
i.e. here is an idea:
yenc a file and split it, store various chunks of it hidden within html on freehosting around the globe, you could easily write a script that would put everything back together and un-yencode the file to it's original state. If this was done on a massive scale you could have release groups dropping rebuild files instead of actual files. What would happen then? (especially if redundancy was part of the system). That is one alternative to what is currently being done. I think right now the RIAA is just doing the fly-swatting routine and p2p is just the one they are currently after, next it will be IRC and IM servies..
Anyway, yes.. p2p will be here for a long time to come.

passing fad?! Yeah right! (4, Funny)

Jonny Ringo (444580) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968427)

When I think of all the millions I've saved.

Pigeonhole (1)

Shamashmuddamiq (588220) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968429)

Why is it that everyone associates P2P only with illegal sharing of copyrighted material? P2P is such a trivial concept and easy enough to implement that it will never go away. Even if there were no Kazaa or Gnutella, P2P would be alive and well, since it's useful for many things other than trading music.

I use P2P every day, whether it be ftp, SAMBA, Gnutella, or some other concoction. And I don't ever use it to download RIAA crap.

q2q is the future... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968441)

With the overwhelming majority of open source being homosexual, the need for queer2queer to locate partners for random sex in truck stop bathrooms is only on the rise.

Neither a Fad nor a New Trend (4, Interesting)

smack.addict (116174) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968448)

The P2P architecture has been around for ages. The original concept of the WWW was based on a P2P model. Of course, that was pre-NAT.

What pundits fail to realize is that P2P is not a class of applications; it is simply a form of distributed computing architecture in which nodes act as both client and server.

The term P2P is, however, a passing fad. It is a label for this architecture whose greatest association is with a class of applications designed to steal intellectual property from others. It is unfortunate that this association has come about. However, the architecture will outlive the fad.

It's official! Apple is dying!!! (0)

IntelliTubbie (29947) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968450)

Wait ... this thread is about P2P? Ohhhhh, okay. P2P is dying!!!


RIAA: P2P is dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968465)

It is now official - RIAA has confirmed: P2P is dying

Yet another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered P2P community when
recently IDC confirmed that P2P accounts for less than a fraction of 1
percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of the latest RIAA
survey which plainly states that P2P has lost more market share, this
news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. P2P is collapsing
in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last
[] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [] to predict P2P's
future. The hand writing is on the wall: P2P faces a bleak future. In
fact there won't be any future at all for P2P because P2P is dying.
Things are looking very bad for P2P. As many of us are already aware,
P2P continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of
blood. FreeP2P is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of
its core developers.
Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenP2P leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenP2P. How
many users of NetP2P are there? Let's see. The number of OpenP2P versus
NetP2P posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there
are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetP2P users. P2P/OS posts on Usenet are about
half of the volume of NetP2P posts. Therefore there are about 700 users
of P2P/OS. A recent article put FreeP2P at about 80 percent of the P2P
market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)4 = 36400 FreeP2P users.
This is consistent with the number of FreeP2P Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeP2P
went out of business and was taken over by P2PI who sell another
troubled OS. Now P2PI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet
another charnel house.

All major surveys show that P2P has steadily declined in market share.
P2P is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If
P2P is to survive at all it will be among OS hobbyist dabblers. P2P
continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this
point in time. For all practical purposes, P2P is dead.

Fact: P2P is dead

The Future of P2P is political action (1)

Sphere1952 (231666) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968470)

Sure, most of the stuff there now is there despite the copyright owner, but as copyright crumbles P2P will be the way to become known. Indie bands jumped onto P2P as soon as they realized it was a way to get their stuff out there where people might find it.

still here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6968471)

i dont think

HTTP/1.0 501 Not Implemented
X-Kazaa-Username: doc4u2
X-Kazaa-Network: KaZaA


HTTP/1.0 501 Not Implemented
X-Kazaa-Username: shay48pezer
X-Kazaa-Network: KaZaA

feels that p2p is going out of style as they keep trying to connect to port 1214 of this box

p2p is just getting started (1)

pizza_milkshake (580452) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968475)

with more bandwidth and faster processors, people will devise better and better ways of sharing files with or without a central server. i am particularly fascinated with the concept of decentralized networks, like gnutella; though obviously gnutella leaves much to be desired. i am positive that it is possible for a decentralized network to operate *almost* as well as the traditional server/client model, though it'll be a lot more work to make it happen. someone will do it (i'm trying, but who knows how that'll turn out ;)

Perhaps it will change with economy? (0)

RIAAwakka_nakka_bakk (704088) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968479)

If the economy improves (i.e, people getting employed) then perhaps P2P usage will fall with former file downloaders now being able to buy the material. If the economy stays in its current status (crap), then P2P usage will stay roughly then same as people that cannot afford it will download.

We should *thank* the RIAA... (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968481)

P2P will not die just because the RIAA has cracked down on a few people sharing music.

First, let me say that I don't particularly support massive stealing of music - A bit of sharing between friends, sure, but the wholesale infringements we see thanks to the likes of Kazaa, no. That said...

As with virus/worm authors, the RIAA has served a useful purpose, if by reprehensible means. They have demonstrated that P2P has a major flaw that most people do not know about - The model itself does NOT automatically mean anonymity. It just means that no central server exists to shut down, thereby making it all but impossible for any legal action to completely kill. People (can) still have accountability for their actions on a P2P network. Aside from the RIAA's abuse of this fact, we should worry quite a lot more about government use.

So my prediction - P2P services such as Kazaa, that try to track users and transactions, will fade into oblivion. At the same time, those that make every effort to prevent logging, to give plausible deniability, and that use encryption to hide the actual data going over the weak links (anywhere between the first "P" and the second "P"), will gain in popularity. As an obvious current choice, the open-source Freenet does this already, though it has serious problems as far as actually finding what you want goes.

Someone will eventually find a way to make Freenet (or a similar app) more useable, however, without compromising the benefits I mention above. That will replace the current generation of P2P programs, but will itself still count as P2P.

So no, the idea won't die, nor will its use. Implementations will simply become far more sophisticated, and while at each step in the free-information arms race a few people will suffer (as has held true throughout all of history), the rest of us will benefit from their sacrifice.

Yes, until it becomes more reliable and merges.. (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968488)

with google. Then its just part of the existing infrastructure.

Legal P2P isn't going anywhere... (1)

mikewren420 (264173) | more than 11 years ago | (#6968490)

...nor should it. P2P is a legal means for easy distribution of large audio/video filesets... see: [] , [] , and list of legal Bittorrent download sites [] .

The clients share the load, and there's no more leechers. What's not to love?
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