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Next-gen Copyright-aware P2P System Whitepaper

michael posted about 10 years ago | from the p2p-stands-for-pay-to-play dept.

The Internet 280

meier73 writes "A whitepaper has just been released detailing a secure (OpenSSL/digital signatures), copyright-aware P2P network. The paper claims that this system enables legal file trades, something that isn't guaranteed by Kazaa, Morpheus or eDonkey. The whitepaper goes on to state that the long-term goal of this system is to catalog every human creation in existence that can be expressed by a digital medium. Project stats: a super-computing cluster that will scale to more than 900TB of storage, 300M transactions per day and trade music, television, movies and books. Doesn't this constitute a responsible and legitimate use of P2P?"

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risk! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963753)

i think that is a pretty big security risk.

Lorem Ipsum Dolor Sit Amet (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963754)

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Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos hymenaeos. Suspendisse potenti. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Quisque viverra, felis quis varius cursus, lorem neque nonummy sapien, quis pharetra dolor wisi id risus. Duis at turpis. Cras lorem. Donec pulvinar neque ut lorem. Pellentesque metus. Nullam luctus faucibus nisl. Praesent porta magna in elit. Vivamus lobortis mattis leo. Praesent quis ante. Nullam et justo at turpis suscipit aliquam. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Phasellus consectetuer commodo libero. Proin feugiat tellus.

Re:Lorem Ipsum Dolor Sit Amet (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963813)

OUYAY AILFAY ITAY!

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963760)

First Post, w00t! I haven't done this in a while, it feels so..dirty?

Re:FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963781)

biatch i got fp!

Re:FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963789)

Um. No you didnt. Heh.

What to bring to the beach? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963764)

TURKEY!

Wonder how long that will last. (5, Insightful)

ScytheBlade1 (772156) | about 10 years ago | (#9963765)

Because here's a hint: make the protocol open, and people will re-write it to exclude the copyrights.

Oh, it's server-based and not 'true' P2P...my mistake.

No one will use it :P

Kinda sad... (3, Insightful)

rd_syringe (793064) | about 10 years ago | (#9963845)

You basically admitted that nobody will use it because copyrights are enforced. Heaven forbid people respect copyrights. You know, like we demand with the GPL. I actually got accused of trolling the other day because of my sig.

Re:Kinda sad... (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | about 10 years ago | (#9963868)

Not that i condone warezing ; Having id as your example of how warez are affecting the games industry doesn't really do any justice to the problem.

At least change your sig in 'id Software lost $2.75 million to record-breaking piracy on the weekend before Doom 3's release ; And hauled in a few multi million licensing contracts of that same engine ; Thanks Guys !'

Re:Kinda sad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963873)

"Without copyright the GPL would be unenforceable. It would also be unnecessary".

TOTAL FREEDOM OF INFORMATION! LET NO ONE RESTRICT YOUR COMMUNICATION!

Re:Kinda sad... (1)

hunterx11 (778171) | about 10 years ago | (#9963884)

It's already legal to release material into the public domain if you want to.

Re:Kinda sad... (1)

Mateito (746185) | about 10 years ago | (#9963939)

... as long as you own the rights to said material.

Re:Kinda sad... (5, Insightful)

rking (32070) | about 10 years ago | (#9963883)

You basically admitted that nobody will use it because copyrights are enforced.

Unless they can come up with a better selling point than "with added restrictions" then of course nobody will use it.

People who don't want to infringe copyrights are entirely capable of not infringing copyrights. They don't need a system that prevents them doing it.

People who do want to infringe copyrights also obviously don't want a system that prevents them doing it.

Unless there's actually something they do BETTER than the competition then they aren't going to appeal to anyone.

WRONG (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9964061)

I know of a number of people who won't use P2P as it is now for the very reason that you don't know if you're breaking copyright laws or not.

Furthermore, there are a heck of a lot of applications for such a system in the commercial art & design world.

Less noise (1)

Animaether (411575) | about 10 years ago | (#9964082)

The SNR should be much higher on this type of 'network' - that alone would be worth it for me.

Re:Kinda sad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963888)

Hey, they start living up to their end of the bargain, and I'll reconsider living up to mine.

Remember, that it's a natural right society temporaily cedes to a work's creator, under limited (mostly commercial) circumstances. If they can't live with that, then can anyone really be surprised when society takes it's natural right back?

Re:Kinda sad... (1)

kfg (145172) | about 10 years ago | (#9963907)

I have some sympathy with the broader point of your sig, however, the number is pulled out of someone's ass, since many of the people who downloaded it had already at least agreed to pay for it, many more will pay for it in a couple of weeks and some would never pay for it anyway.

I'm not making an argument to justify to downloading warez. I respect copyright as a principal, although I may well not respect certain applications of copyright law. I am merely responding to the specific claim that it caused them a certain amount of financial damage.

KFG

Re:Kinda sad... (2, Insightful)

ScytheBlade1 (772156) | about 10 years ago | (#9963917)

Okay then, re-phrase. Too few people will use it for it to stay up for long at all, unless given massive funding by the RIAA/someone.

You can take it however you want to, but if you look at the growth of networks that don't care for copyrights (note I said "care", not "honor", since it's ultimately up to the person on the other end, not the means of obtaining it) compared to say, napster (really? does anyone you know use napster?)...what I said is more or less an educated guess on the future of it.

Re:Kinda sad... (4, Insightful)

Mateito (746185) | about 10 years ago | (#9963921)

I'm guessing that dollar figure comes from 50000 lost sales at $55 a pop. The question that always needs to be asked is "how many of those 50000 wouldn't have bought the game anyway?" I'm not saying that they should have downloaded it... I'm no where near saying that id shouldn't be rewarded for 4 years of effort... but I do dispute the statement that id "lost" that amount of money. For the record, I haven't bought Doom III. I'm waiting for the Demo to see if it runs on my hardware, and to work out if the game justifies updating my video card.

Re:Kinda sad... (4, Insightful)

Sylver Dragon (445237) | about 10 years ago | (#9964017)

As an addition to this, how many of those 50,000 had already pre-ordered the game, and just wanted to get an early start? I know of at least 2 people who did this. Myself, I am in the same boat as you, wait for the demo, then buy it if I like it. Plus, I'll probably wait for it to hit about $30 before I shell out for it, I just can't bring myself to pay $55 for a game anymore.
The dollar figure is just a made up number to throw around to make it sound like ID lost a bunch, there really is no way to know.

Re:Kinda sad... (4, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 years ago | (#9963951)

well, your sig is a bit misleading. at least the number is taken out of ass, since how can you LOSE money if you're not yet even SELLING anything(later release date for europe).. you're just guess-estimating the number on how many people will not buy it because they could download it with torrent - but since they weren't going to buy it anyways how it was loss is beyond me(they could just as well have calculated that OMG every chinese guy skipped buying this game because of bad crop - WE LOST GAZILLION BILLION DOLLARS. or that a million people will play it in net cafes: another 20 million 'lost').

It's just a big number they invented for some pr.

but it is true, if I was _paying_ I wouldn't want to bother with p2p since I'm already _paying_ for it I could easily pay the cent or two that would go into the necessary bandwith to get it from the centralised server and certainly wouldn't bother with donating bandwith to their business volunteraly.

if the material were legal(licensed with $$) and there were a working micropayment(hell, it's not going to be micro when the mpaa/riaa gets around) there wouldn't be need for p2p since you could finance the fat pipes and buying the bandwith from akamai with the money.

Re:Kinda sad... (4, Interesting)

rokzy (687636) | about 10 years ago | (#9964007)

ID Software will not let you run the game on a computer with legal CD emulation software installed.

Thus the only version of the game I can run on my system is a pirate version.

Thanks, guys!

Re:Kinda sad... (5, Informative)

jparker (105202) | about 10 years ago | (#9964078)

(Disclaimer: I don't work for id and don't know the details of their situation, but I do work in the game industry and am familiar with the practices in general.)

In many cases, copy protection like this is forced on developers by the publishers. The devs usually have absolutely nothing to do with it, never even touching (or knowing) the copy protection software used. For all of us, it's very frustrating because we try to provide users with as bug-free an experience as we can get, and then publishers slap a buggy-as-hell copy protection system on and we take the flak. They're the ones who are all paranoid about pirates, while we mostly just want people to have fun playing our game.

Re:Kinda sad... (1)

rokzy (687636) | about 10 years ago | (#9964109)

I don't imagine ID had to go around begging for someone to take a chance on them and publish their little game, or that they are so ignorant of how the industry works that it took them by surprise.

Re:Kinda sad... (4, Insightful)

Sweetshark (696449) | about 10 years ago | (#9964027)

id Software lost $2.75 million to record-breaking piracy on the weekend before Doom 3's release. Thanks, guys!
The number you show in you sig was never claimed by id software, it was done by some BBC journalist. The id officials never used it - because it is nonsense. The news about "losses by piracy" alone probably were PR (concidering ids cool statements in the same article) worth 2.7 million in sales. And thats not just multipling supanova-downloads (before release) with the game prize. Without a estimate on how many users would buy the game when it hits the stores this number is utterly worthless.
Link to the BBC article about "lost sales" [bbc.co.uk] for reference.
I actually got accused of trolling the other day because of my sig.
well, you are.
You basically admitted that nobody will use it because copyrights are enforced.
No. He says that nobody will use a network which relies on central servers and a registration. Maybe because of:
  • fear they will start to charge fees
  • because it is clumsy to register every little poem or pic you made
  • because central servers are easy to watch (collecting spam targets and what not)
  • other p2p networks dont have these problems and are more popular
  • .... (many other reasons)
  • copyright issues

Re:Kinda sad... (2, Funny)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 10 years ago | (#9964034)

Really? They lost money to piracy? Did the ships carrying copies of DooM3 get boarded and looted? Oh, your just spewing corporate spin, never mind.

Re:Wonder how long that will last. (2, Interesting)

saden1 (581102) | about 10 years ago | (#9963887)

Even better, make it open standard, mix copy righted and non-copyrighted material, and allow people to purchase copy righted stuff for a small fee. Really, who doesn't download their favorite show when they miss them these days? Hell, even my mother who's 3 thousand away is asking me how to download her favorite show. She would pay for it too.

Re:Wonder how long that will last. (2, Insightful)

Sylver Dragon (445237) | about 10 years ago | (#9964068)

Personally, I think a subscription idea would be perfect for that sort of thing. Either pay $X per episode, X hopefully being lower than, or very close to 1; or, you pay $Y per month for access to all episodes of a large variety of shows. (Best if you get to pick the shows)
Now here's the hitch, once you download a show, you should be able to burn it to a DVD and keep it. Ideally, the quality should be high enough that you can burn several episodes to a DVD and watch them on your TV, and not notice that they came from the internet. Also, have back episodes available, that way, if I miss one, I don't get lost in the show.
Sadly, what we will get instead, is a very restricted format, which expires, and the cost will be insane. And probably crappy quality to boot. Then, when it performs like crap, the MPAA will use this as proof that people are not willing to pay to download TV shows, and call for more restrictions on computers and the internet.

Re:Wonder how long that will last. (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | about 10 years ago | (#9964120)

The recent HDTV images I've seen floating around are entirely comparable with hi quality dvd rips.

The file size is also smaller.

I would gladly cut off my cable tv access and share my entire subscription fee between the programs I actually download and watch.

I loath paying money for tv channels I don't even watch.

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963766)

first post

BitTorrent, Microsoft (3, Insightful)

Animaether (411575) | about 10 years ago | (#9963774)

I see that BitTorrent wasn't listed along with Kazaa, eDonkey and Morpheus.

Strange, as it was recently used as an example of "a responsible and legitimate use of P2P" by distributing Microsoft's Windows XP SP2.

I don't suppose this has anything to do with the SP2 torrent seeds being 'pulled' from the organizer's website at Microsoft's request (read:order) ?

Re:BitTorrent, Microsoft (1)

eric76 (679787) | about 10 years ago | (#9963821)

Strange, as it was recently used as an example of "a responsible and legitimate use of P2P" by distributing Microsoft's Windows XP SP2.

Didn't Microsoft send a DMCA take-down notice to someone disbributing SP2 with BitTorrent?

Re:BitTorrent, Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963937)

That's what the third line refers to ;)

Re:BitTorrent, Microsoft (-1, Troll)

spiritraveller (641174) | about 10 years ago | (#9963847)

Strange, as it was recently used as an example of "a responsible and legitimate use of P2P" by distributing Microsoft's Windows XP SP2.

Distributing Windows as a legitimate use??? Windows is like a cancer. Thus, it's spread should never be considered legitimate.

A better example of bittorrent used for a legitimate purpose: Linux ISOs.

Re:BitTorrent, Microsoft (2, Interesting)

ron_ivi (607351) | about 10 years ago | (#9963853)

Also, strange because Kazaa's "Gold" or whatever they called it downloads are a quite effective channel for distribution of legal software.

This article sounds like more like FUD to distract from the existing file-sharing networks to me. Specific examples of lameness in the article:

"The paper claims that this system enables legal file trades, something that isn't guaranteed"
Their system doesn't "guarantee" it either -- for example even "copyright aware" tech can't know if Linux is covered by SCO copyrights without help.

"that the long-term goal of this system is to catalog every human creation in existence that can be expressed by a digital medium"
Absurd. Personally, I wouldn't want to give them a license to distribute all my copyrighted works; and I doubt Enron would use them to share internal memos. And wonderful human creations like sandcastles and orchestral productions and a good meal have their beauty in their transience.

Re:BitTorrent, Microsoft (1)

Lisandro (799651) | about 10 years ago | (#9963960)

I don't know why aren't more sites using BitTorrent to deliver software and media.

It has all the advantages of P2P, combined with the fact that, if you set up the tracker, you know *exactly* what's being distributed. You take load off your servers, users get files faster. Everyone wins. The client is small and has been ported to a gazillon systems aswell.

Re:BitTorrent (2, Interesting)

iive (721743) | about 10 years ago | (#9964123)

I see that BitTorrent wasn't listed along with Kazaa, eDonkey and Morpheus.

Probably because it is based on/inspired by BitTorrent. Look at the diagram on page1 (introduction).
The "System load balansers" ARE trackers. The clients can share content, but only under the control of the tracker. What is new is that all connections are encripted.
You can see that if you want to distribute something you should make contract with them (probably not more sophisticated than eBey) and upload the content on their server. Probaly they will water_mark it.

I must say that I admire them. They are willing to support all platforms and that is already good start. They are more probably not going at the BIG FAT movie and music distributors. Instead they will collect more copyrighted works from individuals or smaller entitels that are ready to take risk. If they keep the prices low and deliver content fast, they may succeed. Wish you luck boys.

And something more - 900TB are good start but are not enough. The local content server of my ISP is about that size and it is still growing. I'm sure you guess i'm not from US and i'm not going to tell you more. Taina maina.

All This (3, Funny)

The-Bus (138060) | about 10 years ago | (#9963779)

...and still no Metallica?

I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963908)

is that some sort of problem? I'd consider it a feature.

Re:All This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9964025)

Metallica fucking sucks. EOL.

Re:All This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9964135)

and thats a bad thing??

It'll never work :) (5, Funny)

dan dan the dna man (461768) | about 10 years ago | (#9963784)

I suspect we like our non-copyright aware distribution channels too much ;)

Re:It'll never work :) (1)

Sime208 (709155) | about 10 years ago | (#9963892)

I've decided I won't buy another CD or movie again until I'm billed for it by my ISP. I've absolutely no objection to paying for stuff, I think an extra 30 quid a month or so on top of my ADSL bill would be fine. So long as I can legally download any piece of media I like. I should also be able to play it wherever I like on whatever device I fancy. The record/movie companies should all get together and scrap over how they'll share that out.

I've completely given up on traditional distribution methods after the glue failed on the last DVD I bought and the shop said it was because I mistreated it.

Sorry chaps, go shove your CD's & DVD's, until then you won't see another penny from me. I already own every piece of music I listen to anyway, there's sure nothing in the charts I'd condider buying.

Re:It'll never work :) (1)

JohnFromCanada (789692) | about 10 years ago | (#9963973)

Very true. Most people I know that use these P2P applications to download anything don't care about respecting copyrights at all. Why are they going to change to this new system? I am not saying that this is a good view to have, I am merely saying that it seems to be one that is prevalent in the use of P2P programs and I could not see the masses switching to one that controls people from downloading copyrighted material. There are plenty of legitimate applications of these networks however they are currently used most for trading copyrighted material.

Re:It'll never work :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9964043)

I have to agree.

How many people do know have needed to do a rather oddball task that requires expensive software? My father came to me a few months back wanted to splice some MP3 together for a little party he was having at work. I'll admit, the only piece of software I recognized to do this off the top of my head was CoolEdit (since bought out by Adobe), and it's a bit pricey.

Since it only needed to be used once, what the heck. A few minutes later the task was over and software removed.

P2P does serve a legitimate purpose; the legality of this (warez) "legitimacy" is quite questionable, however. ;) For legal, legitimate stuff, it can be great as well.

That was a really bad example, I realize, as there are dozens of "free" utilities to do the job I mentioned. Laziness combined with cheapness promotes the use of warez for oddball tasks, though. Rather that's a good thing or not, I don't believe that "copyright aware" distrobution is really the answer...

In short, when given tasks we're not knowledgable about and we don't want to spend time learning something about what we think will only benefit us once in the nearterm, warez (as easily found through P2P) is oft a viable alternative to Google; legality be damned.

As for any other usage of "illegal" P2P? Won't touch the stuff, personally.

Re:It'll never work :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9964047)

'has too many times been hijacked by those who use it for illegal purposes to which the vast majority of our consumers do not wish to be exposed.'

Apparently they know better. Though after they catalogue all digital creations, we can still make new ones with /dev/random - soon fill up their wee little server...

more legitimate uses (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963793)

Gnomoradio [gnomoradio.org] is also a legitimate use of P2P, though its catalog is much smaller at the moment...

Whitepaper (4, Interesting)

r2q2 (50527) | about 10 years ago | (#9963796)

A whitepaper alone doesn't say much. Trying to scale to that level hasn't been done before and is very ambitious for it to do. It could possibly be done but the better question is when.

But why? (5, Interesting)

M51DPS (757403) | about 10 years ago | (#9963797)

Why would I want to stop using current systems? FastTrack, Gnutella, and OpenFT let me exchange any files I want, and there just doesn't seem to be any reason I would want to switch.

Re:But why? (2, Funny)

kinzillah (662884) | about 10 years ago | (#9963826)

... because without corporate supervision you clearly cannot be trusted to abide by the law.

Re:But why? (1)

sls1j (580823) | about 10 years ago | (#9964083)

But all were doing is following the example of corporate leader.

Great... (3, Funny)

Cinematique (167333) | about 10 years ago | (#9963798)

This is great and all, but I think the stat we *really* want to know is... how many Library of Congress' will this thing hold?

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963877)

Not many got the joke.. I did- whenever they came out with a new medium, the would compare it to that.

The problem now is it would hold millions of them, so the "stun" effect seems fading.

Re:Great... (1)

Zardus (464755) | about 10 years ago | (#9963895)

And what'll be the weight of the whole cluster in elephants [slashdot.org] ?

An honorable goal for the good of mankind (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 10 years ago | (#9963799)

OF course it won't fly... the good of mankind is dwarfed by the needs of a few to make and control trillions of dollars.

Re:An honorable goal for the good of mankind (2, Informative)

chill (34294) | about 10 years ago | (#9963928)

You won't get modded up for stating the blatantly obvious.

Re:An honorable goal for the good of mankind (2, Funny)

Anonymous Writer (746272) | about 10 years ago | (#9964049)

He just did.

The good of mankind... (1)

Animaether (411575) | about 10 years ago | (#9964129)

The good of mankind is pir^H^H^Hstea^H^H^H^Hcopyright infringement ?

Not that you directly state that, but it is implied.

If you meant the good of mankind would be served by a more free (as in speech) exchange of intellectual property, then you should engage to act to change the laws and regulations governing, in this case, copyrights - rather than implying the good of mankind lies in breaking those laws and regulations.
( civil disobediance only goes so far, and tends to apply to government )

I have a similiar project.... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963801)


but mine is concentrated mostly on pr0n.

Might not work (0, Offtopic)

LGagnon (762015) | about 10 years ago | (#9963822)

Even if they catalogue everything, they could still have the same problem that viagra spam filters have. [google.com]

Re:Might not work (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963834)

Thanks for hastily linking to a half-remembered, completely irrelevant article with the most tenuous of links. Good luck with the karma.

Re:Might not work (1)

LGagnon (762015) | about 10 years ago | (#9963966)

And why is this neccasarily off-topic? They could attempt to use the catalogue entries to filter files on the network. It'd probably be in vain, but it is still possible.

MOD PARENT DOWN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9964053)

Offtopic! This guy just doesn't learn!

detect copyrighted works? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963828)

so what exactly is a copyrighted work? when i worked in a copy shop, we were told anything created (in our examples: photos) were automatically protected as property of the creator for such and such a time frame.... what then, would be able to be sent, besides GPL stuff?

Re:detect copyrighted works? (2, Insightful)

Zardus (464755) | about 10 years ago | (#9963933)

Just because something is copyrighted doesn't mean that it can't be shared. The GPL and the Creative Commons and pretty much every other license depends on you owning the copyright to the work that you're licensing (otherwise, how can you say who can or can't distribute it?). Not all copyrights are bad.

Re:detect copyrighted works? (1)

pclminion (145572) | about 10 years ago | (#9963983)

when i worked in a copy shop, we were told anything created (in our examples: photos) were automatically protected as property of the creator for such and such a time frame.... what then, would be able to be sent, besides GPL stuff?

Stuff from outside that time frame, obviously. Unless the time frame is 5000 years or so, I'd say the majority of "stuff" people have created is not under copyright.

Re:detect copyrighted works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9964036)

nope. because of the exponential growth of population, most people who _ever_ lived are alive today. It stands to reason that most works created are also very recent.

Re:detect copyrighted works? (1)

pclminion (145572) | about 10 years ago | (#9964118)

This assumes the proportion of people alive who create "stuff" remains the same over time. There are more people now, but are there more artists now? Everything that has ever been written or drawn by anyone does not necessarily represent a "work" I am interested in.

I think most of the works we're talking about here are artistic in nature, and I don't see that the rate of production of art has changed greatly as the population has exploded...

Re:detect copyrighted works? (1)

kfg (145172) | about 10 years ago | (#9964048)

.... what then, would be able to be sent, besides GPL stuff?

Do you mean what would able to be sent for free? The primary point of this thing being to levy charges.

Well, obviously anything in the public domain or with a license that allows free distribution, such as GPL stuff. Of course there's no particular reason to use this system unless you expect to levy a charge.

Bear in mind that current copyright law is being interpreted in a stricter and stricter fashion. Your copy of a public domain work often carries a copyright, yours. You go to the Louvre and take a picture of the Mona Lisa, the Mona Lisa may well be in the public domain, but your picture is your intellectual property. Make a recording of Beethoven's Ninth, the symphony remains in the public domain, but the recording remains your property. All well and good, and most people would at least vaguely agree with those. But what happens when you copy a work of public domain literature? Did you copy the original, or a copy of the original? Your work may well be explicitly in the public domain, and yet still violate the copyright of the copy you copied from. Project Gutenberg spends money on lawyers and contributors to the project have actually made a fuss about the idea that people are "stealing" their labor when they copy the works.

What we really need is an analog to this system in order to protect the very concept of the public domain. A p2p network containing public domain copies of public domain works.

Otherwise the public domain will entirely disappear in practice.

KFG

Re:copyrighted works? (1)

Zooka (457908) | about 10 years ago | (#9964062)

copyrighted works -
(real world definition:) Works owned by entities with lawyers . . .

Idiotic (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963841)

I thought one of the main purposes of P2P was that it is decentralized. A supercomputer cluster is hardly decentralized.

Also, how will it "detect" copyrighted works? I can just zip up my favorite illegal MP3s and give them a name like "good.zip" and it would have to be manually flagged as "bad".

Re:Idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963929)

I think what society needs, is the oxymoronic concept of a "distributed cluster." Oh wait, is that what Akamai is?

Re:Idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963975)

Per your second problem: if I was administrating this thing, I would SHA1-checksum authorized content and forbid trade of any file that isn't in the authorized list.

Whether or not it would be an acceptable solution for them to accept user-submitted SHA1 checksums and disallow pirated content upon receipt of a DMCA takedown notice I couldn't say. If so that would be a tidy solution, but would put undue pressure on copyright holders to vet the system themselves for illicit content. More than likely the best solution is to have a team of volunteers handle the process and moderate everything that is entered into the system.

Having a supercomputer seeding a BitTorrent-style P2P network would be helpful -- guaranteeing you can get what you want from the system even if nobody else is interested in what you're fetching while taking advantage of shared bandwidth when it is available.

Re:Idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9964010)

OK, well what about AFTER I DOWNLOAD the media and decide to upload it to FastTrack or Gnutella?

Surely there will be programs to strip out the crummy watermark. Or else maybe the whole thing will only be available on PALLADIUM, thus bypassing any possibility this system will be used in the "real world".

LOVE the pictures on the fourth page (5, Funny)

ScytheBlade1 (772156) | about 10 years ago | (#9963864)

http://www.bitmunk.com/images/tutorial/payment.png [bitmunk.com] <-- That sums if all up right there.

Note the /. geek [slashdot.org] in the bottom right-corner, left out. =(

Questions about this illustration... (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 10 years ago | (#9963925)

So, I guess the slackjawed guy in the hoodie that needs to pull up his pants that is in the "no" circle would be the consumer, and the guy with the waxed mustache and jail stripes must represent the RIAA, as they are only receiving a big fat bag of cash, and not putting anything else in.

Yup. That's a pretty accurate representation of this system.

Re:LOVE the pictures on the fourth page (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963950)

Why would a poser weasle(?) be giving money to a french prison paiter for a locksmithing service? And why is the unaskater angry at being left out of something no one would want any part of?

Re:LOVE the pictures on the fourth page (1)

swiftstream (782211) | about 10 years ago | (#9963953)

Yes... for a moment there I through the artist guy in the lower left was a criminal of some sort. You know, striped jail suit, hiding his eyes...

Money to the Mafia!

Re:LOVE the pictures on the fourth page (1)

Mateito (746185) | about 10 years ago | (#9963965)

Why are they giving money to the french?

Re:LOVE the pictures on the fourth page (1)

Anonymous Writer (746272) | about 10 years ago | (#9964093)

Because the French tax electronics [tomshardware.com] for artists' royalties.

The truth comes out (1)

osobear (761394) | about 10 years ago | (#9963882)

Now we know who the secret customer of the petabox [slashdot.org] really was!

It is an interesting idea, but... (4, Insightful)

r.jimenezz (737542) | about 10 years ago | (#9963900)

You have to give it that. Personally I think this is what the music industry should have done a long time ago.

However, in addition to technical and scale issues mentioned elsewhere, I can see some points of controversy:

  • Associating a digital certificate with a real life identity. How are they going to check this? Also raises a lot of privacy issues and so on
  • Micro-payments. Remains to be seen whether that's going to work. Will it use a credit card? A custom system? Has Bitmunk got enough of a name for people to trust them?
  • Minimum price. One has to assume that the system won't allow transactions where the artist's (and Bitmunk's!) share is not covered...

Hmm... Come think of it, there's something fishy here. Let's say I download the song and I get to play it as much as I want. Let's assume I can't share it over non-protected P2P, but hey, I can sell it again when I no longer want to listen to it (as if there's no way to copy to another, unencumbered format, but bear with me...) Why on earth should the artist get a piece of it every time the same copy is sold? I understand they are trying to appease to RIAA & Co with this but this is not fair. It's not like they get a dime if I re-sell my CDs.

Furthermore, it may well be that the label claims copyright over the songs, thus keeping any proceeds from methods like this and not really helping the artist.

Very interesting - I would really like to see it or some equivalent take off, but until then I'll wait with plenty of healthy skepticism.

Re:It is an interesting idea, but... (1)

James Turpin (789479) | about 10 years ago | (#9964016)

You could just invest in some cost-effective disk storage, dump all the copy-righted digital media to one device, and then re-sell the original CD's and DVD's. Sure, you won't be able to play anything anymore with a CD/DVD player, but now you can just play it from your computer, and you don't have to worry about scratching disks.

But it costs too much to buy new stuff and then sell it used, you say? Well then, buy it used and sell it used! Then you just pay shipping, on average, if that. (If you are just going for volume rather than specific content, buy it at garage sales, estate sales, etc, then sell it online.)

Not that I would ever do something like that. I'm just saying, P2P is NOT the only way to do piracy. The fact is, media piracy has a very long history.

Well, sounds nice but... (4, Insightful)

Colonel Sponsz (768423) | about 10 years ago | (#9963904)

I would rather like to see every public domain human creation in existence that can be expressed by a digital medium to be archived. A Project Gutenberg so to speak, but for not just books but also images, audio and video as well. For example, there are veritable treasure troves of old films just lying around degrading and collecting dust in television archives around the world but even if they were all digitized (as is being done with some extra valuable movies in danger of degrading to unusability) I doubt we would see them offered for free to the general public. The bandwidth costs would just be too big for any company/state television attempting it. A distributed P2P system however would be ideal for this.

In the meantime, there are a few sites attempting it on a smaller scale - the Prelinger Archives over on archive.org [archive.org] are definitely worth a look for anyone interested in old American war, educational and propaganda films for example (like the (in)famous "Duck & Cover" movie)...

Re:Well, sounds nice but... (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 10 years ago | (#9963984)

This would be a free as in speech versus free as in beer issue. You would be free to redistribute public domain works from such a massive online catalog of things, but you would probably have to pay a per download fee or a monthly fee or something for access to such a resource.

I've bought quite a few public domain movies on DVD. They cost me $5 each. That's to cover the dvd, printing and distribution costs. Which seems fair to me. What I'm interested in is that I can now make a copy of the films on these DVDs and give them away, or cut and paste them into video art projects.

Hehe (2, Funny)

Lisandro (799651) | about 10 years ago | (#9963922)

Guess which P2P no one will be using? ;)

had to be done.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963936)

1. Release stupid whitepaper on what COULD be done.
2. Stroke the egos of RIAA & MPAA
3. ????????
$. Profit!!!!!!!

Just a giant sales organization ? (1)

hurfy (735314) | about 10 years ago | (#9963948)

But it offloads the some or all of the actual downloading with the ability to compensate download source. That sound close? If i buy some shareware stuff currently they send me to one of several places to download it. I assume those places get compensated someway currently. Same idea but i could be one of those places i guess. Just a plan/hope to scale it through the roof. Sounds like i could decide how much i want to be compensated? Too much to read too late in the day too this late in the week ;) Didnt get to the part of how they apply watermark and what guarentees a legit file. If that worked a single source would be convenient. Unless of course it costs the same as picking it up next time i am at Walmart, which seems to be the desire of the ??AA types however. HOW DO I MAKE PARAGRAPHS HERE????

sounds like project xanadu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9963968)

.... and that didn't work out too well....

http://xanadu.com/

http://www.iath.virginia.edu/elab/hfl0155.html

Solution in search of problem? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about 10 years ago | (#9963991)

If you wanna sell stuff, the web is an awefully good way to do it, and I don't hear many people complaining about it.

The only people I can think of that might want to use this, are people who are selling huge amounts of data, but really, really cheap. It has to be a huge amount so that they would want to bother using p2p (to shift expense to someone else), but so cheap that they're not making enough money to be able to afford web hosting. Is there anyone whose business is like that?

And then there's the usual problem: if you're charging people for something, then what is your customers' incentive to stay on the p2p network to help distribute it to other customers? Are you gonna give 'em a rebate or something? Maybe, but remember: this whole thing is for people who are too dirt poor to be able to afford web hosting.

Something doesn't add up. Who is this for? It sure as hell ain't the RIAA/MPAA members.

"P2P whitepaper" indeed (3, Insightful)

k98sven (324383) | about 10 years ago | (#9963992)

First: This ain't a whitepaper - it's a sales pitch.

Second: How is this P2P when there's a big centralized "Authorization service" in the middle?

And guess who is supposedly running that service? Why the paper's authors..

Cazart! (1)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | about 10 years ago | (#9963995)

What happens when it becomes self-aware?

Re:Cazart! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9964101)

What happens when it becomes self-aware?

Huh? It takes over the world and tries to destroy all human life of course. What would you do if you became self aware?

What about the public domain? (4, Insightful)

MenTaLguY (5483) | about 10 years ago | (#9964004)

So, what about public domain works? They have no copyright to sign them, and it is impossible to sign and register them all -- can they not be distributed by such a system?

If not, then it will create a situation in which only works approved (directly or indirectly) by a cenralized signing authority can be distributed. Bad if such systems become legally mandated.

On the other hand, if unsigned PD works can be distributed, then there's not much point -- you can (via analog holes if nothing else) strip the signature from a copyrighted work and distribute it that way. So there wouldn't be much point.

With a few exceptions... (1)

gnu-sucks (561404) | about 10 years ago | (#9964005)

The whitepaper goes on to state that the long-term goal of this system is to catalog every human creation in existence that can be expressed by a digital medium.

Umm, yeah, except those which are copyrighted.

Flawed: Wont work. (2, Insightful)

billsf (34378) | about 10 years ago | (#9964024)

What's the point of this? First, its not true P2P if a central server is involved. It has been proven that no watermark system can work no matter how much funding is pumped in. It has also been shown that any watermark can be detected and stripped out, even if it is encrypted, due to the nature of how watermarks actually work. All DRM will fail in the end as will DMCA and any other laws trying to protect it. Forget it.

Most people will pay for something they really want anyways. Most 'pirated' matterial is ditched. There are cryptographic methods to make micro-payments that don't require a 'bank'. This whole method may look clever to some, but absolutely __nothing__ is new! Don't forget the rule is "try before you buy". This is a general principle of copyright law (fair use) and its not likely to change anytime soon. Internet is 'airplay', 'airplay' is good advertising. When did that change?

ahahahahaahhaa (0, Offtopic)

t_allardyce (48447) | about 10 years ago | (#9964040)

ahahahaahahahahahha OH hahaahahhhahaaaha please!! ahahahaha i cant hahaha air hahahahahahahahah need air! ahhahaha ROFL ROFL ROFL hahahahahahahahahahahahhaa.

Wrong direction... (1)

DroopyStonx (683090) | about 10 years ago | (#9964041)

How about anonymous P2P instead?

Fluff, but the supporting links are interesting... (1)

Politicus (704035) | about 10 years ago | (#9964098)

State AG's are quoted in the article on p2p.net as saying:
(P2P) software 'has too many times been hijacked by those who use it for illegal purposes to which the vast majority of our consumers do not wish to be exposed.'
Do the same AG's also have legistlation pending against firearm manufacturers because that right is thinly protected by the second amendment while p2p could claim the protection of both the first and fourth.
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