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Delving into the Commercial P2P World

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the isp's-take-a-while-to-figure-anything-out dept.


Anonymous Coward writes "PBS has an interesting look at the emerging commercialized P2P networks brought to light by Cringely. With the news of Sky's default bundling of commercial P2P applications in its broadband software, many users seemed to be against the idea of getting nothing from providing Sky with their upstream bandwidth for free. Meanwhile, PeerImpact, seems to be rewarding users for their P2P system through PeerCash, and GridNetworks is building an system called PeerReward."

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stupid lameness filter... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14850419)

Anonymous Coward writes "PBS has an interesting look at the emerging commercialized P2P networks brought to light by Cringley. With the news of Sky's default bundling of commercial P2P applications in it's broadband software, many users seemed to be against the idea of getting nothing from providing Sky with their upstream bandwidth for free. Meanwhile, PeerImpact, seems to be rewarding users for their P2P system through PeerCash, and GridNetworks is building an system called PeerReward."

Not a bad idea (5, Interesting)

grapeape (137008) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850433)

Commecial P2P to me never made sense, I was supposed to pay for the song then give my bandwidth so others could pay someone else for the same song. At least they are trying, and now I know if I share there is something I am getting back.

Re:Not a bad idea (3, Insightful)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850474)

How long until this becomes like a pyrimid scheme where everyone is spamming their money earning links and no one earns anything as they are all bored of them.

Re:Not a bad idea (1, Interesting)

grapeape (137008) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850495)

If it's done properly spamming wouldnt be useful. Its likely that the songs titles and tags would be standardized so sharing would be mostly anonymous. If its not an authorized share it simply wouldnt be sharable. I can see it being kind of like people with solar panels selling electricity back to the electric company, if you generate more than you use, you get compensated.

Re:Not a bad idea (5, Funny)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850499)

By my clock, it was Saturday March 04, @ 12:42PM.

Re:Not a bad idea (2, Interesting)

dotslasher_sri (762515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850711)

I guess it would make more sense if we play less because we are sharing our bandwidth thereby help bring down the distrubution cost.

One more way is the create your own internet television using platforms like [] where the user doesnt have to pay anything to view and one could make money based on advertisements. The cost of distrubtion woulld be low because the users are sharing their bandwidth.

Re:Not a bad idea (1)

Elastri (911062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850774)

This could work in a very similar way to how the student housing co-operative I live at works. By having people work together to shoulder the effort of cleaning (uploading) we can, at least in theory, not have to hire a professional cleaning staff (reduce the provider's bandwidth usage) and have the hiring cost (bandwidth cost) passed back along to us, resulting in cheaper rent (download costs). I'm not sure how much of the cost you could actually save from sharing, though.

The same question that comes up here is the one that potential users of commercial P2P will have to deal with: is the savings in cost worth the bandwidth you are sacrificing? My upload bandwidth, to a point, is nearly worthless to me. I'd either not care, or only do it if there was a significant (say, 15-20%) drop in the overall cost.

The benefit is priority and speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14854682)

In case nobody has noticed, places like IFilms and even ESPN are already using commercial P2P to deliver their media. The benefit they provide is priority (those with the client get access to better media, e.g. larger videos/higher bitrates), and then there is a really large increase in speed for popular content. IFilms [] is using an integrated client from RedSwoosh.Net [] . Might read up on them a bit. I haven't had a chance to verify their performance gains (after all, most benefits are based on popularity, the more people use it the quicker it gets), but even if it is half of the "up to 3x" gains, that is a really significant boost. Oh, and the other thing you get is no more slashdotting, farking, or diggeffect. I would think readers here would particularly like to see that benefit.

Steam? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14850470)

Is Valve's Steam P2P? I recall hearing that they hired the guy that developed Bittorrent.

Re:Steam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14850550)

Is Valve's Steam P2P?

No, but thanks for coming out!

Re:Steam? (2, Informative)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850831)

That guy would be Bram Cohen. And quoting from Wikipedia:

"In late 2003, Cohen was hired by Valve Software to work on Steam, their digital distribution system introduced for Half-Life 2. However, by early 2005 he was no longer at Valve, and his primary source of income once again became donations from BitTorrent users."

( [] ) So yes, they did hire him, but he's not working there anymore, and Steam isn't P2P from what I know, either (and certainly, one cannot assume that it is just because Bram worked on it, anyway).

Re:Steam? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850855)

It's definately not. With as many players on worldwide simultaneously as they have, downloads would be considerably faster.

Re:Steam? (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852585)

If you tell it you're on a LAN/T1 connection then it will saturate your connection. Just discovered that the other day.

Death to all Muslims (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14850485)

Allah is a cunt. Palestine belongs to Israel. Death to all Muslims, and all Muslim-sympathizers.

Re:------ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14850518)

You're just jealous.

Re:Death to all Muslims (1)

StanVassilevTroll (956384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14853255)

religious topics aside, fuck you in your loose asshole, killall your offspring, kill your wife and parents, decapetate your parents, oh, and, especially fuck whatever god you believe in up his fucking ass. you're clearly religious, and, seriously, just how much of a fucking retard do you have to be to believe in a god? man, I don't even feel sorry for you. Reply with your address, and then I'll come over and slowly slice into pieces everyone you know while you watch. then I'll stuff you in a metal box alive and ship you on a tour to the fat island. you'll chill in receiving untill I get enough people there to sink the fucking thing. fat people should die. so should you. I'll kill you. I'll seriously fucking kill you and everyone you know. just send me your address. I know you'll be waiting. but I'll kill you anywise. Just give your location. I really will kill you. Slowly. Cut you to pieces and make your kids eat you. I'll tell them I'll slice their ears off if they don't. But then I'll kill them anywise.
Think I'm kidding or trying to be funny? Find out. Just let me know wtf you are. Please. Because, I am kidding. Just let me know where you are, so I can tell you in person.

Cash, Reward, Save (4, Insightful)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850493)

When I see anything "bundled" with the words Cash, Reward, or Save, the little SCAM bells go off in my head.

It's officially over for Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850646)

I've got karma to burn. It's officially over for Slashdot--Digg's new comment system [] is released. That's right, CmdrTaco has been promising a new comment system on Slashdot for years, and Digg has updated theirs in less than a year. I suggest we all go over there and start a whole new tech community.

Enjoy an AJAX threaded comment system with real-time ratings, in-place editing, friend flags, and more. What has Slashdot got? Why, they just got around to adding "tagging" for subscribers. Utterly lame. Slashcode is the biggest piece of abandonware on the net.

Re:It's officially over for Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14850770)

I don't like the captcha thing that I must have typed wrong and didn't know it. It made me wait and didn't explain what a "captcha" was so I didn't know why I couldn't post my comment. Everything is also too tiny over there at Digg. The time delay to allow editing is a cool idea though.

Re:It's officially over for Slashdot (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14850782)

The difference is that slashdot has professional paid editors who put in the time and effort to correct grammar and spelling mistakes, and edit the story for clarity and accuracy. In addition, they studiously check that the story has been already posted so dupes are removed.

Commercial P2P is a logical fallacy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14850520)

Just as the subject says: Commercial P2P is a logical fallacy. If you search for the cache of a former company on Google [] , you'll see what I mean. Remember all the hype over the eight dozen or so P2P companies who promised a "legitimate" framework? Heck, Napster (the one you see commercials for) promised that, but they later crumbled under the pressure of figuring out how to make the darn thing work. They later became an iTunes clone -- and now they're going out of business.

Of course there are people who will explain how Digital Rights Management is the wave of the future? Consider how Linux has subpar symmetric multiprocessing support; my BSD machines can maintain a much higher uptime than their Linux counterparts. Not only that, but Object-Oriented Programming is a waste of time and merely displaces productivity of WORKING with the "productivity" of LEARNING, over and over and over again. Perl is also dead; PHP is the future, although OOP in PHP was DOA (speaking of which, Perl 6 was a complete failure).

Re:Commercial P2P is a logical fallacy (1)

kclittle (625128) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850622)

You didn't take your meds this morning, did you, Percy?

Re:Commercial P2P is a logical fallacy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14850873)

lol your script is broken dumbass....nice try though

commercial p2p is a commercial failure (4, Informative)

throwaway18 (521472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850536)

Metamachine, the company that made edonkey, tried a system called transmission films. They put films on the ed2k network (edonkey, emule, shareazza) in windows media format with DRM. The idea was that people would pay to watch the films.
They had a few classic horror films and other stuff.

It appears to have been a complete failure. They took the link to transmission films off the edonkey homepage in early 2005 and the site has been down every time I'v looked since then. I tried downloading one of the films a few years ago when the site was still up to see how it worked. It took about two months because nobody was resharing the DRMed files.

It seems to me that if commercial p2p downloads don't work on the ed2k network with several million users and a link from the edonkey homepage then the idea that individuals could make any money by uploading or recommending content is laughable.

People using p2p networks simply do not want to pay.

Re:commercial p2p is a commercial failure (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14850553)

People using p2p networks simply do not want to pay.

Or maybe they didn't want DRMed horror movies.

Re:commercial p2p is a commercial failure (1)

BootNinja (743040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850661)

I notice their website says that they offer their files in wmf or unencumbered mp3 format. Is this a step in the right direction?

Re:commercial p2p is a commercial failure (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850927)

Well... There is a reason that companies spend millions on advertising.

You could have the greatest product in the world and nobody would buy it if they didn't know it existed.

Maybe Metamachine's service failed because they didn't pump enough money into spreading the word.

I know /. likes to bitch about advertising dollars, but business people do it for a reason.

Re:commercial p2p is a commercial failure (2, Interesting)

Fearan (600696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850954)

This is completely true. Unless (until?) there is an incentive for users to keep their sharing programs opened, and keep providing their bandwidth, it just won't happen. Some incentives that work in the P2P community:
-Status --> This could work with companies. Somehow elevate "good" customers who share against the others.
-Feeling that you're doing something good-->I don't foresee people wanting to help companies with their bandwidth if they already paid for something
-Getting faster downloads --> only applies until you're done downloading.

I don't see how commercial P2P can work unless it bases itself on:
-Giving a solid reward ($$, free songs, etc...)
or a spyware like system that hides itself and doesn't fully make the (dumb) user aware that he's giving away something he paid for (twice now).

Re:commercial p2p is a commercial failure (1)

Sky Cry (872584) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851071)

That's because bittorrent is much better suited for this kind of stuff.

Bittorrent is better than direct download because it's easy to manage mirrors (you just set up another seeder) and bittorrent is scalable (huge popularity doesn't increase money spent on bandwidth).

Bittorrent is better than ed2k because users share *during* the download. So it doesn't matter if they decide not to share DRMed files *after* the download.

Besides, isn't World of Warcraft's patch system basically a commercial p2p? If it's used as a part of a commercial product, doesn't it qualify it as a commercial p2p?

Re:commercial p2p is a commercial failure (1)

aprilsound (412645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851643)

People using p2p networks simply do not want to pay.
I wouldn't say this is something you would recognize as p2p file sharing.
  1. All the content is determined by a single source. You can't share your own files. This is just a distibution method.
  2. The interface will be similar to the iTunes music store. You wont be primarily searching your peers, but instead the store's inventory. Once you buy, then you search for peers, but not before.
  3. People will use it (for a while) because they don't pay any more to their ISP to let the software use their idle upstream bandwidth (but just wait, you'll hear about people getting kicked for using this)
  4. They can pay you some token amount because their bandwidth bills will be much much lower. Of course, if you had to pay per MB, this would be a raw deal, but most users will be on unfettered cable modems.
So in short, to most people, it will seem like free money, some people will get hosed by their ISP, and it wont look anything like traditional p2p.

Peer Impact = Doomed (2, Insightful)

Dietrich (16248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850538)

Well, it looks as though Peer Impact is a bust. It is chock full of people trying to make money with hardly anyone using it to discover or buy new games/music/videos/software. This seems like a classic example of a really good idea that is very well implemented but can't reach critical mass.

If only they had the money to advertise heavily they'd have a shot. Also, it might help if they were more low-key about all the "Earn money!" stuff because while that brings evangelistic eyeballs it doesn't make for a community of anything more than rabid, greedy Amway-types who bitch about being poor.

They've been around for awhile now and they have a slick web forum application integration, but their forums aren't active at all beside noise like "how much money have you made?". Shame really.

To have a downloadable app that people crave you have to give people something for free. Giving the impression that a primary draw is to earn free money while half-way marketing it as an "iDownloads"-type store... not gonna work.

Hehe, it's amusing that they named their link promotion scheme "Noisemaker" links.

When did Slashdot die? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14850576)

And who killed it?

P2P Communication (1)

beasstman (462291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850614)

Several communications systems that are commercial are using P2P underneath now too. Of course Skype is (at least hybrid) P2P, and there has been lots of (early) work lately in the IETF and related groups on P2P SIP [] . Several companies are building on this technology for commercial purposes, incuding the one I work for, SIPeerior Technologies [] .

It seems that people are finally taking P2P seriously as a commercial technology, which is good. Now it remains to be seen if commercial companies will keep calling it P2P. The word, at least to me, seems like it might end up like the term "hacker". *WE* all know that it means something positive (or in the case of P2P, is a neutral technology term), but the press has negative impressions, largely from file sharing in this case. I often wonder as this stuff grows in popularity if the term will become more acceptable, or an alternate term will evolve from the marketing folks.

Commercial P2P is like... (2, Insightful)

bbzzdd (769894) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850626)

...buying a new car with the caveat you have to drive Stan, the guy at the service desk, to work every other Thursday.

p2p, capacity etc. (3, Informative)

br00tus (528477) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850631)

Cringely talks about the capacity to broadcast Desperate Housewives over the Internet, and how much bandwidth that would take. Having worked in Internet-related companies for a decade, the first thought that comes to my mind is Mbone [] - does anyone remember that? It was a technology set up to save capacity on broadcast, but from what I recall, your Cisco routers would have to allow its multicasting. And when this was requested of ISPs they would balk, saying we don't want that much broadcast over our pipes. Which of course is ironic, because people could broadcast over their pipes anyway, Mbone just existed to save them bandwidth when people did so. Anyhow, Mbone realistically died out long ago, anyone interested in this can do research into its failure to catch on. It failed due to political reasons instead of technical ones, the brighter lights of networking of the day were working on its specs.

Then of course, there's that many people have broadband lines to their home where they can pull down more than they can push up. I can upload about 4-5KB a second and still be able to browse the web, send e-mail etc. without a problem. Meanwhile, I can download at about 90KB a second. So if all my p2p transfers on say Bittorrent after the first one were tit-for-tat, I could only download at 4-5KB a second. This situation is similar for most other broadband users. Anyhow, Bittorrent already includes technology where you tend to share more with people sharing with you. With the advent of Bittorrent I stopped using the ed2k network, but many of those clients have a similar concept. And Gnutella has this with partial file sharing as well, although people mostly use Gnutella for small files. But getting back to the currently important one, Bittorrent, as I said, the applications usually have this anyhow. If that's not enough, some trackers and Bittorrent websites do counts of which of their members are good and bad in an attempt to deal with people who still manage to leech.

One mistake Cringely makes is assuming if I'm downloading, say a video of Noam Chomsky and Alan Dershowitz debating Israel, that someone else at my ISP will be wanting or sharing this same video. Sometimes I'm downloading files where only one person is sharing them and I download it all from them. If its several (often with people from Brazil, Australia, Germany etc.), still what are the odds one of the people sharing this file on this protocol will be from my ISP?

A lot of this could have been solved long ago with Mbone. But the ISPs didn't want it.

In other news... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14850650)

Linux is STILL for fags.

It will make you money... (1)

peterfa (941523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14850796)

What you do is this:
  1. Buy any popular CD with a major label on it.
  2. Rip a song.
  3. Release it via P2P.
  4. Tell the company you're fucking telling the RIAA unless they give you a whoping "STFU" check.

money (1)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851139)

trust me there are goos ways of making money, and alot of it!
from filesharing

i was recently involved in making a style system

the money earned from adverts covers the cost of dozens if servers and makes a nice profit

Commercial P2P MUST reward uploaders somehow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14851862)

P2P only works when a certain percentage of people WANT to donate their bandwidth to others.

In the case of free (or infringing) content, P2P users know that no free content would be available unless somebody donates their bandwidth. That's their sole motivation for allowing uploads.

But with non-free content, everyone knows that you'll always be able to get it straight from original source -- since your payment is used by the vendor to buy more bandwidth. Therefore, there is no natural motivation for people to donante their bandwidth to others for non-free (and non-infringing) content.

Therefore, commercial P2P MUST reward uploaders somehow -- in order to create incentive.

If commercial P2P does not somehow reward uploaders, then it simply cannot exist.

Re:Commercial P2P MUST reward uploaders somehow (1)

microbrewer (774971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851969)

this is why iMesh and the still vaporware Mashboxx are doomed they offer no incentive to the end user even though they are commercial p2p .

Re:Commercial P2P MUST reward uploaders somehow (1)

shashark (836922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14852699)

The content itself is the incentive -- what incentive do wikipedia authors have, to create and edit those million articles on a daily basis ?

You should checkout Krawler[x] - [] (windows build)

It lets users author and share original courses, books, even novels -- over the p2p networks. Think wikibooks + authoring tool + p2p. The authoring tool itself is mega-amazing -- one can tailor individual access rules/content access workflow for individual users -- like noone should see this page beyond this date or whatever...screenshots: roduct-screenshots/ []

Remember -- calling anything commericial does not make it auto-popular -- its the people who make stuff popular. I think the correct title should be "popular p2p apps.." -- rather than "commercial whatever..."

I am a Sky-by-Broadband user ... (1)

Surur (694693) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851895)

...and its pretty cool. For one, its an extra service they provide to their existing satellite TV subscribers, but at no extra cost. Something like that is almost unheard of, so I'm quite impressed. Sure it uses some of my upstream bandwidth, but if this makes it so much cheaper for Sky that they can do it without charging me a fee for movies without any adverts at all then I'm more than happy to oblige. It even works when you are off-like, so you could potentially download a few movies onto your laptop and take it for a flight.

This is definitely not a case of something for nothing, and I'm more than happy to participate. In fact, I would say this is how it should be done right. Use P2P to reduce your distribution costs, and pass that saving on to the customer. Reducing distribution costs is especially important when content is offered for free, and its interesting to note that BBC is also looking into a similar P2P system to help distribute archive video material.


Grid Networks may already be in trouble . (1)

microbrewer (774971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14851927)

Grid Netorks better pony up a large licencing fee to Peer Impact if they want to offer a incentive scheme seeing that Peer Impact's parent company holds this patent .

"Abstract of WO2005038617
Methods and computer systems for increasing the revenue stream from a work made available in digital form are provided. The methods and systems of the invention are particularly useful for musical, video, interactive game files, and artistic or commercial works that can be digitally copied and transferred or distributed, such as via the Internet. Embodiments of the present invention advantageously can form part of a greater system that provides access to digital forms of numerous works or groups of works, such as those that are copyrighted, to thereby extend the revenue-producing capabilities for the copyright holder of digital or digitized works to bona fide purchasers of those works. In turn, bona fide purchasers of a work who later provide copies of that work or other authorized works, or provide transfer or distribution bandwidth with respect to that work or other authorized works may receive incentives. Advantageously, no central warehouse of digital content is necessary with the present methods, and users may introduce authorized content into the present system in a controlled manner, through peer-to-peer systems, while realizing economic incentives for doing so. The present systems and methods also provide a myriad of embodiments of incentive and apportioning payment schedules, configurations and properties." 05038617&F=0 []

Why is it always recycled info that makes slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855119)

For the love of god. Cringely is just recycling information. This is all well known news what his saying, and for some reason, his being given credit for something which his just repeating information about, and some of it isn't even too accurate.

The guy has nothing original to say. Maybe I should start my own blog where I just repeat information about other things, and take credit for it?

well.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14864804)

the ONLY thing i can remotely think of that would work is a service that keeps files on the server for you to leech off of via p2p.
unfortunately, that would be litigation hell, with all of the p2p stuff being shared around.
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