Michael Gurstein on Thu, 28 Nov 2002 12:01:38 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> FW: [news] Fight against Internet file-swapping called hopeless

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-news@canarie.ca [mailto:owner-news@canarie.ca]On Behalf Of
Sent: November 27, 2002 2:51 PM
Subject: [news] Fight against Internet file-swapping called hopeless

For more information on this item please visit the CANARIE CA*net 3 Optical
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[The hopeless battle against file swapping suggests that researchers should
explore new network models and architectures.   The current approach to rate
limit or cap download limits only antagonizes the users and/or customers.
Rather than designing networks to fight the evils of file sharing, perhaps a
strategy of "if you can't fight them, join them" would allow researchers to
explore building networks that enhance and increase the benefits of peer to
peer networking and file sharing. Customer owned networks, self organizing
optical and wireless networks, peer to peer optical network, ad hoc Internet
exchanges, etc are some possibilities - BSA]

Four Microsoft researchers (speaking only for themselves) have told an ACM
workshop that the attempt to stop people from using digital file-swapping
services is entirely futile; they believe that the technology is moving too
fast to be stopped, and explain that previous services (such as Napster)
could be forced out of business only because relatively few people provided
most of the material. In contrast, the newer services such as Kazaa are
attracting too many contributors to keep a rein on. The researchers (Peter
Biddle, Paul England, Marcus Peinado, and Bryan Willman) argue that the
only way the music and video industries can compete with Kazaa and similar
services is to make music and video products much less expensive and much
easier to obtain. (BBC 27 Nov 2002)

As colleges and universities across the country take steps to rein in
rampant unauthorized file downloading, students are ignoring policy changes
that discourage such activities and are becoming more adept at
circumventing technology blockades. "If you don't know how to do it, other
people will just tell you," says one student. "There's not much they can do
to stop you." And while university administrators are moving to placate
entertainment companies complaining of student abuses, there's a pragmatic
motivation at work as well -- a large portion of most universities'
bandwidth is being devoured by students' insatiable demand for online
entertainment. Schools have closed off file-trading portals such as Kazaa,
but the newest version of the Kazaa software includes a "port-hopping"
feature that automatically seeks out open ports for its downloading
activities. "It's an ongoing battle," says one network administrator. "It's
an administrative nightmare trying to keep up." Meanwhile, schools appear
conflicted in their quest for more ethical behavior among their students.
"The biggest problems that universities are having is they have not openly
decided whether their primary responsibility in this regard is law
enforcement or education," says Virginia Rezmierski, who teaches in the
University of Michigan's School of Information and recently surveyed
universities on their monitoring practices. "Right now they're doing more
monitoring than education." (New York Times 27 Nov 2002)


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those  of the CANARIE board or management.

Bill St. Arnaud
Senior Director Network Projects

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