Peer-to-Peer Pressure

  |  January 9, 2001   |  Comments

With the peer-to-peer movement being driven underground, it's no longer a place for kids or naove users. Just say no to fear and loathing.

Napster proved that broadband requires new business models that both consumers and content providers can live with.

Over the weekend, I decided to test my thesis by checking out the anarchic alternative -- a host of Gnutella clones now coming to market -- and the efforts of industry and government to squelch them.

Going in, I thought that the technology would have a hard time. Most people are ethical. They don't want to cheat anyone. Most people don't want to put their freedom at risk for a song, either.

And right now the peer-to-peer movement is marked by fear and loathing.

But first, the good news.

A host of Gnutella replacements is out there. Some have Gnutella-like names, such as Gnotella, Gnucleus, and Newtella. Others are building their own brands, such as BearShare, FURI, and LimeWire. There are clients specifically for the Macintosh, such as Mactella, clients for Linux, such as gnut, and clients written in Java (FURI and LimeWire are of this type).

I loaded several of these clients and enjoyed BearShare the most. It's fun seeing where the hosts are, and I even learned what the Estonian flag looks like. The program also has a "monitor" function so you can see what people are searching for as they enter their search terms.

The peer-to-peer movement also has several excellent news sites with access to programs, including Marc Molinaro's Gnutella News and Chris Hedgecock's Zeropaid. Gnutella News tends to boost the Gnutella concept pretty hard, while Zeropaid is a big fan of Vincent Falco's BearShare.

Zeropaid's BearShare connection is currently paying off in a number of newsbreaks that show the dark and fearful side of the technology. Through this link, Zeropaid reported on how most versions of Windows cripple file sharing and how ISPs that use their own software for dial-up networking cripple peer-to-peer. Zeropaid also reported on Copyright.Net, which is designed to spot copyright violations as they happen and get Gnutella users kicked off their ISPs before they can get offline.

As I said, I tried several of these programs, and the pressure has changed a lot about how peer-to-peer works. Refused and timed-out connections are now common. Most nodes on the network during the weekend seem to be modems. As many as one-third of the searchers monitored by BearShare are for pornographic images or film clips, not music. And I still can't get an MP3 version of the "Iron Chef" theme.

I drew several conclusions from all my testing. When technology is driven underground, everyone has to watch his or her back. Peer-to-peer is no longer a place for kids or naove users. For now the music industry has succeeded in its goal of putting this genie back in the bottle.

But in doing so, the industry has also put the Internet's development on hold. The recorded music industry remains healthy, despite reports to the contrary. Its growth seems driven more by megahits and teens (the audience least likely to use peer-to-peer) than ever before.

In other words, there's little reason for the industry to change. And the problem doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon.

ClickZ Live New York What's New for 2015?
You spoke, we listened! ClickZ Live New York (Mar 30-Apr 1) is back with a brand new streamlined agenda. Don't miss the latest digital marketing tips, tricks and tools that will make you re-think your strategy and revolutionize your marketing campaigns. Super Saver Rates are available now. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dana Blankenhorn

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business reporter for more than 20 years. He has written parts of five books and currently contributes to Advertising Age, Business Marketing, NetMarketing, the Chicago Tribune, Boardwatch, CLEC Magazine, and other publications. His own newsletter, A-Clue.Com, is published weekly.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

UPCOMING TRAINING

Featured White Papers

Google My Business Listings Demystified

Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.

WEBINARS

    Information currently unavailable

Jobs

    • Lead Generation Specialist
      Lead Generation Specialist (The Oxford Club) - BaltimoreThe Oxford Club is seeking a talented writer/marketer to join our growing email lead-generation...
    • Health Marketing Editor
      Health Marketing Editor (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreCome flex your intellectual muscle as part of Agora, Inc’s (http://agora-inc.com/) legal team...
    • Technical Business Analyst
      Technical Business Analyst (OmniVista Health) - BaltimoreOmniVista Health is looking to add a Technical Business Analyst to our expanding team...