Recent efforts to cut down on file sharing by the likes of the MPAA ( Motion Picture Association of Amerikka), seem almost in denial of the continuing improvements and reductions in cost for storage space, bandwidth and digital devices. Despite what mainstream news reports would have you believe, file-sharing is only getting easier and more decentralised. And so, a few links for those who’d prefer to embrace rather than deny, convenient and novel distribution of media.
Suprnova Take II
www.suprnova.org was famous for hosting a catalogue of Bit Torrent ‘seeds’ in Slovenia by a very young computer-head named Sloncek. If that sounds a bit too Lord of The Rings for you – what it means is that, suprnova was a very popular site, where users of the file sharing software Bit Torrent went to for downloading ‘seeds’ of various movie, music or software files. Seeds are generally only 20k or so in size, but once opened in Bit Torrent allow the user to begin downloading that file from all the Bit Torrent users who have that seed and file, meaning fast downloads and a shared burden of bandwidth across many users. Suprnova became one of the more popular of dozens of such sites, but like most, went down in December when the MPAA sent out nasty legal threatening letters. Many are already back however, and Suprnova’s response has been to release a new file-sharing application ‘Exeem’ which decentralises these processes even further, thereby preventing further legal attacks. Or in network speak – they’ve removed a centralised point of weakness.
This has an interesting approach to file-sharing, actually paying *you* to share music. It’s an unusual model, but represents the sort of attempts to embrace file-sharing/distribution that big media distributors should be considering. It works by offering you any ‘weed’ file for free to download and play 3 times with your weed software. If you like any and decide to buy them, you can then burn and share these weed files as much as you like – though the receivers of them can only play 3 times presumably, meaning like most good pyramid schemes, artists should receive good payback eventually.
Mark Pesce On File_Sharing
Mark, the hulky Californian who invented VRML ( 3D virtual reality on the web back in the mid-nineties ) and has a whole range of unusual projects and writings under his belt ( see www.hyperreal.org/~mpesce and www.playfulworld.com) is currently in Australia working at the AFRTS ( AusFilmRadioTVSchool) and writing a book about how the inevitabilities of Peer To Peer based distribution and how they will ‘spell the death of mainstream media as we know it’. A recent article of his is getting linked all over the place, and well worth a read for those curious in distribution, as his argument nails colorfully how Bit Torrent works and how the MPAA and bigbiz media have made major strategic errors in forcing file-sharing to become even more decentralised.
Bit Torrent keeps popping up for good reason – it’s very effective. ( read and download: http://bitconjurer.org/BitTorrent ) Combine this with the automated software publishing momentum of the ‘blog-world’ and *that* is a recipe for ‘out of control’. Or as they say :
“Fresh Torrents from Millions of Blogs. Stop Reading and Start Downloading.”
Creative Commons ( maybe you’ve noticed their logos starting to appear all over websites?) is both an organisation and a new type of copyright licensing which allow a diverse range of licences to be attached to your writing, music or art online. Your work can be freely shared, or be shared with an allowance for sampling of any kind, or for non-profit sampling or use only. Wired magazine recently released a creative commons cover CD featuring the Beastie Boys, Chuck D and many others on it with tracks being left open for sampling. The CC kids have also though completed building a publisher application which delivers a drag and drop process for uploading audio and video files to the Internet Archive ( a stupendous resource of free music, video and storage~! ) There’s also an Australian branch in the works, tackling copyright legalities specific to oz. ( Lose the /worldwide/au/ in the URL to explore Publisher and other CC offerings. )
And a One-Stop-P2P News Shop? www.slyck.com