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Peer to Peer Ponderings

Written by Gordon Fecyk, 6/12/2005

Why are you using a peer to peer client to share? Personally, I don't care, as long as you're using it safely.

But the irony and absurdity of peer to peer is begging for commentary!

[Listen to MP3 Audio] WRITING A REVIEW OF PEER TO PEER SOFTWARE almost feels like writing a review of handguns. You know what these things are going to be used for, yet, you don't want to insult your readers or their opponents.

Yet, I took a few liberties with my Peer to Peer Roundup. I fully expect to get bashed for it. So what? It's the truth. We have older, more mature technologies to foster democratic information sharing, such as the World Wide Web, File Transfer Protocol, and Usenet, even if these technologies force some measure of accountability on the sharers.

Why are you using a peer to peer client to share? Personally, I don't care, as long as you're using it safely. But the irony and absurdity of peer to peer is begging for commentary!

So, if you didn't like my snide remarks during that review, well, you better close your browser right now. Because I'm going to lay into everyone.

  • Free Peers, Incorporated asks for $39.48 a year for an ad-free subscription to their software. They certainly don't mean, "Free as in Beer."

  • For all of The GNU Project's philosophy of Security by Disclosure and Safety by Peer Review, their designers don't seem to care about safe computing. At least, not for Windows. Maybe they hold a grudge? Nah.

  • Peer to peer users portray The Recording Industry Ass. of America as, "a model corporation for greed [and] corruption." These people need to take a long, hard look at their benefactors.

  • Given the spyware and advertising in peer to peer software, the RIAA seems to have more in common with peer to peer vendors than they're prepared to admit. Is that why they're so upset?

  • Can spyware work with safe computing? Altnet's P2P Networking software ran flawlessly when KaZaA didn't! Should I write a spyware roundup?

  • Who names these products? "Bearshare." "Phex." "KaZaA." If illicit use is the biggest selling point, who cares if it has a fancy name? Did American whiskey vendors in the 1920s need fancy names for their products?

  • "Using this product may be hazardous to your health." Why are peer to peer vendors pasting the equivelant of health warnings on their home pages? Has the "surgeon-general of the Internet" mandated this?

  • Speaking of the 1920s, United States officials claimed Canada was the "sinkhole of North America" after Quebec lifted its prohibition laws. The RIAA blames Canada today with similar reasoning.

  • I'm going to share my commentary MP3s on the Gnutella network. I'm sure this will draw many philosophical questions, such as:

    Am I a criminal for sharing material that I own the copyright for? Or for choosing this kind of tool for the job?
    Will my commentary MP3s be blocked by the Gnutella network or other peer to peer networks because of my opinions?

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