Tag Archives: p2p

Signs of Progress on the Internet Blacklist Bills

Looks like proponents of the Internet Blacklist Bills are finally beginning to realize that they won’t be able to ram through massive, job-killing legislation without a fight. First, Sen. Patrick Leahy, sponsor of the PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA), announced on Thursday that he would recommend that the Senate further study the dangerous DNS blocking provisions in that bill before implementation. Then, a group of six influential senators wrote to Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, urging that the Senate slow down and postpone the upcoming vote on PIPA. Sen. Ben Cardin, a co-sponsor of PIPA, also took a measured stance against the bill, saying he “would not vote for final passage of PIPA, as currently written.” Cardin cited consituent activism as the primary reason for the about-face.

On the House side, Rep. Lamar Smith, sponsor of PIPA’s dangerous counterpart, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), announced today that he would completely remove the DNS blocking provision from the House bill.

It’s heartening to see Congress take steps in the right direction, and it wouldn’t have happened without the work and commitment of the many internet communities who have rallied to fight these dangerous bills. We should be proud of the progress we’ve made. 

Small steps, but good ones.

BitTorrent and Netflix Dominate America’s Internet Traffic via @TorrentFreak

New data published by the Canadian broadband management company Sandvine reveals that on the average day Netflix and BitTorrent are responsible for 40 percent of all Internet traffic in North America. During peak hours Netflix accounts for a third of all download traffic, while BitTorrent is credited for nearly half of all upload traffic during the busiest time of the day.
Netflix is by far the most bandwidth-consuming source of traffic. On an average day, 23.3% of all North American traffic comes from or goes to Netflix. BitTorrent is a good second with 16.5% of the traffic pie, meaning that Netflix and BitTorrent together account for almost 40% of all traffic.

The most surprising – yet obvious – aspect of this data is the HUGE discrepancy between the upstream and downstream data. While the authors say Netflix and BitTorrent dominate the traffic, it’s really only BitTorrent boosting up the upstream numbers (that is, the amount of data you send to the internet, as opposed to the amount you download from it). The gap is so huge, it seems that would present an easy way to target torrenters – simply by closely monitoring the upload rates, especially during the night.

Of course, even if something like that were instituted, torrenters wuold simply design a new technology to circumvent it. If there’s one thing this data proves, it’s that pirating and sharing isn’t going anywhere, despite the mutli-billion-dollar industry that’s engaged in a constant arms race with it’s own customers.

Digital Monopolies A Bigger Threat Than Piracy, Says Miramax CEO

Miramax CEO Mike Lang and Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos gave a keynote talk at the MIPCOM conference. The two discussed the challenges they face in the continuously changing digital world. Both agreed that piracy is not much of an issue as long as you give consumers what they want. Digital monopolies, such as Apple’s dominance in the music industry, are a far bigger threat.

It’s the classic power struggle between goliaths: they start to see their users as liabilities, and accordingly treat them with disrespect. Then another competitor comes along to gobble them up, in the opportunity void they created. Maybe the solution is to treat your customers like people, and cater to what they want?

Fox’s 8-Day Delay on Hulu Triggers Piracy Surge

It’s been a week since Fox stopped offering free access to its TV-shows the day after they air on television. The TV-studio took this drastic step in the hope of getting more people to watch their shows live and thus make more revenue. TV-viewers, however, are outraged by the decision and have massively turned to pirated sources to watch their favorite shows.

foxOne of the main motivations for people to download and stream TV-shows from unauthorized sources is availability. If fans can’t get a show through legal channels they turn to pirated alternatives.

This is one of the reasons why Hulu drastically decreased TV-show piracy in the U.S. Viewers are happy with the legal streaming option it offers them, but not all studios see that as a success.

Starting last Monday, Fox began delaying the availability of new episodes on Hulu and Fox.com for 8 days. The decision goes directly against the wishes of the public but Fox will take this disappointment as collateral damage in the hope that the delay will result in more live viewers and better deals with cable and satellite distributors.

When the plan was first announced last month we predicted that it could lead to a significant boost in online piracy of Fox shows, and this does indeed turn out to be the case.

Paramount Pictures, BitTorrent team up to distribute feature film [Engadget]

One scheme that recently piqued our interest was concocted by the folks at Distracted Media. The Australian company is crowdsourcing its latest production, The Tunnel (not to be confused with Chunnel: 32 Miles of Danger) by selling individual frames for a buck a pop. Of course, “owning” a frame gives you nothing more than the opportunity to say that you helped an indie filmmaker out, but it’s a worthwhile cause. And at 135,000 frames that’s a lot of dollars! When the film is done, it will be distributed via BitTorrent for free — alongside an actual DVD release by Paramount Pictures which, when you think about how reluctant Hollywood has been to embrace the internet, is pretty wild.

I wonder if Paramount will be prosecuting and selling to their customers simultaneously?

Prediction: the ‘frames’ are a ruse to get you to hand over your name for a p2p watch list.