My proposal for a Bittorrent based dowload service to compete with piracy and revolut
John Eppstein
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26th December 2010
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My proposal for a Bittorrent based dowload service to compete with piracy and revolut

...ionize the industry.

This is the short form of my idea, as presented at the SF Music Tech Summit about a month ago.



A Bittorrent based idea for legal distribution of musical content
by John Eppstein

This text outlines an idea for a Bittorrent based distribution system for legal distribution of musical content over the internet for the purpose of providing a popular, easy to use system to successfully compete with pirate music sites.

First, why Bittorrent?

The reason for a Bittorrent based distribution system is that, contrary to the currently prevailing impression in the music industry today, the Bittorrent protocol was originally intended for the commercial distribution of content and contains the necessary mechanisms for tracking the transfer of content between individual users, logging those transfers, and providing security for content tied to a specific tracker site. The tracking information could be easily used to compute royalty or licensing fees due content owners for each content file available on the network.

Most people are aware of Bittorrent only through contact with the large public pirate sites such as The Pirate Bay, which provides a somewhat skewed view of what the protocol is actually capable of, as these sites deliberately function with most or all of the security features switched off to facilitate promiscuous distribution of content to the largest possible numbers of users. However there is a lot more to the story.

There are other BT based sites that operate privately and use the security features to prevent non-members from accessing content. Used correctly these features will prevent persons who are not members of the site from accessing content tracked by the site. Other features track and log each user's activity in uploading and downloading content.

Bittorrent is presently ubiquitous on the internet and in the file sharing community. This would make adoption of a legal BT system easy for those already familiar with the protocol.

A brief overview of the Bittorrent protocol

First, some definitions of Bittorrent terminology:

TRACKER - a central site that consists of a set of interlocking databases containing data on users and content. The tracker hosts no content itself. It also logs all traffic mediated by the site and provides routing information to users. It displays a listing of all content available through the site.

TORRENTFILE, or simply "torrent" for short - a small file containing routing data and checksums pertaining to a particular piece of content. Torrents contain no content themselves; they are used by the BT client program and the tracker for routing information for content between users and contain checksum data to prevent corruption of transferred content. When a user desires a given piece of content he downloads the torrentfile from the tracker to initiate transfer.

CLIENT - the program on the user's computer that processes torrentfiles and mediates transfer of content. Modern clients also contain a utility for the creation of torrentfiles and numerous configuration switches to govern program operation, content security, and data transfer parameters. The status of these features can be monitored by the tracker program and if required security features are not enabled transfer of content can be blocked. Each client program also broadcasts an ID string unique to the particular program and revision which can be used by the tracker to block client programs that do not follow site rules for security. This is an important feature as it can be used to prevent leaking of content onto promiscuous networks that have added the ability to read torrentfiles (such as Limewire), or access by rogue clients that do not observe or correctly handle security functions (such as BitComet.)

SWARM - The total number of all seeders and leechers on a given content file.



UPLOADER - A person who uploads a torrentfile to the tracker. NOT a person who uploads content, although an uploader must also upload at least one complete copy of the content to the swarm.

SEEDER - a person with content who is uploading (or making available for upload) content to the swarm.

DOWNLOADER or LEECHER (slightly archaic term) - a person who is actively downloading content from the swarm. It should be noted that anyone who is downloading content is also seeding whatever portion of the content they have already received.

HIT AND RUN - the act or terminating seeding immediately after a download is completed. Tolerated on big public systems but considered extremely bad form on private ratio based systems, where it is often grounds for suspension or termination of membership if habitual.

RATIO - on private systems, the ratio of the amount of content uploaded (seeded) to the amount downloaded. In order to calculate ratio the tracker must keep accurate count of exactly how much of which content each user has uploaded (seeded) and downloaded. THIS DATA COULD BE USED IN A COMMERCIAL SYSTEM TO DETERMINE PAYMENT TO CONTENT OWNERS. It should be noted that this is not as straightforward a task as it might seem to the uninitiated, as each person downloading a given piece of content recieves various pieces of it from different members of the swarm.

A short explanation of how Bittorrent operates

A person who wishes to make content available on a Bittorrent network must first create a torrentfile. This is done either with the file creation function of a client program or with a standalone torrent creator (hardly ever used anymore since modern clients contain sophisticated torrent creation functions). In creating the file various parameters are specified, including the tracker's internet address, the private flag (a security measure), the exact location on the hard drive where the content resides, etc. Once the torrentfile has been created the content can not be moved from the specified location or the torrent will fail, until such time as the swarm has been established, after which movement of the content will merely prevent the uploader from continuing to seed

After the torrentfile has been created, the uploaders uploads it to the tracker. Then, depending on the type of tracker one of two things happens.

A.) If the tracker is an open public system like TPB and the uploader has selected the "automatically start seeding" option seeding will commence after an initial data check. This is not really of interest for our purposes, as it eliminates most of the options for keeping the content secure.

B.) If the tracker is a closed private system things are a little bit more complicated. On this type of system when the torrentfile is received by the tracker the tracker appends some additional data to it. At this point the uploader must download the torrent he has just uploaded in order to have the appended data, without which the torrent will not function. After he has downloaded the modified torrentfile (replacing the original on his computer) the system performs a data check and seeding commences. The system also embeds a unique identifier in each downloader's version of the torrenfile so torrentfiles can be traced to the user if he violates security and uploads to torrent to a non-approved site.

At this point the torrent is listed in the tracker's listing of available content and is available to other users of the system.

The first person to download the content receives it only from the uploader of the torrent, as nobody else has the content. The second receives it from both the uploader and the first downloader, even if the first downloader has only downloaded a portion of the file. The third downloads from the other three, and so on until the swarm has grown sufficiently large that the tracker directs which users connect to which other users so that optimum transfer speeds are attained. When a users download is complete they remain in the swarm as a seeder unless the terminate transfer. On most private systems all downloaders are required to continue seeding until they have seeded a certain amount of content or have seeded for a set amount of time; this guarantees the continued health of the swarm. Users are encouraged to seed longer than the minimum amount and are rewarded with a ratio based ranking system. Rules governing this vary from system to system, with some functioning as archival sites and others only interested in providing relatively new material. These variations are not really of interest here; what IS of interest is that these functions of the protocol can be used to determine payments to content owners (and to keep track of which users have downloaded what), which is the original intended purpose of these functions.


Implementation of the proposed site

The proposed system shall consist of a Bittorrent tracker configured as a private system, membership required but free of charge. The tracker shall be configured only to accept connections from approved client programs, and only when full security measures are enabled and promiscuous sharing features disabled. While it has been proposed that these standards could most easily be met with a custom coded client, I believe that the security features of some of the current popular programs (i.e. uTorrent and Vuze/.Azureus) would probably meet the requirements. Revenue to pay for royalties/licensing of content would be derived in several ways, through a system of tiered content. These tiers would consist of (but not necessarily be limited to) the following:

1.) Entry level - advertising supported 128K bps MP3. Advertising could be implemented is a variety of ways including generalized banner ads and specific ads at the start of each download as part odf the process.

2.) Better quality MP3, no advertising, fixed price per download.

3.) Best quality MP3, fixed price per download.

4.) Lossless FLAC/ CD quality (44/16) WAV, fixed price

5.) 96/24 WAV (when available), fixed price

6.) 1bit DSD, fixed price.

Levels 2 and higher would be accessible to users who had deposited an appropriate payment in their account, for which they would received a specified number of download credits, with higher tier files costing more credits per download.

Content control

Content would be controlled by controlling upload permissions of users. To be specific, the ability to upload would be denied to all of the regular customer class users. Uploader accounts would be available to major labels, independent labels, and artists/groups with content that met the site requirements, which would consist of the normal metadata/barcode information required for commercial distribution of musical product. This requirement would be designed to keep out amateurs and weekend warriors while allowing independent professionals access.

Security

Content security will be maintained by the standard Bittorrent security options - Private flag required set on torrents, user are required to keep DHT, Peer Discovery, Peer Exchange, Legacy Connections, and "trackerless" tracking required disabled on client programs, only client programs that meet system standards allowed. Torrentfiles themselves will each contain data that identifies each downloader with a unique code. This can also be used to check whether a downloader downloads the same content more than an allowed number of times, which would indicate sharing of the torrentfile with unauthorized users.







Business model

The organization would be configured to distribute all revenue between the content owners, minus necessary operating expenses. It might be advantageous to configure it as a non-profit corporation. Non-profit status could make it possible to obtain start-up funding from grants, rather than the venture capital/shareholder route taken by a for-profit company. This would eliminate a lot of overhead and facilitate transmission of revenue directly to the content owners, making viability more likely than for concerns that are expected to generate a profit.


In summation

This is a very basic, simplified draft of the idea. There are a number of matters I have not gone into, including enhanced content, social networking forums, on site internet radio and music reviews, and more.
************************************************************

This is a fairly rough idea of my concept.
#2
26th December 2010
Old 26th December 2010
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You are describing Spotify
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26th December 2010
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I really don't see how this would be any better for users than the conventional servers used by i-tunes or Amazon. It also sounds way more open to being hacked and misused.
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26th December 2010
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1 I wouldn't want anything to track the music I would make for people to download. Tracking attachments on any downloaded software should be illegal.

2. bit torrents are shady or at least seem so to the civilized world, doesn't matter which. people I know just don't use them because of this, even if this bit torrent would be a site that is on the up and up.

3. I would never download or upload anything to a bit torrent. I'm not a savage.

4. One thing about hosted sites compared to bit torrents is bit torrents suck.
John Eppstein
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26th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoshimodular View Post
You are describing Spotify
No, I'm not. Spotify is not non-profit.
John Eppstein
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26th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
I really don't see how this would be any better for users than the conventional servers used by i-tunes or Amazon. It also sounds way more open to being hacked and misused.
There are ways to prevent misuse.

One big difference from i-Tunes and Amazon is that as a non-profit it would not be beholden to shareholders or vulture capitalists to show a profit. (Think the Harry Fox agency.....)

Another big difference is that as a Bittorrent based site it would not require the massive server banks that other services need, which would keep overhead costs down.

For this to work it would need the co-operation of the major labels. The world doesn't need another amateur distro site - in fact as I envision it amateurs would be blocked - only properly registered content with the proper embedded metadata and barcode registration would be permitted.

Note that measures would be taken to prevent intrusion from unregistered users and sharing on other P2P networks, BT based or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefy View Post
1 I wouldn't want anything to track the music I would make for people to download. Tracking attachments on any downloaded software should be illegal.

2. bit torrents are shady or at least seem so to the civilized world, doesn't matter which. people I know just don't use them because of this, even if this bit torrent would be a site that is on the up and up.

3. I would never download or upload anything to a bit torrent. I'm not a savage.

4. One thing about hosted sites compared to bit torrents is bit torrents suck.
That's a pretty ignorant attitude.

First off, Bittorrent is simply a protocol for data transmission. Saying Bittorrent is "shady" is like saying FTP or TCP/IP is shady. There are lots of pirate FTP sites, and most pirate material uses TCP/IP for its transmission. It's not the protocol that's to blame, it's the people who use the protocol on a given site. Is the internet "shady"? Because the vast bulk of traffic on the internet is either pirated material or porn. So maybe you should simply avoid using the internet and we'd all be better off.

Envision a hammer. A person can use that hammer to build a house. Or a person can use the same hammer to beat your head in. It's not the fault of the hammer. It's entirely up to the person using it.

Quote:
1 I wouldn't want anything to track the music I would make for people to download. Tracking attachments on any downloaded software should be illegal.
This simply reveals that you have no idea whatsoever of how Bittorrent operates of what a tracker does. It also reveals that you didn't actually read my paper.

Quote:
2. bit torrents are shady or at least seem so to the civilized world, doesn't matter which. people I know just don't use them because of this, even if this bit torrent would be a site that is on the up and up.
Ignoring your insulting rhetoric, perhaps you are not a member of the target audience for the site. The site is targeted at the overwhelming majority of users who DO use Bittorrent and is intended to provide a legal alternative to piracy that would funnel the bulk of revenue to content holders rather than corporate shareholders. If this is a bad thing please explain how?

Quote:
3. I would never download or upload anything to a bit torrent. I'm not a savage.
Nobody's forcing you to do anything you don't want to do. If you chose to work with the service only you could upload your content. All content would be checked through the appropriate rights organizations before posting for download.

OTOH there's a good chance that YOUR material might be barred from the site anyway, as only professionally registered material would be accepted.
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26th December 2010
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I guess I still question the idea of files being offered anywhere other than an artist's own web site that is fine tuned to their fans. Even a non-profit middleman is still a middleman.
John Eppstein
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26th December 2010
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Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
I guess I still question the idea of files being offered anywhere other than an artist's own web site that is fine tuned to their fans. Even a non-profit middleman is still a middleman.
True. But a non-profit is a less greedy middleman.

One thing about using Bittorrent is that it would be the content owner's responsibility to make sure that the content remains available, snce the tracker doesn't actually host any content. Once the swarm is established on a given file the content owner could go off line, but if the number of seeders drops to zero then the content owner would need to re-establish seeding or trust to the chances of one or more of the other seeders going back online.

The advantage to any centralized site is that it frees the user from having to track down all the artist's sites by hand. I'm also envisioning various auxiliary features that would both benefit the artist and make the site more attractive to users such as direct links to artist sites, discussion forums, blogs, "hot 100" listings for various categories, and internet radio channels, all of which would help[ with promotion and try to compensate to some degree for the implosion of broadcast radio and the music press.
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26th December 2010
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BTW, one thing I haven't mentioned is that something that should make this more attractive to the industry is that it would offer a viable alternative to the de facto i-Tunes monopoly, which is something that nobody else, including the mighty Amazon, seems to be able to do................
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27th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
...something that should make this more attractive to the industry is that it would offer a viable alternative to the de facto i-Tunes monopoly...
i-tunes is a lot like starbucks. there's lots better coffee but not lots better looking coffee stores. The way to beat them is more genre-specific places to shop.
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27th December 2010
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Again.. it all still boils down to whether or not, and to what extent, piracy is delt with...

Even at the 'entry level', in your proposal... would someone go thru a legal channel to get a low quailty copy, when all that person would have to do is type in a different address in the browser, and get the full quality (illegal) version?

I'm of the mind that, most any iTunes competitor will likely fail if piracy, as a whole, is not delt with on some level... whether that be thru education, law enforcement, ISP's, or a combination thereof.

I'm not knocking the idea, just that the 800-lb gorilla is still in the room atm...
And the ever recourring question: "How do you compete with free"?
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27th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
BTW, one thing I haven't mentioned is that something that should make this more attractive to the industry is that it would offer a viable alternative to the de facto i-Tunes monopoly, which is something that nobody else, including the mighty Amazon, seems to be able to do................
great selling point - throw a marketing friendly name on it - MusicShare - or something and you might get some interest. I'd distance your pitch from the word "torrent" because of the connotations with it - but I also like the idea of a centralized non-profit doing this (Harry Fox is a great example).
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27th December 2010
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ISPs have to be at the heart of anything. One solution I believe in, is going at it like spam but with a twist.

Every song is in itself a unique fingerprint (ask the folks at Shazam ), and thus could be IDd at the the ISP level before the final destination at the enduser's computer. If there was software designed to register each song already recorded- submitted by the rights holder, and then all songs recorded thereafter, an ISP would know what was illegal traffic, and detect it with some type of DPI.

ISPs don't want to police this issue, BUT, given the mounting and inevitable legal pressure (which isn't going to stop, no matter what any pirate wants to believe), if you allowed them to be toll takers, say, 30 cents to them and 99 cents to the rights holder per song, that would still only be $1.29 a song. "Not gonna use iTunes, Amazon, etc. pal?, well that'll cost ya!". I would think they'd look at how rampant piracy is and go "CHA-CHING! Let the pirates rip all they want! We're billing them for it!"
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27th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AwwDeOhh View Post
Again.. it all still boils down to whether or not, and to what extent, piracy is delt with...

Even at the 'entry level', in your proposal... would someone go thru a legal channel to get a low quailty copy, when all that person would have to do is type in a different address in the browser, and get the full quality (illegal) version?

I'm of the mind that, most any iTunes competitor will likely fail if piracy, as a whole, is not delt with on some level... whether that be thru education, law enforcement, ISP's, or a combination thereof.

I'm not knocking the idea, just that the 800-lb gorilla is still in the room atm...
And the ever recurring question: "How do you compete with free"?
Well, I am making a couple of assumptions, the main one being that the legal climate will be making it less convenient rfor Joe Six Pack to pirate in the near future. The way you compete with "free" is "convenience".

People are lazy and will gladly pay a bit for convenience, rather than jumping through (even rather large, obvious) hoops. Most people simply can't be arsed to put out any more effort than absolutely necessary, so when legal persecution drives the pirate sites further underground this type of site will be highly attractive to the average punter.
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27th December 2010
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Originally Posted by Matt Allison View Post
ISPs have to be at the heart of anything. One solution I believe in, is going at it like spam but with a twist.

Every song is in itself a unique fingerprint (ask the folks at Shazam ), and thus could be IDd at the the ISP level before the final destination at the enduser's computer. If there was software designed to register each song already recorded- submitted by the rights holder, and then all songs recorded thereafter, an ISP would know what was illegal traffic, and detect it with some type of DPI.

ISPs don't want to police this issue, BUT, given the mounting and inevitable legal pressure (which isn't going to stop, no matter what any pirate wants to believe), if you allowed them to be toll takers, say, 30 cents to them and 99 cents to the rights holder per song, that would still only be $1.29 a song. "Not gonna use iTunes, Amazon, etc. pal?, well that'll cost ya!". I would think they'd look at how rampant piracy is and go "CHA-CHING! Let the pirates rip all they want! We're billing them for it!"
Fvck the ISPs. They have no horse in this race, although they may have paid off a few jockeys and trainers to try and get the fix in.
#16
27th December 2010
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The ISPs have all horses in this race, as they are the deliverymen to the user's computer front door.

There is a workaround for everything but them.

You stopped reading my post above after you saw the word ISP. Read it again, John. It's the future.
#17
27th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
I guess I still question the idea of files being offered anywhere other than an artist's own web site that is fine tuned to their fans.
One obvious factor is cross pollination.
I'm less likely to chase down half a dozen artist's websites to buy half a dozen tracks, than one place I can find a bunch of music I would like.
Customers who bought this also bought........ is a feature I actually like and use.

Besides, I've never minded sharing my wealth within reason.
I don't mind paying any 'middleman' a small cut, just so long as they are helping me make more profit in the first place.
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27th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Fvck the ISPs. They have no horse in this race, although they may have paid off a few jockeys and trainers to try and get the fix in.
As my ISP also charges me for every bit I download, sure they have a role to play.
Customers like me are paying twice for music some of you download without even thinking about it.
So, at least in some countries, ISP's have to play ball and stop penalizing us for downloading content, especially larger (higher quality) content.
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27th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Customers like me are paying twice for music some of you download without even thinking about it.
!?!?!?!

I am an ignorant American; tell us what process this is that you speak of.
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27th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Customers who bought this also bought........ is a feature I actually like and use.
i love and hate that part of amazon in equal amounts.
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27th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Well, I am making a couple of assumptions, the main one being that the legal climate will be making it less convenient rfor Joe Six Pack to pirate in the near future. The way you compete with "free" is "convenience".

People are lazy and will gladly pay a bit for convenience, rather than jumping through (even rather large, obvious) hoops. Most people simply can't be arsed to put out any more effort than absolutely necessary, so when legal persecution drives the pirate sites further underground this type of site will be highly attractive to the average punter.
For all our sakes... i hope your assumptions become reality.
We're starting to see some movement from those in power... only time will tell if their efforts will amount to much of anything on this end.. or if it will die and get buried in the legislative process.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Allison
ISPs have to be at the heart of anything. One solution I believe in, is going at it like spam but with a twist.

Every song is in itself a unique fingerprint (ask the folks at Shazam ), and thus could be IDd at the the ISP level before the final destination at the enduser's computer. If there was software designed to register each song already recorded- submitted by the rights holder, and then all songs recorded thereafter, an ISP would know what was illegal traffic, and detect it with some type of DPI.

ISPs don't want to police this issue, BUT, given the mounting and inevitable legal pressure (which isn't going to stop, no matter what any pirate wants to believe), if you allowed them to be toll takers, say, 30 cents to them and 99 cents to the rights holder per song, that would still only be $1.29 a song. "Not gonna use iTunes, Amazon, etc. pal?, well that'll cost ya!". I would think they'd look at how rampant piracy is and go "CHA-CHING! Let the pirates rip all they want! We're billing them for it!"
As they are the gatekeepers, they hold all the keys. Once they see the potential windfall of $$ to be made, that's their motivation.
THERE IS one major hitch to this angle tho:

ALL ISP's will have to play ball
(and at relatively the same time!) , for this to be viable for them to even consider...

Think from their prospective:
If "we" are the only ISP company employing this technology and rates/fines...
We'll loose "X" marketshare.
AS Long as there's JUST ONE ISP that doesn't play ball... it would all collapse, as customers would just migrate to the ISP that didn't enforce these methods.
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27th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Allison View Post
!?!?!?!

I am an ignorant American; tell us what process this is that you speak of.
Our internet connection plan is based on usage.
I currently pay for 4gig a month. Tiny compared to most who are now signed up to 100+gig contracts.
The more you download, the more you pay per month for your net services.
I'm already facing higher bills as software upgrades get bigger and bigger, and download only.
I know ISP's in the US and Europe are eyeing jealously the Aussie business model. It's a win win for them, as more tv companies make re-runs and special features available for download, more and more ordinary people require faster connections and bigger data allowances = more money for ISP's.
#23
27th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AwwDeOhh View Post
ALL ISP's will have to play ball
yes, that is a given. I shoud also say that for the moment I'm focusing this on the US.

The way they all play ball at the start is a legal one- either mandated, like spam, or via lawsuit; as more infringment cases make their way through the courts, ISP's safe harbor protection dwindles.
#24
27th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Allison View Post
yes, that is a given. I shoud also say that for the moment I'm focusing this on the US.

The way they all play ball at the start is a legal one- either mandated, like spam, or via lawsuit; as more infringment cases make their way through the courts, ISP's safe harbor protection dwindles.
as for ISP's... see here:
1.2 billion illegal music downloads in 2010 a record
#25
27th December 2010
Old 27th December 2010
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Allison View Post
I shoud also say that for the moment I'm focusing this on the US.
The Net is a global arena though.
Part of the issue about piracy and dwindling rights of copyright holders is the globalization occurring via the net. Part of the fault in the debate on this forum is the over emphasis of North America, and North American solutions.
#26
28th December 2010
Old 28th December 2010
  #26
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I am fine with this solution being implemented everywhere. My point is that the other option, only shutting down websites, won't be enough. The ultimate remedy has to be a combination of tech and law enforcement.
John Eppstein
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#27
28th December 2010
Old 28th December 2010
  #27
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Allison View Post
The ISPs have all horses in this race, as they are the deliverymen to the user's computer front door.

There is a workaround for everything but them.

You stopped reading my post above after you saw the word ISP. Read it again, John. It's the future.
The ISPs have no right to any cut of my music. Or anybody else's.

They are already cashing in because of the amount of traffic generated by media downloads. They are not entitled to one penny more than they are making now.

Saying that the ISPs should get a cut is like saying that the trucking company that carries records to a record store should be entitled to a percentage of the price of an album.

No, they are not.

They are already making their profit by carrying the product from point A to point B. That is their business. They don't do anything to invest in either the making or the selling of the music, they are simply a carrier. Why should they get a cut? Do you want to pay them a fee for each email message or forum post they transmit?

I don't think so.

The ISPs can go to hell.

As to ISPs filtering data, I don't think so. That would give them the power to determine what sources can use their network and to extort money out of sources by offering preferential treatment. This pretty much would ring the final death knell for any remaining shreds of Net Neutrality. It would also make any distributed content distribution scheme like Bittorrent pretty much impossible.

What we need is to shut down the big public pirate sites. We have laws for that. No private vigilantes, especially those with commercial interests, need apply.

With the big public sites gone, piracy becomes significantly more difficult for the average consumer.

With easy to use, accessible commercial sites then the convenience factor goes into play.

Even assuming that the ISPs DID filter data. They still have no right to single out music to bear the cost, since they would have to apply the filters to ALL data; to be fair the costs should be equally divided among all customers. And it's still a bad idea. What if the ownership of an ISP decides to filter based on "morality"? Or religious dogma? Or political affiliation? Or simply "editorial policy"? This is not something we want to implement in the hands of private entities. Would we want somebody like Rupert Murdock filtering what we can and can't see on the internet?
#28
28th December 2010
Old 28th December 2010
  #28
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I'll have to disagree, John.

The "cut" ISPs would take would be a fair trade to have them police the issue.

ISPs already filter content for a myriad of reasons. Spam is filtered. And those are actual words; free speech issue, right? Not so. And it's already been litigated:
- Google Scholar

I agree about what you say re: shuttering sites, but it won't be enough.
John Eppstein
Thread Starter
#29
28th December 2010
Old 28th December 2010
  #29
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Allison View Post
I'll have to disagree, John.

The "cut" ISPs would take would be a fair trade to have them police the issue.

ISPs already filter content for a myriad of reasons. Spam is filtered. And those are actual words; free speech issue, right? Not so. And it's already been litigated:
- Google Scholar

I agree about what you say re: shuttering sites, but it won't be enough.
There is no conceivable way to differentiate a legal file transmission from an illegal one of the same content. The only possible way would be to use a whitelist and that would, by necessity, discriminate against anyone not on that list, legal or not.

It's not like a spam filter where EVERYTHING showing certain characteristics is automatically blocked.

Furthermore current generation P2P programs have implemented techniques that effectively deal with such filtering techniques.
#30
28th December 2010
Old 28th December 2010
  #30
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So, we're back to government action / legislation.

It's a sad reflection on society that that's needed... but Laws were written to this extent for a reason... if only they could be inforced in a meaningful way...

Everyone, if you haven't written or called your Congressman/woman lately.. there's no time like the present. Believe it or not.. they actually do tally their requests*.. but only usually take action if it's brought up enough times. Since most are out of touch.. they get their "concerns of the people".. by people being so motivated to contact them. I'll wait...

Done? good! Now start writing your second / third / fourth.... letter now.
Send them out every couple of days...


*staff does the tallying.. if they get enough calls/letters on a subject, then the congressman gets notified. KEEP CALLING!
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