Well. This is getting silly. A Hollywood Law firm has told its own staff, "Never to use BitTorrent" on its corporate network.
BitTorrent is a peer to peer file distribution scheme. From a technical standpoint, it is very kind to the people who need to distribute large files because it allows large files to be downloaded, piecemeal, from many sources, using the combined resources of ordinary people's computers as servers. When you use BitTorrent, you can stop and start your computer and it will pick up where it left off each time your computer starts. When you have downloaded a file, your computer becomes a server to deliver parts of the file to other people who need it.
There is absolutely nothing illegal about the bitTorrent system. However... People are known to use it to share copyright material. That IS illegal. The problem though, is how peer to peer has been made to look synonymous with illegal activity - hence the ban at said law firm.
I think this is quite stupid . Let's compare the situation with another peer to peer network known as "The post office".
The post office is peer to peer because you can send something from one person to another. That's all "peer to peer" means. This is in contrast to a system where your mail would have to be sent to a specific hub, and then sent out again. Let's assume someone sends a movie on CD via the post office. Assuming the movie is someone else's copyright, this is an illegal act. Who in their right mind would observe this possibility, then ban all employees from using the post office? Who would label the post office as an illegal organisation? Who would demand that the post office become responsible for the content of all mail passing through it? Who would see the post office opening and inspecting every parcel and letter that passes through?
It sound's ridiculous, and it is ridiculous. Yet this is exactly what is happening to companies that provide a peer to peer service for the Internet.
The solution? Simple. Stop illegally distributing copyright material! But don't blame the peer to peer protocol or the companies who implement these services. They are legal and useful and technically brilliant.
(C) Jeremy Lee 2010, all rights reserved.
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spOOk's art is owned by Jeremy. He has practiced drawing and painting for about 40 years, and might get good at it one day. spOOk's art is focused on graphite portraits.