In a previous post, a comment was posted pointing at a company called “ReelTime“. This is a movie rental service like “Jaman“. Both use a downloaded client that implements a DRM system and also a P2P file transfer system to download the files. The Reeltime P2P service is supplied by “GridNetworks“.
I had also recently posted a story on proxies for P2P networks found here.
This got me thinking of the evolution of the “copy” command. In unix/linux the command is “cp”.
The copy command is used to copy data from one place to the other. For example, if I wrote a story, I could copy it onto a floppy disk so I could take it with me or give it to a friend. The birth of social networking as we know it today.
The network was then invented.
The copy command evolved into “ftp” (File Transfer Protocol). This is basically the same as “cp” however, it allows you to copy a file not just from disk to disk, but from computer to computer over the network. This was mainly used by scientists to share data when it was implemented. Explains why it is so hard to use.
Then the WEB was invented.
The web, initially was simply being able to type in memorable URL’s such as www.crafted.com.au, to get to a repository of information. You would use a Web browser to access this repository. It would request a “COPY” of the data be sent to you so it could be displayed in the web browser window. The FTP protocol was initially used for this but was found to be very inefficient. The HTTP protocol was established. It was designed specifically for web pages, displaying them faster and with less overhead.
So what now.
Well it appears many internet users are attempting to copy/download very large files. From this, a new form of “COPY” has evolved. “P2P” networking.
As previous evolution has suggested, P2P type technologies will eventually become part of the Web browser if not the operating system. For this to happen, a P2P open standard will evolve. A free to use and implement P2P implementation. Similar to FTP (See RFC959RFC2616 standards document for specifications) standards document for specifications) followed by HTTP (See
Personally I am surprised that this has not already happened. There is talk of implementing it into firefox in the future.
And obviously, once it is an RFC standard, implementations of a proxy-P2P server by all ISP’s would be a logical next step. As it was for HTTP.
But really, at the end of the day, the long term aspect of any company that builds it business model on charging for access to their P2P infrastructure is not a very good long term bet. Obviously Jamen and Reeltime may be using these proprietary P2P networks due to the lack of any standard. But at the same time, their business model is very much connected to it.
And finally, if you like conspiracies, one would be inclined to start asking question WHY a P2P protocol has not evolved. Many companies with a lot of cash are very keen to make sure it never does. Keep this in mind.
Additional: See an update to this story here.