p2p news / p2pnet: It happened to Napster, Grokster, eDonkey (eMule is next) and finally BitTorrent.
Now the Dutch Supreme Court hammered down another nail. Peer 2 Peer has not died but most of its vital functions have seized under relentless attacks and is now on life-support.
What the hell happen in 2005?
Know your history
Napster, in hindsight the most efficient peer sharing system, succumbed to legal pressure. Napster, because of its centralized architecture, could have become the Google of peer sharing technologies. The Industry for better or worst feared that and made sure it will never resurface.
What followed was a legal hurricane on sites, services, individuals and business models which left the peer-sharing community devastated and unlikely to rebound.
As a technologies matures, so do the individuals who develop them. Meaning ideologies would soon make way for economic sensibilities.
Yet, it was, as they say, inevitable.
Where we stand? As we’re nearing the end of 2005 and maybe the end of the care-free peer-sharing experience, maybe it’s time to recap our position:
Is p2p wrong? No
Is p2p illegal? No
Is p2p legal? No
Wait, back up and let’s parse and run this again:
Is p2p right? Yes
Is p2p illegal? Yes
Is p2p legal? Yes
Well, so much for logic. This simple little packet of Legal code is the root(kit) of all evil.
Explanation: No court has ever ruled or can ever rule that peer sharing technology is illegal. Yet, the content shared could make it illegal.
Why? Because content owners can stop any and all unauthorized copying of their content …even in an infinite digital space as the Internet where copying is vital.
It’s all about perception
Philip Petit of WIPO: "Copyright is no monopoly because copyright owners are free to donate their rights if they want to."
Yes, and chickens can fly because they have wings.
Let’s face it: it was never about what’s right or wrong, it’s only our perception of legality that matters.
If everyone beliefs it’s wrong then it is. If Bram Cohen and Shawn Fanning join the Industry, isn’t that saying it was illegal all along?
Lycos vs. Pessers
The Dutch Supreme Court basically stated three things in there Lycos vs. Pessers ruling:
1) Not only if an action (or non-action for that matter) is unmistakably unlawful but also if it might be unlawful; ISP should handout ID’s.
2) ISP’s should and must perform the above mentioned test. Court intervention isn’t needed nor warranted.
3) Nevertheless, ISP’s should perform this test in good faith and acknowledged the basic human right of free speech.
- Unlawful goes beyond illegal. Unlawful behaviour is not codified and is based on current perceptions of lawful behaviour e.g. file-sharing.
- Non-action is this case means sites failing to take action against perceived unlawful behaviour e.g. Newnova.org
- ISP’s are now in fact the lowest courts of justice in the Netherlands.
- Will somebody please explain to me what the heck they mean with free speech and when does free speech matter? You know what? Never mind.
The Netherlands (and Europe) now unofficially have a Patriot Act. While others might see this as a gross overstatement I’ll dare them to look at the facts. Combine this ruling with all other measures taken and you effectively have a DMCA / Patriot Act-like atmosphere in Europe.
Brein is already claiming victory and vowed to rein terror on Kazaa users. Yes, those few dozen who still use Kazaa. While their case is still bogged down in court this judgment is a clear signal; Brein doesn’t need courts, it just needs probable cause.
The question is: In whose perception is this probable cause measured?
If we breakdown the year 2005 and make up the balance, this is it:
The Industry has successfully fought and claimed a public domain technology called P2P (Grokster et al).
The ends will justify the means (Sony Rootkit).
The insurgents have become or will become parents with mortgages.
This is not a quagmire. It’s over. Now let’s all behave as loyal capitalist-consumer drones and buy iPods, shop at iTunes…and wait for the next revolution.
Raymond Blijd – fk2w
Tired of being treated like a criminal? They depend on you, not the other way around. Don’t buy their ‘product’. Do bug your local political representatives. Use emails, snail-mail, phone calls, faxes, IM, stop them in the street, blog. And if you’re into organizing, organize petitions, organize demonstrations and then turn up on your local political rep’s doorstep, making sure you’ve contacted your local tv/radio station/newspaper in advance.