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Sought for MGM v. Grokster: Non-Infringing P2P Use 377

linuxizer writes "Since my last Slashdot entry, I've been discussing various copyright issues with the ever-interesting Peter Fader. Out of those conversations came sniu.info, an attempt to document the various forms of substantial, non-infringing use over peer-to-peer networks before MGM v Grokster goes to the Supreme Court. So far I have about 50 entries, but more suggestions would be much appreciated. Some fellow /. readers might also be interested in my fairly regular posts on copyright/IP issues, which are mostly links to interesting articles with occasional commentary."
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Sought for MGM v. Grokster: Non-Infringing P2P Use

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I use the P2P network to get free copies of Brittany Spears' latest album. Since it is not spelled "Britney", it does not infringe, so back off, MGM!
  • by keyne9 ( 567528 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:10AM (#11136842)
    World of Warcraft by Blizzard utilizes the BitTorrent methods to distribute patches/updates. That's basically rousing support for a peer-to-peer method from a very well known company servicing several hundred thousand users.
    • by Dragoon412 ( 648209 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:17AM (#11136899)
      THe problem with this is that their BitTorrent distribution system was much-maligned during beta. It fared so poorly that it had to be scrapped for release.

      It was a great idea in theory, but in practice, it meant beta testers were still trying to download the 2.5GB client at a piddling 10k/s days or even a week after a new beta client went live, and downloading the client via BitTorrent in the middle of a particular push was next to impossible. Personally, I found it so slow, I wound up pulling the client down off newsgroups, instead, at a much higher speed.

      Blizzard's BitTorrent distribution was a cool idea, and I'm sure it saved them a few bucks worth of bandwidth, but it was a far cry from a success.
      • It doesn't have to be a success, it just has to be non-infinging. If a major company, which has previously been pretty darn vigorous in defending its "intellectual property" (think bnetd) decides to use this technology, that's a pretty good indication that it has a legitimate use. Now, if it turns out that the technology doesn't work, for whatever reason, that's a different issue. But if it were technology that could only be used for "evil", no company would be stupid enough to use it, no matter how fast
        • by Dragoon412 ( 648209 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:41AM (#11137105)
          True enough, I wasn't trying to disqualify the parent's suggestion simply because it didn't work out. But let's be rational:

          Say a politician wants to ban cars because they can be used to cause so much death and destruction. Someone wants a list of safe, legal applications for cars. Well, there's driving to work, driving to school, fetching groceries, etc.

          Considering the abundance and usefulness of all the successful and purpose-built functionality cars have, would makes they make a damned fine counterweight for turning a cherry picker into a trebuchet really carry much weight? Probably not, and neither should the failure of Blizzard's awful BitTorrent implimentation.

          Sure, it can be used that way, but it's not particularly well-suited to it, and it sort of caught me off guard that considering what (legal) uses P2P technologies do use, one of the lamest implimentations yet was the first to be mentioned.
          • Say a politician wants to ban cars because they can be used to cause so much death and destruction. Someone wants a list of safe, legal applications for cars. Well, there's driving to work, driving to school, fetching groceries, etc.

            You're opening up a can of worms with that argument. You have to be above a certain age and licensed to drive a vehicle, and their use is HEAVILY regulated.

            Same goes with the gun argument. People kill people, not guns; but that doesn't mean you want to compare it to P2P use.
          • I do not understand how this is even a reasonable question. There are far more *non infringing* uses for peer to peer networks than *infringing* ones.

            To enumerate a few:

            1) Distributed source versioning (several open source projects working on this)
            2) Collaborative work environments (ala MS Exchange, Lotus Notes (not saying good environments), etc etc ad nauseum)
            3) Social networks ala Friendster that allow data exchange
            4) peered IRC/IM networks
            5) Distributed peered backup / data archival networks (a person
      • The problem was that you couldn't set your upload in the client. If you used a resource extracting program, you could get the plain .torrent out of their exe and use your client of choice to download it.
      • BT seems to vary alot with location and your hardware setup. I pulled the beta off at about 250K/sec. Granted for a multi gig beta that took a day or so, but it was almost certainly faster than I could have gotten it from a single server
      • by AllUsernamesAreGone ( 688381 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:37AM (#11137067)
        In that case, possibly a better example for BitTorrent could be X-Plane [x-plane.com]. Austin distributes the demo, betas and updates for the software using BT and he has done since the early 7.x releases. It may not have the tens of thousands of users, but it is a substantial legal use...
      • It doesn't look scrapped to me - my store-bought copy of WoW updated itself via a custom BitTorrent client, the Blizzard Downloader [worldofwarcraft.com], and reported peer connection stats during the download.
    • Blizzard's implementation was broken. Most people use ADSL or other similar network connection which completely chokes if you max the upstream. So the Blizzard patcher maxed the users's upstream, totally killing the downstream.

      But it *is* a substantial noninfringing use.

      Anarchy Online is also distributing it's client free via Bittorrent

      http://www.anarchy-online.com/free/ad_campaigns / fr eecampaign/

      Uses perfectly normal BT client to distribute free trial of a commercial game. And I think they have alread
  • Distro ISOs? (Score:4, Informative)

    by jacksonj04 ( 800021 ) <nick@nickjackson.me> on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:11AM (#11136854) Homepage
    It may just be me who can't spot it in the list, but where is using BitTorrent to distribute the latest ISO images for Linux installs? Not to mention all the patches etc...
    • It may just be me who can't spot it in the list, but where is using BitTorrent to distribute the latest ISO images for Linux installs? Not to mention all the patches etc...

      No thanks, I'll take a nice mirror site over a slow BitTorrent download any day. I regularly get 600KB/sec over my ADSL line from most Linux mirror sites. The most I ever seem to get out of BitTorrent is 10KB-50KB/sec. After that my uplink is so clogged with leechers that it affects my entire DSL line performance. Latency shoots thr

      • Configure your client properly and you won't have that problem. Once I configured Azureus to only allow 10kb/s upload speeds, I never saw the problem you describe again.
    • I always use Direct Connect to download linux isos and similar. The problem is that my uni is quite strict on downloads outside of the internal network - more than 400mb/day and you're stuffed. They do have an internal mirror but it only has a couple of distros on (lame). So my mates and I wget an iso each then share them.
    • http://torrent.unix-ag.uni-kl.de:6969/

      Knoppix, at least, does so.

    • Re:Distro ISOs? (Score:3, Informative)

      It may just be me who can't spot it in the list, but where is using BitTorrent to distribute the latest ISO images for Linux installs?

      There's an entry for "Linux Distributions" on his UPenn SNIU page [upenn.edu] under the "Other SNIU" section, roughly 2/3 of the way down. Currently lists Debian, Gentoo, and Others. Certainly the list could be extended, but there is an entry for torrents of Linux distros.

      For me, this is my primary use of torrents/P2P. I've found it much easier to get first-day Linux release

    • Mandrake provides BT torrents for MandrakeClub members to allow download of iso images (CDs and DVDs). Donwload times are around 10 times shorter now compared to when they were using ftp servers. In particular, when a new distribution is announced and a zillion of people start downloading I can now be in the 200kb/sec range, thanks to the swarming approach of BT.
  • Misleding (Score:2, Insightful)

    by northcat ( 827059 )
    First of all the article's title is misleading. It makes you think that in a recent event a non-infringing use is actually being requested in the court. Second of all the article should be submitted to ask-/. not yro.
  • by m50d ( 797211 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:14AM (#11136876) Homepage Journal
    Some guy downloaded the GIMP from me over Gnutella a couple of weeks ago, but I'm afraid I don't have any proof.
  • etree? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:14AM (#11136880)
    bt.etree.org [etree.org] for distributing legally traded music via torrents? Along with various other P2P protocols for doing the same thing (FurthurNET, etc).
    • bt.etree.org is on his list already. Oddly enough "(Thanks to 'garcia')". Along the same lines is Furthurnet [furthurnet.com] a specialized p2p client with a whitelist for bands that allow trading. BTW, they have many of the same bandwidth sharing features that bittorrent has.
  • by GoodNicsTken ( 688415 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:16AM (#11136890)
    Durring the beginning of the Iraq war, I used P2P to get video and pictures that were censored from the US. The instant I hear about pictures, recordings, etc. on another network they can't show in the US, I go find them on P2P. Along with that search, I also found pictures that solders had taken along the way. Then I found gunship video (de-classified and classified because it had altitude/other readings) showing people walking into a building. The order came, and they leveled the building. Then started firing on anyone leaving the scene. You could actually see the men get thrown around after getting hit with munitions. On, and this video just happened to show one man running into a mosque so he was let go. (sure it wasn't leaked on purpose)
  • LegalTorrents.com (Score:5, Informative)

    by jhalludel ( 830183 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:16AM (#11136894)
    how about http://www.legaltorrents.com/ URL says it all...
    • Seconded. Legal Torrents is a great resource for legal content, especially smaller electronica labels. The Wired Creative Commons CD is on there as well.
    • Re:LegalTorrents.com (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gnalle ( 125916 )
      Reading todays story I get the feeling that the poster wants to use a few law abiding OSS-file sharers as an excuse for letting everybody else share copyrighted music. However this attempt is misguided and meaningless.

      RIAA is not filing legal charges against bittorrent as a program. Perhaps they would like to shut down the sourceforge site, but it is much easier for them to attack the torrent providers.One of the qualities of bittorrent is that it is fairly visible whether a torrent provider links illegal

  • Uses ? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by butlerdi ( 705651 ) * on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:17AM (#11136905)
    We use P2P (JXTA) in our food traceability project. Users keep their data locally but allow others within their group to access the data to build the required product documentation. This is done to comply with upcomming EU and US legislation.
  • Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fitten ( 521191 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:17AM (#11136909)
    Assault rifles can be used for hunting, target practice, target competition, and recreational shooting (as can most guns).

    Assault rifles, and guns in general, aren't "evil" or are built to serve nefarious purposes.

    Similarly, P2P networks can solve a host of distribution issues.

    It's the idiots that use them for illegal purposes (assault rifles, guns, or P2P networks) that cause the problems. Since the world is made up mostly of idiots, well... there you go.
    • Interesting, but if you had a gun store that only sold assualt rifles and it became known to you that 90% of the rifles you sold were being used in crimes, would you still be justified in selling assault rifles?

      Now that's a big "if", but it moves the discussion more towards what we're talking about with grokster.
      • While your sentiment is clear, your object choice does not lend itself to its use. The so-called "assault weapons" are not used by criminals. They're too heavy, too loud, cost too much. Just like bolt-action rifles. Also, 99% of firearms are never used in a crime.

        It is a rare criminal that isn't wearing clothes. Clothes are the choice of criminals! We must make clothes illegal, or at least license them tightly, to prevent their abuse by criminals.

        How about an automobile dealer instead? What if an automobi
      • Interesting, but if you had a gun store that only sold assualt rifles and it became known to you that 90% of the rifles you sold were being used in crimes, would you still be justified in selling assault rifles?

        That is a very good question. Partly it depends upon the reason why your guns are being used in crimes. If you are selling guns, in what happens to be a crime-ridden area, and you have the best prices, then no, it is not your responsibility to stop selling guns. If, on the other hand, you give

    • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TrollBridge ( 550878 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:32AM (#11137034) Homepage Journal
      Except that most guns aren't used to commit crimes.

      And though we'll never have conclusive, accurate metrics on leval vs. illegal use of P2P, common sense tells me that the majority of users aren't downloading the latest version of Gentoo.
      • Except that most guns aren't used to commit crimes.

        When guns are used to commit crimes, people could die. No one will die as a result of copyright infringement---so it's hardly as serious.

        • People can die when I use a chainsaw, pencil, pen, lamp, rock, stick, club, baseball bat, crowbar, CRT, LCD, Computer, Stapler, Holepuncher, chair, Cat-5 cable, phonecord, desk, old ladies walker, cane, sword, kitchen knife, clorox bleach, amonia, etc... TO bash their head in or strangle them poison them stab them and so on yet I don't see anyone complaining against most of those. Or even a car to run someone over with.
      • >Except that most guns aren't used to commit

        Out of curiosity, what ARE most guns just for? Target practice? Target competition? Hunting? Reccreational shooting? Something else? Might of course vary with country. Just curious since you seem to know.

        • Targetshooting, mostly. A lot of people who own a firearm for home defense want to make sure they can hit their target in the event of a break-in.

          Hunting is probably second.
          • That assumes most guns are owned to defend your home, is that so? And that many of them actually DO practise.
      • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by l4m3z0r ( 799504 )
        Most cars(probably all) are used for speeding and breaking various other road laws, let's ban those as well.
    • Assault rifles are designed specifically to kill human beings. They're not really well suited to the purpose of hunting, and all of your other examples amount to "practice/pretend".

      Killing human beings is generally considered evil, and even those that don't consider it uniformly so feel that it is only justified as a response to the evil of others.

      Piss poor example if you ask me...

      • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cluckshot ( 658931 )

        I love this myth that "Assualt rifles" were specifically to kill human beings. The Geneva Conventions actually have made them be developed for entirely a different purpose and it is most definitely and amazingly not to kill human beings. Assault rifles were built to WOUND people.

        You see in combat if you wound a soldier it takes out of action 2 or 3 buddies as well. Killing him usually just gets his buddies mad! It is much more effective to wound. This is also why land mines are most often calculated

  • FreeAudio.org .... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Art Pollard ( 632734 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:18AM (#11136917)
    I run FreeAudio.org [freeaudio.org]. The goal is to create audiobooks of the most important literary works on liberty and freedom. I regularly share our first work: Frederic Bastiat's classic book "The Law" via LimeWire. The works are intended to be downloaded and shared. (You can even post them on your website as long as the copyright info is kept intact.) Sometime today or tomorrow, I'll be posting our second work: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. With both of these works, there is a statement at the beginning encouraging people to share them "via their favorite file sharing service." So, not only is sharing via P2P allowed, it is encouraged. (Add one more to your list.)
  • Knoppix. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Demon-Xanth ( 100910 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:18AM (#11136928)
    Want to distribute 700MB files all over the world w/o breaking your own backbone? Knoppix provides a torrent link that lets you DL it's live CD distribution from the bittorrent network rather than the choked FTP servers (which are often 7-10kb/sec).

  • by dilute ( 74234 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:20AM (#11136940)
    Grokster is a business. If you couldn't use it to trade infringing copies, I'm afraid the service would have no commercial viability whatsoever. The mere fact that it's CAPABLE of exchanging noninfringing files I don't think is sufficient justification.

    A better case, perhaps, could be made for bittorent.
    • BZZZZT! Wrong.

      It could be argued that the popularity of VHS was due to piracy.

      Bittorrent accounts for a VERY LARGE percentage of all transfers on the internet. I would bet most of that is illegal.

      The ONLY thing bittorrent has going for it against P2P like Grokster is that Grokster has some method of authority over the system. Anyone can run their own mini-P2P network that they are responsible for (seeders/trackers).
  • Well... (Score:5, Informative)

    by dfj225 ( 587560 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:20AM (#11136943) Homepage Journal
    Right now I am using BitTorrent to download disk images of the X Live CD written about here on /. a few days ago and Fedora Core 3. I can't really think of any better examples of a legal use of a "p2p" network. I think BitTorrent is an especially good idea for OSS as it allows free software to be distributed in a manner that lowers the bandwidth usage of the host providing the software.
  • by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:22AM (#11136953)
    between systems like BT versus Kazaa and Grokster. Their network structures are inherently different and as such must be considered independently.

    Legal uses of BitTorrent have been shown, but legit uses of Kazaa and Grokster are slim from what I've seen.

    You might argue that you could distribute public domain works, or GPL works, over Kazaa/Grokster but for things like Linux ISOs, BT works better and for low priority things HTTP and FTP work quite well.

    And please, people, don't bring up the "we should make all X illegal" analogy.
    • The problem is that they are using these organizations as scapegoats because they are the easiest target. When you cannot punish a crime effectively politicians and "victims" end up blaming the tool instead of the crime and perpetrator. We see this in a wide variety of issues in law.

      "I lost X and for whatever reason cannot punish Y so I must lobby to have tool T outlawed." or "If not for tool T I would still have X so I must sue/lobby."

  • BBC (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sirch ( 82595 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:24AM (#11136972) Homepage
    The BBC is apparently considering [theregister.co.uk] using P2P for the distribution of their archives once it goes live.
  • slackware (Score:3, Informative)

    by IAR80 ( 598046 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:26AM (#11136987) Homepage
    Latest slackware distribution was first released only on BT.
  • I'm not sure if this is too dissimilar or not, but using peer to peer networks for backups [pensamos.com] should generally be non-infringing.
  • Eve patch download (Score:3, Informative)

    by ebrandsberg ( 75344 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:32AM (#11137028)
    Eve, the MMORPG posted a bittorrent link when they updated their client for faster downloads. It WAS faster to download that way too, much much faster. The link is still there: http://www.eve-online.com/patches/patches.asp
  • Ringtone sharing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zoeblade ( 600058 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:36AM (#11137059) Homepage

    One of the legal uses of P2P networking listed is ringtone sharing, but ringtones are the same as any other form of music: the owner of the copyright dictates whether anyone is allowed to copy them or not. This means that ringtones based on chart music or TV theme tunes, for example, cannot legally be copied.

    It's not uncommon these days for a record company to make more money from a ringtone of a single than the actual CD sales, so I wouldn't be surprised if they got upset about them being shared freely.

    Free music you can copy [bytenoise.co.uk]

  • -This would make P2p illegal and probably a host of similar software.
    -USA would then be compared to China in anal retention.

    Then one of 2 things will happen:
    -All the fun (and illegal) things in computers would not happen in the USA. Patents will also drive interesting stuff away too. USA would have to buy all good tech stuff from outside the country, eventhough it would illegal. Joe consumer would either leave the country (if he can afford it) or join some militia for civil war.
    -Congress smartens-up a
  • The OMR is a music registry for copyleft or public domain music. It lists a couple hundred artists and many more songs, from many genre. Unfortunately, it recently went down. it was too expensive to host as a traditional web archive.

    I've talked with its maintainer about running it, and I'll be re-openning it for the new year, only because I'm building it for use with bittorrent. I have a measly 33KB/s uplink and couldn't begin to host the site otherwise. But between me as the archive and a couple of fr
  • UseNet, IM, and FTP could all be considered P2P.
  • The King Kong website has been distributing production diary videos and interviews with Director Peter Jackson, et al via torrent for the upcoming movie.
    http://www.kongisking.net/index.shtml [kongisking.net]
  • While it was never official, all of the Project Gutenberg books are shared out by some people on DC networks.
  • Knoppix (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bob_Robertson ( 454888 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:44AM (#11137130) Homepage

    Knoppix has been using BitTorrent for distribution for a while. I think it's an excellent example for other distributions.

    Debian tried to use a distributed system where the packages for the .ISO were gathered from the mirror sites. I think BitTorrent would be a better way, and will suggest it.

    • Glad you posted that url as it shows just how much traffic the Knoppix torrents shift. The latest release has been up for 11 days and has averaged putting out nearly 8 megabytes/second since which would certainly cost significant amounts of money. Kanotix also uses bittorrent for distribution along with a small list of mirrors, life would be very painful for anyone trying to download a new Kanotix release otherwise but instead everyone interested gets to contribute towards getting the new release out qu
      • I read through the replies and noticed very, very few people were posting the URLs of "legitimate use" site.

        The more people that know about a Torrent, the faster the torrent becomes. So post those URLs!


  • by Teancum ( 67324 ) <robert_horning@netzero. n e t> on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:44AM (#11137132) Homepage Journal
    One of the best examples of a P2P network that I havn't really seen done too well yet is a local distributed storage solution. The idea here is that you have some huge datastore (such as a file system or a database) where you want to put the data into the datastore and allow other individuals on the local network to be able to fish the data out.

    The point here is that by going the P2P route rather than a fixed central server model, you both balance the network bandwith, particularly for "distant" nodes, and you allow the redundancy that the internet is so hyped over (you can nuke any node and the rest will compensate) but in practice is far from the truth. In theory you can still lose some data, but with a well built P2P network of this nature that could be minimized, and only seldom accessed data would be the most vunerable.

    Another big plus of this is that not only does this type of storage system work well for limited bandwidth, you can also install more modest "almost thin terminals" into such a network that keeps only frequently accessed data locally, and other nodes can compensate with data storage elsewhere.

    Unfortunately, I havn't seen any really good examples of this. Freenet comes close in theory, but even that has some ways to go to do this effectively.
  • by eSims ( 723865 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:47AM (#11137157) Homepage
    We use a digital recording system to record mp3s and burn CDs of our church services. We intend to use P2P to defray the costs of bandwidth to be able to distribute the recordings freely. Since the church owns the copyright there are no legal encumbrences to this distribution.

    A Bit Offtopic: But Slashdot provided much of the info required for designing and building the recording device [esims.org] and to my knowledge there is none like it elsewhere.

  • One of the things I have used the P2P clients (any and all) for is for finding and downloading Anime Fan Pictures. Easiest way to get a couple hundred pics of a series at once rather than trying to find fansites and dloading an image archive one at a time.
  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:50AM (#11137181) Homepage Journal
    1 - Getting legal to re-distribute software and information more efficiently then only using the base FTP sites..

    2 - time-shifting of broadcast TV shows that i have a legal right to record, but missed due to any number of reasons.

    3 - Sharing your own produced content ( such as music ) in order to broaden your listener base without the cost of 'main stream' advertising.

  • Both Filerush.com and 3dgamers.com use BitTorrent for legal torrent downloads of game demos and videos. Filerush.com (sorry for tooting my own horn) allows people to submit legal files of any kind, and we'll add our high bandwidth seeds.
  • I like this example because Red vs. Blue (and machinima in general) is an emergent "threat" to established content producers, and P2P makes it possible for a low-budget group to disseminate their original creations.

    Or do they still use BitTorrent....?

  • How about this... integrate the bittorrent protocol into web browswers, so websites can distribute their content in p2p with just a tag. Like, heavy images for example.

    <img src="bittorrent://http://mywebsite/myimage.torrent " title="My 2MB astronomical image of the earth" />

    Just a thought.
  • How about everytime someone posts a link to something cool on slashdot and the native server of the resource crumbles under the load? Usually, some thoughtful soul throws up a .torrent to it so the rest of the people who want to just download it (or even RTFA) can get to it.
  • by Bert690 ( 540293 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:17PM (#11137424)
    I run YouServ [youserv.net], a hybrid web-based p2p system, within IBM. It is used by thousands for work-oriented content sharing.
  • I think.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Audacious ( 611811 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:19PM (#11137442) Homepage
    I think one of the things MGM is forgetting is that yelling for contributory negligence on the part of a vendor such as Grokster, Morpheus, et al means that MGM will soon be out of business for producing films that urge people to commit violent crimes.

    Should such a religious change to our laws (basically the "Am I not my brother's keeper?" question) should never be allowed into our laws or court system. If you think about it, our whole basis for our life here is the statement that everyone is entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No where does the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, or the Bill of Rights say that we are all responsible for what everyone else does. All of it just states that we are responsible for our own actions. Which is why a murderer is put on trial and not his friends, enemies, family, and the like (so long as they did not participate of course). It is the same with these companies. Just because they make a piece of software which could be used in a harmful way against companies such as MGM is no excuse to hold them responsible for another party's usage of their software. Just like it is no excuse to hold a VCR production company responsible for how a VCR is used. Or Radio Shack for carrying the parts necessary to build a cable box which circumvents the cable company's security measures. Or Intel because its CPU chips were used to create a new virus. The allusions are ridiculous. The entire country can not function if such a law were passed. George Bush's "We are a litigious society," will be absolutely true. For no company will be able to function under such a law.

    I believe that, as Americans, we should all go out and file lawsuits against every major company for psychological damage to our brains for being asked to function under laws which contradict the very basis of the manner in which this country was not only founded (ie: Freedom to do as you please) but to even work in this country (ie: If you get a job then you have denied someone else that very job).

    Think about it. You really can't even respond to this message because you will have broken the copyright laws as they now stand. Why? Because you have to first get my permission to even reference this message. We ignore that here and respond anyway but this is just another example of common sense versus stupidity when it comes to crafting laws.
  • Fedora (Score:2, Informative)

    by mjfrazer ( 305120 )
    http://fedora.redhat.com/download/#download [redhat.com] points to http://torrent.dulug.duke.edu/ [duke.edu] which hosts the fedora torrents.
  • E-mail (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kevinank ( 87560 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @12:30PM (#11137548) Homepage
    The most obvious (to me) non-infringing use of P2P would be the peer to peer store and forward protocol of Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), or what we have all come to know and love as e-Mail. The thing is that the whole of the Internet is designed around smart end-points, stupid but resilient middle. Client/server use, such as HTTP is essentially an overlay network -- the core of the Internet is all peer to peer.

"Everyone's head is a cheap movie show." -- Jeff G. Bone