The Year in Peer-to-Peer News


File sharing is what the Internet is for. Whole reason it exists. What it’s been doing successfully since it started. But in 2006, some of the spotlight fell on the simple act of file-sharing, or more specifically, sharing files with others that might not necessarily be yours. Here’s a look back at the year in peer-to-peer, where the biggest story was where players changed sides.

On the demand side of the equation, the public flocked to download vast quantities of video content, legally or otherwise. Savvy developers and entrepreneurs began building P2P technology popular among pirates into legitimate producitivity and distribution applications. The supply side balked, arguing against network neutrality while quietly throttling certain protocols and packets. Of course, providers also added millions of new broadband subscribers, and in the case of cable and telephone companies, sought to leverage their ubiquity to add voice and video services, respectively.

Legally, there were some minor (likely pyrrhic) victories on the part of content owners to jail copyright infringers. But this only excited public debate on fundamental questions of ownership and freedom of speech. Arguments that non-commercial sharing of commercial content is tantamount to theft met a tsunami of public apathy, with signs of increases in both legal and illegal content distribution. Such actions prompted copyfighters to point out that black markets and the public commons have always coexisted with legitimate business.

Here’s a brief chronology on how the year in P2P played out:

  • Jan. 30: Warner Brothers announces their new In2Movies service for Germany, which will feature P2P distribution of their content. [WSJ]
  • Feb. 10: UK broadband provider ntl and BitTorrent team up to offer their own legal content distribution. [GigaOm]
  • Feb. 26: This user’s experience with the Kontiki-powered Sky by Broadband service demonstrates ‘legitimate’ P2P still has a ways to go. [PC Doctor]
  • April 3: The Freenet Project releases Freenet 0.7, a proof-of-concept project by network neutrality, privacy and copyright reform advocates. [Slashdot]
  • April 3: On the same day, LinuxP2P runs an interview with Swedish Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge which frames the arguments for policy reform in stark common sense. [LinuxP2P via P2PNet]
  • May 5th: BitTorrent lands a licensing deal with Warner Brothers, the first legitimate content deal for the P2P company. [GigaOm]
  • May 16: A piece of malware with a singular mission – to selectively delete content connected with file sharing – is discovered. Pirates roll their eyes and sigh. [Slashdot]
  • June 7: EMI launches QTrax, an ad-supported, peer-to-peer music service. Is never mentioned again. [Slashdot]
  • June 12th: RIAA tentatively admits that the grey market trade in copyright materials may be around to stay, while simultaneously reassuring everyone that they will continue to make money. [USA Today]
  • June 28: Weeks later, the RIAA reportedly begins taking a new track with their lawsuit, targetting localities and their media apparatus in order to put a face on piracy. [Slyck News]
  • Aug. 23: Sony buys up Grouper for $65 million, in a move that reeks of desperation for street cred with the kids. [GigaOm]
  • Sept. 12: eDonkey becomes the last of the old file sharing giants to settle with the RIAA to the tune of $30 million. Users of open source copycat eMule shrug. [Slashdot]
  • Oct. 23: If there wasn’t already enough spam and malware on Gnutella networks, Skyrider announced plans to become a “P2P Marketing Platform.” [GigaOm]
  • Dec. 1: Starting the year as a popular euphemism for content piracy in general, BitTorrent shakes the image and finishes a year of attempted legitimacy with a $20 million capital investment. [GigaOm]
  • Dec. 15: As the reality of ubiquitous file sharing, legitimate or otherwise, sets in the main argument for P2P — efficiency — can finally get a hearing. [NewTeeVee]



고유가 시대의 날로 높아가만 가는 기름 기름 기름

기름 한 방울 안 나오는 나라에서는 큰일이 아닐수 없습니다

쪼달리는 기름값때문에 허리띠를 쫄라 맨다지만 그 또한 대안이 될수 없는 실정

우리 생활 속에서 자동차가 필수 상품이 된지 오래이지만 기름값만큼은 줄이기

쉽지 않은 것도 현실입니다 이러한 여러분에 고민을 확 풀어 드리 상품이 있습니다

☞오일절약 011-216-5201

단 두알만 쓰십시오 두알이면 자동차 기름 값에 무려 20%이상 줄일수있는 상품

어떻게 믿겠는가?사기일것이다?엔진에 이상이 있을것이다??? 걱정 하지 마시라!!

10억원 보험 가입과 미국 일본 등지에서 수만번에 실험과 검증 테스트를 통해 그 효과를 입증한 상품

미국 환경청 정식 등록과 미연방통상위원회 인증 그리고 한국을 비롯한 각국 나라에 많은 분들이 써 보시구

그 효과를 인정하고있습니다 디젤 경유 등유 가솔린 어떤 유류 차량이라고 상관없습니다

믿고 쓰십시오 써 보시면 돈 아깝다는 소리 못합니다 전화 주십시오 사용 하는 순간

매달 쩔쩔 매던 유류 지출액이 넉넉해 집니다 지금 전화 주십시오 당신의 연비를 바꿔 드리겠습니다

☞오일절약 011-216-5201

자동차 연료비 사업 하실분도 모집 하고 있사오니 관심있는 분은 연락 주십시오

당신이 성공하는 그 날 까지 도와 드리겠습니다. 감사합니다

1-Click Media

Happy Mew Year Everyone
My company – 1-Click Media – provides white-label P2P solution based on BitTorrent and specifically designed for TV channel with web-interface and strong webseeding. Since 2005, we work with all the French TV channels to provide cost-effective VOD service and high-definition content.
Peer-to-peer is definitely THE solution to offer videos massively at the lowest cost possible sharing users ressources;
In 2007, public will see a lot of legal applications of P2P with Venice Project, BitTorrent, Azureus, Kontiki, GNAB, Skyrider…

Jackson West

Couldn’t have covered absolutely everything, sadly, so I had to pick the most representative examples — so I chose the BitTorrent deal with Warner because BitTorrent is more commonly referenced a belweather of the industry and technology. Can’t say the same could be said of the PeerImpact deal, which also happened a number of weeks after.


Great roundup Jackson thanks. Its been a good year for P2P. People and media cos. are finally starting to see it for what it is; a fundamentally necessary component of Internet infrastructure, thanks to the swell of video coming online. I think 2007 will be P2P’s breakout year. We’ll know when people stop talking about P2P and just rave about hi-res content it delivers.

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