ISPs prepare for video revolution

Video may have killed the radio star, but it doesn't have to kill the Internet.

That is if Internet service providers can figure out how to keep up with the video-driven bandwidth demand on their networks. Peer-to-peer technology provider BitTorrent says it can help.

Video consumes more network resources than any other media distributed on the Web. Even poor-quality video from YouTube eats up more bandwidth than e-mail, music downloading, and voice over IP services. And when you throw full-length high-definition video into the mix, you're talking about even more bandwidth. Depending on the compression used, a single … Read more

British ISP, recording industry warn illegal downloaders

Virgin Media and the British Polyphonic Industry will work together to "educate" broadband customers on avoiding legal action while downloading music with peer-to-peer software, the organizations said Friday.

A joint release posted on the British Polyphonic Industry (BPI) Web site said Virgin Media broadband customers using their accounts to illegally share music will receive letters from Virgin Media and the BPI. Customer names and addresses will not be disclosed to the BPI--which is comparable to the Recording Industry Association of America--and the release says the letters will be of an "informative" nature.

According to the BPI, … Read more

True or false: Is file swapping legal?

Students at one Missouri university don't just have to take surprise quizzes on economics, chemistry, or Spanish these days. They also get pop quizzes on digital copyright law. The online test aims to prevent piracy and violation of copyright laws, and if students want access to peer-to-peer file sharing, they have to ace it.

According to an Associated Press report, the Missouri University of Science and Technology now requires students to correctly answer six questions about digital copyright law before they can use peer-to-peer tools. If they pass the test, they get six hours of access to the software. … Read more

Comcast calls for 'P2P Bill of Rights'

First, it was a very public detente with BitTorrent.

Then, on Tuesday, Comcast continued its make-nice-with-P2P campaign by announcing a new collaboration with P2P software maker Pando Networks. Specifically, they're leading the development of a "P2P Bill of Rights and Responsibilities," driven by input from "industry experts, other ISPs and P2P companies, content providers and others."

"By having this framework in place, we will help P2P companies, ISPs and content owners find common ground to support consumers who want to use P2P applications to deliver legal content," Comcast Chief Technology Officer Tony Werner … Read more

Can Joost be saved? Web-based version reportedly on the way

This post was updated at 10:12 AM PT to correct the spelling of Joost CEO Mike Volpi's name.

Could a browser-based version of its peer-to-peer software save Joost, the heavily hyped video start-up founded by the creators of Skype and Kazaa?

Portfolio's Kevin Maney wrote a lengthy profile of the once-hot company, and buried inside is a juicy tidbit about a future development: "This year, viewers will be able to watch Joost videos in a browser window," the profile read. Right now, Joost requires a software download, which critics have said is one of its … Read more

Verizon touts smart P2P software

A real-world Internet test reveals that "intelligent" routing of peer-to-peer traffic can drastically reduce network utilization and speed up downloads for subscribers, according to a new study.

Verizon Communications, which participated in the study headed by researchers at Yale University, plans to release the data on Friday at the Distributed Computing Industry Association's P2P Market Conference in New York City.

Using network topology data from Verizon and Telefonica, Yale University tested a software enhancement to the peer-to-peer protocol that it developed with software developer Pando Networks.

What the researchers discovered was that when using the so-called P4P … Read more

Cisco invests in P2P start-up

Cisco Systems has invested in a peer-to-peer Internet TV start-up.

The Seattle-based start-up GridNetworks said that Cisco is one of two "strategic investors" that contributed to the company's $9.5 million series A round of funding announced in October. The venture capital firm Panorama Capital of Menlo Park, Calif., was named as the lead investor when the funding was first announced.

GridNetworks, which launched its service in November 2006, has taken a hybrid approach to delivering high-definition movies and TV shows over the Internet. It uses both peer-to-peer technology, which leverages content distributed on users' computers all … Read more

Report: NBC Direct gets help from P2P site

Pando Networks, a company offering a legal peer-to-peer software, will distribute shows for the troubled NBC Direct site, according to a press release issued by the companies.

With Pando's P2P technology, NBC claims that it is now the first "major US TV network to provide millions of viewers free DVD-quality downloads of their favorite shows," according to a press release.

NBC Direct will begin integrating the P2P technology in a beta version in coming months, the companies said. The new NBC Direct service will include various anti-piracy features, including hash matching, digital fingerprinting and content watermarking. Pando … Read more

EU invests $22 million in open-source P2P technology

It's ironic how different Europe can be from the United States. While the U.S. continues its mindless rampage against the future of digital distribution with DRM, RIAA, MPAA, and other acronyms designed to stuff the 21st century back into the 20th century's ideas of how to package and sell property, Europe is actually investing in that future. To be exact, it's putting $22 million toward peer-to-peer technology, in a BitTorrent-minded project called P2P-Next.

Surely European broadcasters are against the move, right? After all, research suggests that 50 percent of those using BitTorrent are doing so to steal TV shows. As one TorrentFreak blogger noted, however, European broadcasters believe this situation presents an opportunity rather than a threat:

One of the biggest names taking part is the BBC, who will use the new BitTorrent client to stream TV programs. Other partners in the P2P-Next project are the European Broadcasting Union, Lancaster University, Markenfilm, Pioneer Digital Design Centre Limited and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The main goal is to develop an open source, BitTorrent-compatible client that supports live streaming.… Read more

Winny Trojan author arrested in Japan

On Thursday, Japanese authorities announced the arrest of a college student and two associates who are alleged to have written and distributed a Trojan horse via a popular peer-to-per network.

Because Japan currently lacks computer crime laws, the three (whose names were withheld) were instead arrested on copyright violations. Between October and November of 2007, the author of a Trojan known as Harada used images of a popular anime character to entice users of the Winny P2P network to download the malware.

Computers infected with one strain of Harada displayed a message saying, "You're already dead. Come here. … Read more