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Torrents into 2010

January 4, 2010

The blog TorrentFreak has got a few interesting stories up both looking back at the last decade and also forward into 2010.  A couple of things caught my eye…

One was the article talking about ways that users in France may use to avoid the new ‘3 strikes’ law;

French senator Michel Thiolliere has told the BBC that the so-called Hadopi legislation will have the desired effect, with nearly everyone warned a second time abandoning illegal file-sharing for good.

“What we think is that after the first message… about two-thirds of the people (will) stop their illegal usages of the internet,” he explained

“After the second message more than 95% will finish with that bad usage.”

It is, however, much more likely that after getting a first warning, or even before, French Internet users will try to find a way round this system. They will discover that it’s surprisingly easy.

The other article is about predictions for p2p in the coming year.  There are a number of predictions in the article (so it is worth reading the whole thing) but I’m going to comment on only a couple…

Prediction 1: The Pirate Bay will cease to offer torrent links

After closing its tracker in 2009, The Pirate Bay will further evolve by removing all torrents from its index in the new year. The site will be reduced to a BitTorrent platform that no longer stores torrent files. Users will still be able to submit torrents through a third party service such as Torrage, but instead of linking to these torrent files, The Pirate Bay will list only Magnet links.

During the second half of 2010, The Pirate Bay four will appear before the Appeal Court. They will be found ‘not guilty’ and walk away free. Shortly after this victory in court, Pirate Bay’s YouTube killer The Video Bay will be released to the public.

This case will be, assuming the music industry wins, a pyrrhic victory because the technology behind p2p is rapidly moving away from having a web-site that hosts the torrents to more de-centralised systems.

Next is…

Prediction 4: BitTorrent (live) streaming will take off

Advances in technology and growing broadband penetration have brought us to a point where BitTorrent-powered streaming solutions have become reality. BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen is working on a streaming implementation and experiments have shown that it is possible to stream high definition content.

In the second half of 2010, the first BitTorrent-powered YouTube competitors will be launched. These new BitTorrent sites will mainly offer streams of pirated movies and TV-shows. Live BitTorrent streaming will gain worldwide traction during the 2010 soccer world cup in South Africa. In the second half of the year, commercial implementations will follow, allowing broadcasters to stream live content at zero cost.

I agree with this – to some extents (e.g. with iPlayer) it has already been happening, but we will see an acceleration in content bandwidth management using p2p – as the content (e.g. HD) size increases, so does the demands on the pipes that send it around the Internet and new software means of sending are the easiest point of rapid improvement, thus p2p is a natural way of doing this.

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