Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Swan Song Of | The End Of An Era and Centralized File Sharing Sites

On November 26th 2009, the infamous torrent site submitted to a Dutch courts ruling and became a content distribution only service. The Dutch court determined that the website must create a file filtering system that would not allow copyright material to be posted on their site. But, due to the nature of the torrent system and creative uploaders ability to manipulate titles, copyright materials were still getting onto the site making it impossible for the site to continue as it was. The site is not closed for business altogether you can still go to the site and look at the bones of what was and all of the legally uploaded material the site has to offer. Launched January 19th 2005 was considered the premier torrent site world wide, offering literally millions upon millions of torrent to be shared by the public to the public. What separated from other file sharing middlemen was the fact that it did not require a registration to download torrents thereby allowing for a certain level of anonymity for the users, as well as the ‘cleanliness’ of the site free from malware and pornography. Most importantly, in its existence posed one of the truly important questions of our modern age; to what extent can one own an idea? For large corporations and the governments they influence with their financial will the answer is to no limit. The implications of these opposed mentalities are yet to be seen.
As the giant has fallen what is to become of the file sharing community around the globe? The history of file sharing has been a hot topic since the Napster debacle, when large publishing houses and musicians (most notably Metallica) took aim at the software company for copyright infringement. But this crackdown on the software based file sharing systems only brought about the next evolution in file sharing, namely torrents. A file Torrent is a small program that operates in conjunction to a vast network of other torrent users, in essence by going after centralized file sharing software programs such as Napster the only logical set was to decentralize the system, thus giving birth to the popularity of torrents. Funny fact, the little program that could or the torrent was first created to distribute John Mayor bootlegs. Who know it would take on such an important role as a file sharing tool back when it was spreading around “Your Body Is A Wonderland”.
What is next then in this ever evolving field of file sharing? Perhaps it will be as simple as another reincarnation of a, a clone with the same features as the original but based out of another country. Or maybe something completely different will arise to replace the fallen giant, a kind of system or technique more adaptive and simple than any other method that has ever come before. One without a head to cut off, or a business to bankrupt, one completely independent of any possible regulation. Pushing the fringe and free thinkers further away will only create an abyss the law cannot contain.

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