Network end users to pull down 2 gigabytes a day, continuously?

Roland Dobbins rdobbins at
Sun Jan 14 02:11:32 UTC 2007

On Jan 13, 2007, at 3:01 PM, Stephen Sprunk wrote:

> Consumers, OTOH, want to buy _programs_, not _channels_.

This is a very important point - perceived disintermediation,  
perceived unbundling, ad reduction/elimination, and timeshifting are  
the main reasons that DVRs are so popular (and now, placeshifting  
with things like Slingbox and Tivo2Go, though it's very early days in  
that regard).  So, at least on the face of it, there appears to be a  
high degree of congruence between the things which make DVRs  
attractive and things which make P2P attractive.

As to an earlier comment about video editing in order to remove ads,  
this is apparently the norm in the world of people who are heavy  
uploaders/crossloaders of video content via P2P systems.  It seems  
there are different 'crews' who compete to produce a 'quality  
product' in terms of the quality of the encoding, compression,  
bundling/remixing, etc.; it's very reminiscent of the 'warez' scene  
in that regard.

I believe that many of the people engaged in the above process do so  
because it's become a point of pride with them in the social circles  
they inhabit, again a la the warez community.  It's an interesting  
question as to whether or not the energy and 'professional pride' of  
this group of people could somehow be harnessed in order to provide  
and distribute content legally (as almost all of what people really  
want seems to be infringing content under the current standard  
model), and monetized so that they receive compensation and  
essentially act as the packaging and distribution arm for content  
providers willing to try such a model.  A related question is just  
how important the perceived social cachet of editing/rebundling/ 
redistributing -infringing- content is to them, and whether  
normalizing this behavior from a legal standpoint would increase or  
decrease the motivation of the 'crews' to continue providing these  
services in a legitimized commercial environment.

As a side note, it seems there's a growing phenomenon of 'upload  
cheating' taking place in the BitTorrent space, with clients such as  
BitTyrant and BitThief becoming more and more popular while at the  
same time disrupting the distribution economies of P2P networks.   
This has caused a great deal of consternation in the infringing- 
oriented P2P community of interest, with the developers/operators of  
various BitTorrent-type systems such as BitComet working at  
developing methods of detecting and blocking downloading from users  
who 'cheat' in this fashion; it is instructive (and more than a  
little ironic) to watch as various elements within the infringing- 
oriented P2P community attempt to outwit and police one another's  
behavior, especially when compared/contrasted with the same classes  
of ongoing conflict between the infringing-oriented P2P community,  
content producers, and SPs.


Roland Dobbins <rdobbins at> // 408.527.6376 voice

                     Technology is legislation.

                         -- Karl Schroeder

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