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

Travis H. travis+ml-nanog at
Fri Jan 19 08:23:52 UTC 2007

On Sat, Jan 13, 2007 at 06:11:32PM -0800, Roland Dobbins wrote:
> This is a very important point - perceived disintermediation,  
> perceived unbundling, ad reduction/elimination, and timeshifting are  
> the main reasons that DVRs are so popular

I am an unusual case, not having much time or interest in passive
entertainment, but I have moved to a MythTV box for my entertainment
center.  I don't have cable TV and my broadcast quality is such that
I don't bother with it.  I can find sufficient things on the net to
occupy those idle times, and can watch them on my limited schedule
and terms.  The BBC in particular has some interesting documentaries,
and I point you to a doubly relevant video series below.

Some others have mentioned that a pay system that was significantly
easier to use than the infringing technologies would turn the tide in
illicit copying.

Those interested in the direction things are going should read up on
Peter Gutmann's paper on the costs of Vista Content Protection.  It
is unfortunate the content owners are more interested in making illicit
copying hard than in making legal purchase and use of the content easy.

I don't intend to pay for systems that I don't control, don't intend
to store my data in formats I don't have documentation for, and don't
anticipate paying for DRM-encoded files ever, mostly because I'd have
to pay for a crippled system which reminds me of buying a car with the
hood welded shut in order to have the privilege of renting content.
Usually in such situations the industry is willing to engage in some
loss leaders; I'd take a free crippled media player, but probably in
the end would resent its closed nature, its lack of flexibility or
expandability, and all the things that led me to personal computers
and software in the first place.

> 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.

This is an interesting free video series on the illicit movie copying

It is somewhat unusual in that most of the videos are split screenshots,
and most of the conversation is typed, and that an understanding of
various technical topics is necessary to be able to follow the show at

> 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.

IMHO I fail to see how they would be (or remain) any different from
the current distribution channels.  It's akin to asking if the
open-source community could somehow be harnessed and paid for creating
software.  Yes; it's already being done, and there are qualitative
differences in the results.  When there is no financial interest,
artisanship and craftsmanship predominate as motivators.  When driven
by financial interests, often those languish, and the market forces of
suckification move the product inexorably from one which is the most
desirable to use, to one with as many built-in annoyances and
advertisements as the end-user will tolerate, all the useless features
necessary to confuse the purchaser into rational ignorance, and all
plausible mechanisms to lock the user in over time (or otherwise raise
their switching costs).  But I'm not cynical... ;-)

This is way off charter, but I recently read of a study where art students
were asked to create some artwork.  One group was given a financial
reward.  The results were anonymized, and evaluators judged the results.
Once unblinded, the study found that the group with the financial reward
was statistically significantly judged as less creative and as producing
lower-quality work.

> 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.

It has a poetic quality that one could only surpass by using someone's
botnet to DDoS them every time you catch them online.  Reminds me of
"The Grifters".
``If you can't trust a fixed fight, what can you trust?''
-- Miller's Crossing -><- <URL:>
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