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[FYI] P2P Kaempfe bis aufs Messer: Es wird ums Prinzip gehen.


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Cyber-revolutionaries are abandoning the Web to build an anarchic, 
censorship-free alternative. 

Kurt Kleiner reports  


But even for Gnutella, legal problems are looming. It's true that the 
system is less centralised than Napster, but that doesn't mean 
there's nobody to go after. About half of all Gnutella files are 
provided by just 1 per cent of users, and that 1 per cent present a 
big, fat target to anyone who wants to start suing for copyright 

See you in court    

The organisation most likely to start filing lawsuits is the 
Recording Industry Association of America. "We have not done any 
enforcement against Gnutella at this point. But that's not going to 
last long," says Frank Creighton, director of the RIAA's anti-piracy 
initiative. When the RIAA decides to move, he says, it will probably 
target that active 1 per cent. Finding out who they are shouldn't be 
hard because Gnutella servents need to know one another's IP 
addresses to communicate. Anyone can find out which ISP hosts a 
particular IP address, and after that a threatening letter or writ 
can have the user kicked off or force the ISP to reveal a name that 
can be pursued through the courts.    

But there is a P2P network that looks capable of evading the lawyers. 
Called Freenet, it's a radical system created from the ground up to 
be anonymous and censorship-proof.   


Not everyone accepts that Freenet is as censorship-proof as Clarke 
thinks. Creighton reckons he can bring it down by getting the IP 
addresses of individual nodes, sending letters to ISPs, and taking 
some users to court, just as he wants to do with Gnutella.  

But if Clarke turns out to be correct, Freenet will usher in a 
different world. No one will be able to stop you downloading free 
music files from the Internet. You'll be able to criticise the rich 
and powerful without fear of being silenced or punished. And you'll 
be able to read whichever spy memoir your government is trying to 
suppress at the moment.  

By the same token, you'll be powerless to stop people from 
plagiarising your copyrighted work or telling lies about you. Nobody 
will be able to take down child pornography or stolen nuclear 

Napster set out to give us free music, but it seems to have put us on 
the road to absolute freedom of speech. If so, the real challenge 
hasn't even begun.  

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