Sharman and P2P United
Recent months have shown some interesting developments in the P2P world. We've seen the RIAA launch its campaign against the American people, with largely ineffectual results. In response to the buildup and follow-through with this campaign we've also seen the creation of P2P United.
P2P United is a trade organization that represents some of the major players in the P2P world. They include: BearShare (FreePeers, Inc.), Limewire (LimeWire, LLC), Grokster (Grokster, LTD), eDonkey2000 (MetaMachine, Inc.), Blubster (Manolito P2P) and Morpheus (Streamcast Networks, Inc.).
Among many other tasks, P2P United's perhaps most important role is its function as a congressional lobby group. Up until the formation of this lobby group, less attention was given to pro-P2P activity on Capital Hill.
That being said, a noted P2P developer is absent from P2P United; Sharman Networks. In fact, P2P United's FAQ even addresses this issue:
Q: Is KaZaa a member of P2P United?
A: No. Neither KaZaa, nor any corporation with an interest in it, is a member of P2P United.
Curiously, no explanation of their absence is given. In response, we spoke with Phil Morle, CTO of Sharman Networks, who gave sent us this release on the issue:
"DCIA (Distributed Computing Industry Association) evolved from the DCSC (Distributed Computing Standards Coalition) which formed in early 2002.
As market leader, Sharman Networks recognized the need for an organization to bring together platform, operations, and content companies to constructively develop this new industry and became involved in DCSC from its inaugural meeting in 2002. The organization evolved to become DCIA, which was formally established mid 2003. Sharman provided seed funding to DCIA to continue in the execution of this mission, prior to the creation of P2PU.
As in many formative industries, the smaller operators felt the need to band together to have the strength of a common voice and formed P2P United. It is helpful to the process of developing this industry that P2P United has been formed and we know that DCIA has its doors open to it and its members.
The DCIA's charter is to represent all sectors of the distributed computing industry, while P2PU focuses totally on the needs of the smaller operators. There is no reason that Sharman has not joined P2PU other than an existing commitment to DCSC/ DCIA and recognition that the distributed computing industry needs to be addressed cross-industry, and as widely as possible."
Editors Note: Regardless of the number of P2P lobby groups, its the hope of many in the file-sharing community that cooperation rather than competition perseveres.