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Thread: The Slow Death of P2P and Creative Destruction

  1. #1
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    With the official selling out of TPB, it would be pertinent to address the slow death of P2P as a form of file-sharing. What started as a shock and triumphant revival for P2P (death of OiNK, rise of Waffles/What) is now turning into a slow march to its death. The closing of SweDVDr, Darkside, and now TPB is showing us that we are fighting an uphill battle against forces way beyond our political control. As P2P becomes more and more mainstream, the faster this process will be sped up, and it will become a lot riskier for trackers to stay up.

    I'm not saying that P2P will die out entirely, but rather will experience something called creative destruction. Creative destruction is the destruction of current things to pave the way for newer, better things. With legal precendants being established all over the world outlawing P2P, it is almost certain we will see an even better system of file-sharing emerge out of this. Necesity is the mother of all invention, and with TPB "under new management", we can all rest assured that someone, somewhere will invent a faster, more efficient way to swap media.

    Just as the computer replaced the typewriter, so will the latest and greatest technology replace P2P. Its not a good time to be a tracker admin right now, and it will only get worse in the future. But the dying out of P2P will be a positive force overall for the file-sharing community.

  2. BitTorrent   -   #2
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    Original title+ post man. Assuming you didn't just copy and paste that you should post more, it's nice to read well structured posts like this.

  3. BitTorrent   -   #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueSounds View Post
    Original title+ post man. Assuming you didn't just copy and paste that you should post more, it's nice to read well structured posts like this.
    Thanks man.

    It was a bit of a rant, but I got my point across.

    EDIT: I'll be making more of these types of posts in the future, just observations of an ex-torrenter.
    Last edited by stopher54; 06-30-2009 at 10:43 PM.

  4. BitTorrent   -   #4
    While your post is well written and clearly inspired, I think it is better to analyze and critique your argument rather than support it without good cause, so in between s&d rounds I'll put on my devil's advocate robes.

    It seems you conflate p2p and bittorrent at times. I assume by p2p you mean bittorrent and perhaps previous forms of filesharing (napster et. al.). Thus your otherwise comprehensible argument would be that bittorrent will die out but other methods of filesharing will emerge.

    I'm not sure whether the typewriter>computer evolution is analogous, because that was a legitimate development protected and made profitable by a ton of capital, market forces and of course, patents and copyrights. So ironically, the analogy you draw was made possible by the laws you are arguing against.

    There are two basic ways to share files over the internet: server based or peer based. There are plenty of fast, efficient server based systems, usenet and rapidshare both having their own issues. Bittorrent is certainly the most efficient peer based protocol.

    There already are possibilities to decentralize and/or create a private, hopefully more secure network. The problem with decentralization is that it makes it more difficult to trust the content you're downloading and harder to find good speeds. The problem with more private solutions is that they limit you to very few friends or efriends, again reducing content and speed. Until these barriers are overcome or all decent trackers shutdown, I don't see how either of these options will be better than website tracker based bittorrent.

    The great things about website tracker based bittorrent are as follows: you know what you're getting, you can connect to peers you "like", there is an economy already established (tracker levels on the macro scale and ratio on the micro), and speeds, you can often maximize your internet bandwidth using BT, which is pretty amazing for p2p. The other great thing about website based trackers is that there are few barriers to entry (overall, although some torrent sites are hard to join). So a lot of peers can find a lot of content very efficiently. You can't have that with current "prototype" technologies.

    I'm sure more protocols will come about, but I just don't see one coming anytime soon. It's nice to put together pretty phrases, but I question whether there is the potential for a better p2p protocol. No matter what, there will always be something compromised, whether it is security, access, content or efficiency. Website tracked bittorrent seems to beis clearly the optimal form of p2p and I fail to see how something could surpass it.

  5. BitTorrent   -   #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by realityhd View Post
    While your post is well written and clearly inspired, I think it is better to analyze and critique your argument rather than support it without good cause, so in between s&d rounds I'll put on my devil's advocate robes.

    It seems you conflate p2p and bittorrent at times. I assume by p2p you mean bittorrent and perhaps previous forms of filesharing (napster et. al.). Thus your otherwise comprehensible argument would be that bittorrent will die out but other methods of filesharing will emerge.

    I'm not sure whether the typewriter>computer evolution is analogous, because that was a legitimate development protected and made profitable by a ton of capital, market forces and of course, patents and copyrights. So ironically, the analogy you draw was made possible by the laws you are arguing against.

    There are two basic ways to share files over the internet: server based or peer based. There are plenty of fast, efficient server based systems, usenet and rapidshare both having their own issues. Bittorrent is certainly the most efficient peer based protocol.

    There already are possibilities to decentralize and/or create a private, hopefully more secure network. The problem with decentralization is that it makes it more difficult to trust the content you're downloading and harder to find good speeds. The problem with more private solutions is that they limit you to very few friends or efriends, again reducing content and speed. Until these barriers are overcome or all decent trackers shutdown, I don't see how either of these options will be better than website tracker based bittorrent.

    The great things about website tracker based bittorrent are as follows: you know what you're getting, you can connect to peers you "like", there is an economy already established (tracker levels on the macro scale and ratio on the micro), and speeds, you can often maximize your internet bandwidth using BT, which is pretty amazing for p2p. The other great thing about website based trackers is that there are few barriers to entry (overall, although some torrent sites are hard to join). So a lot of peers can find a lot of content very efficiently. You can't have that with current "prototype" technologies.

    I'm sure more protocols will come about, but I just don't see one coming anytime soon. It's nice to put together pretty phrases, but I question whether there is the potential for a better p2p protocol. No matter what, there will always be something compromised, whether it is security, access, content or efficiency. Website tracked bittorrent seems to beis clearly the optimal form of p2p and I fail to see how something could surpass it.
    Correct, I use P2P and bittorrent interchangeably throughout, though I do mean bittorrent.

    You seem to have missed the point. There are CURRENTLY only two forms of file-sharing. CURRENTLY bittorrent in the only feasible solution to this. The point of my argument is that something revolutionary will come by and replace bittorrent because thats just how progress works. Perhaps there will be a compromise between the two, or something might come out of left-field. But the fact remains: bittorrent is losing its major battles. It has become entirely too mainstream, and as a result, has become the punching bag for the media and politicians.

    Bittorrent has significant flaws. First, it relies on the collective upload bandwidth of the swarm, which can be very low. Case in point: many of us have downloaded a new movie, only to get stuck downloading at 12 KB/s because there is only one seeder (and 200 leechers).

    Saying there is an economy in this system is ridiculous, if not a gross exaggeration. There are micro "economies" everywhere if we go by your example, from internet forums to social circles. It has an established community, but so did Napster. That could also be part of the problem.

    I'm not saying an entirely new protocol needs to be invented, but rather intengrating new technologies together in ways that make sense.

    Also, a devils advocate is always appreciated

    EDIT: I was talking with a friend, who said that DC++ (jokingly or otherwise) could make a comeback.
    Last edited by stopher54; 06-30-2009 at 11:43 PM.

  6. BitTorrent   -   #6
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    just a quick point..... this does take alot of the heat off private trackers, because our ISPs won't be able to tell the difference betwen stuff we download from TPB that we pay for , and stuff we download from TL that we don't, will they?

  7. BitTorrent   -   #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by no_bother View Post
    just a quick point..... this does take alot of the heat off private trackers, because our ISPs won't be able to tell the difference betwen stuff we download from TPB that we pay for , and stuff we download from TL that we don't, will they?
    Very good point, but like the "hydra" theory suggests, there will be two or three more big public trackers to replace TPB. In which case I think we'll see tensions escalating between legal authorities and torrenters.

  8. BitTorrent   -   #8
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    Its only 1 site thats done what its done, remember suprnova they done something similar and most were saying the same, it wont last, that was 4-5 years ago now.

    OK everything has to end sooner or later, but i think BT will be here for awhile longer yet (even if something new does come along tomorrow), Emule is still going, Limewire is still going, so why not BT.
    Last edited by stoi; 07-01-2009 at 12:30 AM.

  9. BitTorrent   -   #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by stopher54 View Post
    Bittorrent has significant flaws. First, it relies on the collective upload bandwidth of the swarm, which can be very low. Case in point: many of us have downloaded a new movie, only to get stuck downloading at 12 KB/s because there is only one seeder (and 200 leechers).

    Ever used a fast private tracker? What you call a flaw allows you to download new movies with almost unlimited download speed. Bundled upload bandwith is the only way to achieve that. In fact there's so much unused upload bandwith that you will more likely end up with 200 seeders, you being the only leecher and max out your download speed. Especially on new torrents. An initial uploader with 12 kb/s is pretty rare in the private tracker scene.
    Last edited by Polarbear; 07-01-2009 at 12:44 AM.

  10. BitTorrent   -   #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stopher54 View Post
    Bittorrent has significant flaws. First, it relies on the collective upload bandwidth of the swarm, which can be very low. Case in point: many of us have downloaded a new movie, only to get stuck downloading at 12 KB/s because there is only one seeder (and 200 leechers).

    Ever used a fast private tracker? What you call a flaw allows you to download new movies with almost unlimited download speed. Bundled upload bandwith is the only way to achieve that. In fact there's so much unused upload bandwith that you will more likely end up with 200 seeders and you being the only leecher and max out your download speed. Especially on new torrents. An initial uploader with 12 kb/s is pretty rare in the private tracker scene.
    Yes, actually, I ran one for a bit.

    Stoi, I see what you are saying. People have claimed that the "sky was falling" before, BT was doomed, etc. I'm not saying that. I'm saying that it might be around for another three or four years before it gets phased out by a better service. What we are seeing is the beginning of the end, and the start of newer and better innovations.

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