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Peer-to-peer only ever made sense for popular stuff that people won't pay for. By definition there is little business opportunity in markets where people don't want to pay.



>By definition there is little business opportunity in markets where people don't want to pay.

Counterexample: network TV, radio, facebook.com, gmail.com, pretty much all of the ad-supported web.

>Peer-to-peer only ever made sense for popular stuff that people won't pay for.

Counterexample: Skype (freeium model on a P2P network). The content wasn't "popular" it was private phone conversations and people paid for it.

Counterexample: Bitcoin (runs on a P2P network). People pay fees to miners so that the network relays their transactions.

Counterexample: The internet. A giant P2P inter-network with all sorts of different business relationships. Many of which involve paying someone to send a packet that is only meaningful to a particular party.


in most of those examples people are paying by watching ads.


I remember Blizzard using peer-to-peer to update their games. Any large download shared by many people could be a good use case.


For a long time, Spotify used P2P to distribute music, and Skype used P2P to break through NAT. Both of those dropped it though.


Yeah. The article is like "everyone at BitTorrent Inc said Cohen is brilliant, so he's brilliant". BitTorrent is a shit way to move files that only makes sense if your users are willing to subsidise your bandwidth for you. If you look at how big files are moved on the net in practice it's all professional CDNs. BitTorrent is hardly used outside piracy.


From the article:

>170 million people used the protocol every month, according to the company’s website. Facebook and Twitter use it to distribute updates to their servers. Florida State University has used it to distribute large scientific datasets to its researchers. Blizzard Entertainment has used BitTorrent to let players download World of Warcraft. The company’s site boasts that the protocol moves as much as 40 percent of the world’s Internet traffic each day.

Doesn't sound like a "shit protocol that only pirates use" to me.


BitTorrent is a shit way to move files

How so? As far as I know it's actually pretty efficient.

If you look at how big files are moved on the net in practice it's all professional CDNs. BitTorrent is hardly used outside piracy.

And when the first CDN appeared, they were also hardly used. That approach would disqualify any business except copycats.


Not only efficient, but also supports file integrity, resuming, parallelization, etc. It's a fantastic protocol.


Exactly - I live in an area where lots of people have 50+ Mb symmetric connections, and BitTorrent gave us all a dream that we could all use those connections without everything having to be transferred over the backbone.




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