> which propagate to the other providers
Source? I haven't heard of DMCA takedowns propagating to other separate companies. Resellers sure (same company). Many users have specifically avoided Highwinds resellers due to the large number of takedowns they receive, implying that whoever else they find isn't getting (or observing) the notices.
Most providers will tell you they do not keep any logs. However, most of the bigger providers will add an encrypted header to any post you make. The NSP can later decrypt the header to see which of their users made the post.
To the best of my knowledge, to date these headers have only been used to nab child pornographers. I've never heard of anyone getting in trouble just for downloading copyrighted works on Usenet. The worst uploading incident I've heard of was years ago when all the members of sd-6 got their Easynews accounts deleted. Granted they were posting non-stop and all using the same NSP. I don't remember any charges being pressed or subpenas being issued.
> and thus this kind of service would cannibalize their traditional business.
Which makes you wonder. Since such a service would largely kill piracy over night, do they not do it because the profit margin lost is actually greater than what they loose to piracy? Evidence they're really not loosing as much as they lead us to believe.
Since the major binary providers stopped deleting articles about 4 years ago, Usenet has effectively become a public digital archive. Granted, archive.org takes uploads but they're limited to public domain works or creative commons. There's a lot of copyrighted works that are of value to our society but the content networks just throw them on a tape in a vault somewhere. The few items that make it to Youtube (without the copyright's holders complaints) are able to live on and help serve as items in a 21st century library.
If you have a digital item you'd like to see preserved indefinitely, a Usenet post (along with other avenues) is a a good start. I personally think archive.org should upload their media collection to Usenet just to serve as an extra backup. Youtube would be even more valuable there as there are tons of YT videos in which the original source file probably doesn't even exist anymore. If anything ever happens to YT or Google (they're corporate entities, things tend to go down hill eventually), what will happen to these works? Many may very well disappear from society's grasp.
It bugs me that it has to be in this stupid base64 encoded format, which is wasteful. Also, the binaries have to be cut up chunks of a certain size; it's all rather hacky. Instead of providing Usenet servers it would be better to offer something like bittorrent caches.
While lack of 8 bit support is unfortunate, most posts utilize yEnc now which is much more efficient than base64 or uuencode.
With bittorrent caches, wouldn't you still be limited to people providing seeds for each item? The sustainability of Usenet is now driven by commercial demand. Wouldn't BT be limited to people donating bandwidth/resources at personal will?
I meant replacing commercial usenet servers with commercial/ISP bittorrent caches. Perhaps paying for it would be harder to justify, but it could offer the guarantee of fast download speeds, plus never having to worry that there are 0 seeders. It's also interesting for ISPs because BT traffic costs them money if it has to go through other ISPs (peering agreements), whereas traffic through their cache would be essentially free.