The History of File-Sharing | TorrentFreak 2012-08-20


... “Digital filesharing has come a long way since the early days of the floppy disk, starting with a 79.7 kB storage capacity in the early 1970s. Two decades ago 3.5″ disks were the most sought after medium to distribute files. At the time, their massive 1.4 MB file size was more than enough to distribute files... In just 2 score years, filesharing has evolved into an amazingly efficient process which has enhanced lives everywhere. It has brought great exposure to underexposed types of media and democratized distribution, making it possible for individuals to share files with the rest of the world at virtually no cost. Let’s briefly examine how filesharing has become what it is today in a non-exhaustive overview... The BBS, or Bulletin Board System, has been largely attributed with the beginning of contemporary digital filesharing. Beginning with the Hayes Smartmodem, Bulletin Board Systems became automatic enough that Sysops (or administrators) were able to own and operate these mediums from their own homes as both a hobby and, later, as a business. Typically, the BBS was almost like an intranet in which users would dial-in with their modems to read/send messages, access news, and most importantly for us, share files. Shareware became incredibly popular through the distribution provided by Bulletin Board Systems. From Wolfenstein to Commander Keen ... Many well-known software packages, including PKZIP, were made popular through the BBS. Many users today still use PKZIP’s .zip algorithm when compressing and decompressing archives... There are still many traditional Bulletin Board Systems in operation today. Usenet or Newsgroups were similar to Bulletin Board Systems. However, they operated using UUCP and were able to transcend beyond the centralization of a BBS. Essentially, Usenet servers were able to receive files and re-distribute them amongst other Usenet servers effectively creating multiple copies of messages and files across hundreds upon thousands of servers. Usenet was the medium for discussions which gave birth to several projects, including the World Wide Web, Linux, and Mosaic, amongst other amazing projects... In 1993, Eugene Roshal created RAR which allowed users to split files into multipart archives. Given the decentralized copy-nature of Usenet, this helped distribute files much faster and more efficiently, as corruption in file transfers no longer required files to be re-uploaded in their entirety... Soon after, the underground filesharing scene gave birth to an intricate private network of FTP sites known as Topsites. These networks were based on invite only systems and adopted many of the features of Usenet. Generally, release groups would upload new media to their release servers and create various kinds of announcements thereof (generally, IRC bot based). Then, couriers who had access to the release servers, as well as other servers, would transport or ‘race’ new releases from one server to another, typically with the use of FXP. By doing so, they would earn credits (typically 1:3 ratio) for uploading files as long as the file was considered to be appropriate and unique (not a dupe — hence the racing). IRC has been around for a long time and has played quite a role in society, both infilesharing as well as politics. Many IRC clients feature a DCC (direct client to client) protocol which allows users to do exactly as the name implies. Through DCC, and later with advancements and bots known as XDCC servers, filesharing took yet another turn. Distribution groups who were able to get their hands on releases were able to serve files to the masses using these XDCC servers, which were typically hosted anywhere from powerful machines, brute forced Windows NT computers, personal computers, and university computer labs... For a brief period Hotline was a very popular medium for sharing files. At first, Hotline was very mainstream with many mega corporations participating in the Hotline network. However, it quickly faded away due to many complications, including but not limited to the encrypting of source files on Hotline computers which essentially crippled the company. Napster arguably brought MP3 and filesharing to the masses... There are very few netizens who haven’t used or heard of Napster. The software operated as a peer to peer filesharing network strictly used for music. Napster’s database, however, was centrally located, which eventually helped lead to its shutdown and subsequent demise. However, not before it helped to spread the idea of filesharing, in its entirety, to the masses. Gnutella, eDonkey2000, and Kazaa were different implementations which all did quite well in their heyday. While their protocols were all different, they were each very similar in that there was no central server. However, each protocol ended up “failing” as they were rooted in commercial (and corporate) interest – which ended up becoming an attack point. Gnutella, originally created by the Nullsoft people, was once the most used network thanks to LimeWire. The LimeWire client was sued by the RIAA [Recording Indust



08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) »

Tags: oa.licensing oa.comment oa.government oa.advocacy oa.copyright oa.cs oa.societies oa.crowd oa.social_media oa.litigation oa.history_of oa.mpaa oa.benefits oa.privacy oa.p2p oa.riaa oa.libre



Date tagged:

08/20/2012, 18:10

Date published:

04/23/2012, 12:47