Overpeer, Inc., an also ran in business-to-business digital media solutions has acquired U.S. Patent No. 6,732,180 from the University of Tulsa. The patent defines a system for closely imitating digital media files on peer-to-peer networks. The technology covered by this patent can impair the ability of peer-to-peer users from illegitimately acquiring copyrighted files.
P2P and copyright infringment go together, atleast for now. While p2p is all about freedom et al, there's another side to it -- the virually unstoppable force of the network. So how would this "anti p2p technology" work, I wonder.
Wild guesses work. Let me try some.
Ok, we know that every file (in pure layman'ish way) has a unique signature - a Hash. The MD5 and SHA-1 algorithms are two popular but compromised algorithms for generating cryptographic hash functions; the SHA-2 algorithm has no known compromises.
P2P networks (like the popular bit-torrent) work on a principal based on hash. Typically, to share a file using BitTorrent, a user creates a
.torrentfile, a small "pointer" file which contains:
- the filename, size, and the hash of each block in the file (which allows users to make sure they are downloading the real thing)
- the address of a "tracker" server (which is discussed below)
- and some other data.
So if 'Star Wars' is being illegally downloaded and distributed over a network, one can 'sniff' the traffic to know which portions are being downloaded and by whom -- the end points. And, possibly, stop the transaction (Difficult, but possible)
Just a wild guess folks. Drop in an email to shashark.at.gmail.dot.com if you have other thoughts on the same. I'm curious.