The future of P2P

— 11:24 AM on February 18, 2001

With last Monday's ruling against Napster and now Windows XP's attempt to curb digital piracy, what is the future of P2P?

Intel and IBM are part of a group building protections against unauthorized use into computer and device hardware, while Microsoft is building similar technologies directly into its operating systems. These security services have only been employed in a few cases, but they are becoming an everyday part of business for copyright holders and the big technology companies that work with them.

It's partly that prospect that has prompted a growing group of programmers, attorneys and free-speech advocates to call for political action--and increasingly for old-fashioned civil disobedience.

Sun is cooking up an alternative called "Jxta."
Jxta will include standards for how devices in a peer-to-peer network identify themselves and are grouped together, Joy said. It also will include a security mechanism to ensure that distributed programs don't harm the device they're running on, Joy said, in contrast to the e-mail viruses that afflict networked Windows systems.
A lot more to come for sure.
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