Underground P2P networks get mainstream exposure

As Kazaa becomes the most downloaded file on the Internet, more mainstream IT media outlets are starting to pick up on some lesser known peer-to-peer networks. C|Net is running a story on eDonkey and BitTorrent, two of the more popular "underground" P2P networks. With fame, however, comes additional responsibility. If these new networks are getting big enough to catch C|Net's eye, bet that they also have the RIAA's attention.

Unlike Kazaa, the eDonkey and BitTorrent networks are truly decentralized with no company or single server running the show behind the scenes. That there's no legal entity behind the networks will make shutting them down especially difficult for copyright holders, who will have to target individual users individually rather than the networks as a whole.

Of course, that's not to say that these new networks don't have some very legitimate uses. Already, BitTorrent has been instrumental in aiding in the distribution of Linux ISOs, which are perfectly legal. The network also seems like a perfect distribution medium something like a Doom 3 demo/test, which would undoubtedly bring download servers to their knees.

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