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Digital Piracy Déjà Vu

We've been here before, says a satellite TV executive.

3 min read

25 February 2004--The digital music industry is a shipwrecked vessel leaking money, and even Norah Jones can�t save it. Music is pouring out through enormous holes created by peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. Sales are plummeting, while a whole generation is getting used to getting music without paying for it.

At least, that�s the way the big music companies see things. An alternative view is that consumers want better access to content, and they know that innovative technology--iPods and broadband Internet, rewriteable CD drives and peer-to-peer networking--can give it to them. In this second perspective, consumers are held back by the companies that currently control access to the content, the five major record labels that together distribute 85 percent of the music sold in stores today.

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Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
An illustration of a series
Carl De Torres

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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