Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Daiwa EuroTelcoblog No. 62a - clarification on previous post

Niklas Zennstrom of Skype has asked me to clarify a point I made in my previous post, which I gladly do. The feature of Skype 1.0 which I refer to as "file sharing" is accurately termed "file transfer." The key distinction is that, unlike file sharing applications, Skype 1.0 users cannot browse directories of content available for download, nor indeed can they "download" at all. The exchange must be initiated by the user possessing the content, and as such it is technically no different from an email client (though I've never tried to email a 2GB file). My question over how this may be legally construed, or misconstrued, however, remains, as does my interest in the potential for this feature to find some sort of commercial application, as we saw in the Morpheus/Heart deal which we covered last week. In this ground-breaking deal, the dynamics of the P2P network model were harnessed with a DRM system which allows both the network and the users (who effectively syndicate the content) to generate revenue. Apologies for any misconceptions I may have fostered.

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