Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Change technology, change incentives: Napster-Kazaa / WikiLeaks-OpenLeaks

Amplify’d from athousandnations.com

After Napster was shut down as a company & a service, Kazaa was quickly written to address the central point of failure weakness.  With a pure P2P system, there is no concentration of liability – the liability of any one peer is vastly less than a company and removing them doesn’t stop the system, so the benefits are far less.  On the cost side, while the cost to sue one peer is less than suing a company,  the cost to sue every peer is vastly higher than the cost to sue one central company.

While WikiLeaks may have benefited from having a known leader who could fundraise and recruit, we can now see the weakness of that system.  When the US got angry enough, Julian Assange was the obvious target.  But you can’t take vengeance without teaching a lesson, and the movement to free information for public benefit can now simply reconstitute around a model robust to the “find a guy and throw him in jail” attack.  Already, next-generation solutions are in the works:

Read more at athousandnations.com