RE: ARTICLE: Despite the buzz, peer-to-peer startups lack busines s benefits

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From: Matt Jensen (
Date: Thu Dec 21 2000 - 11:25:34 PST

On Thu, 21 Dec 2000, Jeffrey Kay wrote:

> I think Napster is actually a pretty poor example of P2P. Napster has
> educated the greater community that P2P exists, but it really doesn't
> represent it because the value proposition of Napster is independent of the
> P2P infrastructure on which it runs. In all reality, Napster could have
> been just fine running as a single server farm with millions of connected
> users had there not been copyright law to circumvent.

You're saying Napster could have been done by anyone with a big server
farm and a fat pipe? Isn't that true of most P2P projects? Couldn't SETI
be run on a big Beowulf cluster at NASA? I think the point of Napster was
that Shawn didn't have a server farm, and didn't have a fat pipe, and that
P2P allowed the users to get around that resource limitation.

I don't know whether, historically, Shawn thought of the resources first
or the (alleged) copyright circumvention first, but even if there were no
copyright issues, P2P file sharing let them solve a problem through peers
when they couldn't afford a centralized solution.

-Matt Jensen

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