Ever since Napster found its way into every college dorm room in 1999, the defenders of intellectual property have been perplexed at how to best deal with peer-to-peer file transfer. Last week's news that Comcast's servers were interfering with BitTorrent traffic
may have come as a surprise to some, but given that few companies have been willing to acknowledge the legal uses for P2P, it shouldn't be too much of a shock.
What strikes me is the fact that in the United Kingdom, it is actually the ISPs who are opposed to banning file-sharing and the lawmakers who have been pushing it. According to Broadband Reports
, a representative from the service providers union suggested that, "ISPs are no more able to inspect and filter every single packet passing across their network than the Post Office is able to open every envelope." While this argument seems somewhat weak given Comcast's ability to infiltrate BitTorrent, it is true that file-sharers will always be one step ahead of the regulators, and I support their commitment toward an open internet.
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