[linux-elitists] Streaming patent claims go to court

Modus Operandi modus@as220.org
Sun Feb 16 08:31:05 PST 2003


billy@damaged-world.net looked into the void, and said:

> Could someone please explain to me the fundamental difference
> between "streaming" a file, and downloading it? 

  Non-technical answer:

  Streaming media is played as it arrives in a continuous data
  stream from a remote server. The alternative is a recording
  that doesn't start playing until the entire file has arrived.

  This has its pros and cons. If your goal is to watch several 
  hours of FCC roundtables on ownership restrictions:

  	http://www.fcc.gov/realaudio/

  streaming video is the way to go, because you don't want to
  wait for the entire file to download before you start
  watching. On the other hand, streaming media is used for
  digital rights management, since you do not actually download
  the content -- only a link to the remote location of the data
  stream. So if you download a file, you can play it over and
  over again without any more network traffic. This is not the
  case with streams -- the proprietary content is never stored
  on your hard drive, you only keep a link to a remotely-hosted
  stream of the content -- so you can't copy it or host it on
  your website without intercepting the output from the stream
  and reencoding it as a new file. This also prevents people
  from mirroring the content -- so when the multi-cast ends, the
  stream is gone and the link doesn't work anymore.

  Feel free to add comments or correct errors.

-- 
+-----------------+-----------------------------------------------+
| Random  Oedipus | "No one can do to the Disney Corporation what |
| RI Pseudo Nomad |     Walt Disney did to the Brothers Grimm."   |
| Modus  Operandi |                     -- Lawrence Lessig        |
| modus@as220.org |      http://www.eff.org/IP/freeculture/       |
+-----------------+-----------------------------------------------+
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