[p2p-hackers] content meta-information

Gordon Mohr ( at Bitzi) gojomo at bitzi.com
Sat Sep 25 22:10:22 UTC 2004


Ian Clarke wrote:
> On 23 Sep 2004, at 14:08, Gordon Mohr (@ Bitzi) wrote:
> 
>>
>> My project Bitzi, a collaborative catalog of circulating media files, may
>> provide info for many such files. See:
>>
>>   http://bitzi.com
> 
> 
> I'm curious, do you think Bitzi could be vulnerable to attack by 
> copyright holders due to its centralised nature?
> 
> Clearly in a sane world you wouldn't be, but we all know that it isn't a 
> sane world, particularly where copyright law is concerned :-/

I presume you're talking about legal attacks, rather than technical
attacks.

You're right that copyright law has problems, and no project or business
can be certain that it won't face legal harassment and nuisance suits.

However, even with suboptimal copyright laws, we're confident that Bitzi's
services are legal in our operating jurisdiction: San Francisco, California,
USA. Our activities are protected by applicable law, precedent, and
fundamental speech rights.

Even when we collect and publish metadata about files whose reproduction
is limited by copyright laws, Bitzi neither directly nor indirectly
participates in any infringing acts, and the metadata itself has important
legal uses.

As just one example, I don't think Anwitaman Dattam, whose query
started this thread, is attempting anything illegal. I suspect (after
quick Googling) that he's performing academic research.

His research is technical, but as time goes on, the Bitzi dataset will
also be important to cultural, legal, and historical researchers -- and
even marketers and policymakers -- who want to understand what's happening
with the rise of decentralized digital distribution.

As long as our services and publications are inherently legal, it shouldn't
matter whether we provide them in a centralized or decentralized way.
Often it's easier to get something started, and prove its usefulness, using
a centralized model. Difficult trust and convergence issues are minimized
when there is one canonical center. Later, the system can decentralize for
efficiency and resilence.

The open licensing of the Bitzi dataset should help other people explore
more decentralized approaches even while Bitzi itself uses a centralized
system.

- Gordon @ Bitzi



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