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  1. #1
    Purveyor of Lather Syini666's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    MP3s for CPU Cycles?

    'Honest Thief' provides clever solution to music-swapping issue

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) A Dutch Internet company Thursday said it had developed software that could be used to compensate musicians whose songs are swapped online, a move it said could cut out the embattled music industry.

    PGR BV, a privately held company, has its own new file-sharing service known as The Honest Thief and is helping companies start up services like the popular Kazaa and Morpheus services in the Netherlands, which has emerged as something of a haven for such operations.

    "We are the first, but certainly not the last, to eliminate the record companies from the equation," said Pieter Plass, founder of PGR BV.

    Last March, an appeals court in Amsterdam ruled that Kazaa was not liable for any abuse of its software, which is being used by millions of people around the world to swap copyright-protected music, pictures and movies.

    Plass says his firm has developed software, to be available in the second quarter of this year, enabling file-sharing providers to capitalize on the unused computing power of their members. That in turn would allow them to raise money to compensate artists for the use of their material, he said.

    He said the software, known as ThankYou 2.0, enables a peer-to-peer file-sharing client to turn the computers of digital music fans into a node in a network of computers linked through the Internet.

    By leasing out the unused processor power on those multiple PCs to research facilities a technology known as "grid computing" the software, Plass said, could generate revenues that would be distributed back to the musicians.

    "The record companies are not dead yet, but they're certainly on life support. And The Honest Thief pulls the plug," said Plass, who is also chief executive of a construction-management firm in the Dutch city of Arnhem.

    Plass said the record industry, which fought a legal battle to shutter Napster and has a lawsuit pending against Kazaa, had been "quite hostile" to his initiative.

    Record-label executives believe the Netherlands ruling in favor of Kazaa will eventually be reversed and have said they will press ahead with an effort to enforce their rights world-wide.

    "We don't believe that the Netherlands is a haven for unauthorized peer-to-peer services, and we have every intention of proving it in the courts. It's hard to see how someone can claim they are making some 'honest money' by stealing other peoples' works," said Jay Berman, Chairman and CEO of International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
    Original Article [ here ]

    This is probably one of the first good business models I have seen regarding MP3 sharing. It seems like a workable idea to me, seeing as how many people are already involved with distributed computing projects such as SETI@Home and Folding@Home.
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  2. #2
    The Iceman Cometh
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Yeah, I remember reading about this a few weeks ago when the company first announced it. While I think the idea is a good one, implementation may not be. SETI@Home and Folding@Home are both optional programs. I fear that, once this is implemented, it will turn into another "hidden network" like Brilliant Networks did within KaZaA a while back. While individuals who are knowledgable about computers will most likely know about the program's use of unused clock cycles, many other people won't, and will install the program without reading the EULA. While I agree it's their own fault for not reading the EULA, I think that many people will become quite upset if/when they find out that their computer is being used by someone else.


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