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Peering Into P2P Future: A Haven in the Netherlands?

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A new company, “The Honest Thief,” opens for P2P biz this spring in the Netherlands where the courts have smiled at P2P:

    The recording industry has succeeded in dismantling services like Napster and Aimster by taking legal action in the United States. But The Honest Thief, whose Web site went live on Friday, plans to take advantage of a Dutch appeals court ruling last March that essentially paved the way for the Netherlands to become a legal haven for file-sharing activities.

    The appeals court said that file-swapping service Kazaa was not responsible for the illegal actions of people using its software. That decision is being appealed to higher court.

    “Call it file-sharing or shoplifting, here in Holland we call it good business,” Pieter Plass, founder of The Honest Thief, said in a statement. “With our file-sharing service and our new software, we hope The Honest Thief will become to file sharing what the Swiss are to banking.” [CNET]

Purely apart from the morality or even legality of file sharing, actions like this continue to make P2P a moving target that will have to be competed with, not litigated away.

    Figures released on Thursday by Ipsos, a market research firm, showed that that despite efforts to curb illicit file sharing, half of all teens and 19 percent of all Americans over the age of 12 reported having downloaded music from file-swapping services in 2002.

    Ipsos added that almost 10 percent of Americans reported downloading music in the past 30 days. Using the findings from its survey, Ipsos extrapolated U.S. census data from 2000, which suggested that nearly 20 million people have downloaded music illegally in the past 30 days.

that’s an awful lot of people to arrest or sue.

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About Eric Olsen