Distributed Computing Industry
Weekly Newsletter

In This Issue

Virus Alert

Industry News

Techno Features

Grass Roots

Data Bank


September 22, 2003
Volume 1, Issue 11

Register Now for 10/8 DCIA Quarterly Meeting

DCIA is sponsoring its Quarterly General Meeting for Members and prospective Members on Wednesday 10/8 at our headquarters in Arlington, VA (near Washington, DC). The agenda will focus on developing viable solutions to P2P piracy.

Learn from leaders of industry sectors and examine alternative proposals. Ensure that your voice is heard in this important discussion.

The morning general session will focus on the critical success factors and greatest concerns from each of DCIA's key constituencies: our Platform, Operations, and Content Groups.

The closed afternoon session will zero in on specific proposed business solutions, first from a strategic view, and then from the standpoint of tactical implementation.

A special room rate is available at the Arlington Hilton, above the Ballston Metro stop convenient to Reagan National Airport and the District, and one block from DCIA's headquarters, at 4200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22203. 

Please call 888-864-DCIA for more information or register now online at www.dcia.info.

Digital Media in Cyberspace


Gartner Group II (GG2)'s event on 9/18 at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet Studies (BCIS) was well-attended despite Hurricane Isabel.  The overall format was a dialogue centering on five conceptual solutions to the current crisis, in which consumer adoption of P2P has outpaced business and technology's ability to respond, contributing to a reduction in established revenue streams for the music industry.

The five proposed scenarios were: 1) no change, 2) copyright enforcement, 3) technology solution (DRM), 4) public utility model, and 5) compulsory licensing. A sixth option, a private sector variant on government mandated compulsory licensing was also discussed: 6) voluntary "entertainment co-op" approach.

And finally, a seventh option was introduced during the lunch session by event sponsor IBM, called 7) "roots-and-wings" (or protection and enablement), involving open standards, licensing structures, and broadcast encryption.

While there was no consensus or conclusion, a memorable moment came when Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) co-founder John Perry Barlow conducted an informal poll. He asked attendees whether they would be willing to pay their ISPs and incremental $5 per month for blanket authorization to download music - and there was a nearly unanimous affirmation.

Report from CEO Marty Lafferty

Our day of peer-to-peer technology demonstrations for Congress on Wednesday 9/17, "P2P 101 LAB COURSE," provided a valuable experience, yielding helpful feedback and furthering very important relationships. All went smoothly with the terrific Library of Congress (LOC) facilities, catering, and technical aspects.

We are especially grateful to LOC's Hannah Lynch for supporting Adam Marcus and our group of volunteer graduate students in their conversion of a legacy token ring setup into a wireless LAN for live demonstrations of current software from industry leading Altnet on KaZaA.

We want to thank Elan Oren, CEO of iMesh, for making the trip from Tel Aviv, Israel to Washington, D.C. to participate by providing a historical perspective on his experience and demonstrating the newest version of his increasing popular iMesh software. Elan's personal integrity and business ethics are impeccable, qualifying him well to represent the operations sector of the new distributed contributing industry. iMesh, which is not yet a DCIA Member, has the longest history of any P2P software company, dating back to the days of Napster and scour.net. Elan's commentary was particularly insightful in chronicling challenges to collaboration with content providers, particularly in the music industry. Indeed, the major takeaway from the day's proceedings was that the need for music rights holders to license their content has emerged as the primary requirement to further develop this very promising medium for "super-distribution" of digital media content.

We could not have held our P2P TECH DEMO without the sponsorship of Congressman Rick Boucher (VA). His strong and clear encouragement of the coming together of platform, operations, and content industry sectors to develop private business solutions is very supportive of DCIA's overall mission. As is his equally clear condemnation of copyright infringement. Our lunch discussion with Congressman Boucher and his legislative counsel Hillary Brill outlined additional steps that we will take to move forward with a successful agenda, and we are deeply appreciative.

Anti Child Pornography Update

DCIA has solidified a two-prong attack on this issue, which was made a priority at the 9/9 Senate Judiciary Hearing. This must continually be put in the perspective, however, that P2P represents less than 2% and a declining portion of child pornography being distributed on the Internet.

First we will ask each Member company, as a condition of DCIA Membership, to undertake a specific action, subject to DCIA's approval, that will contribute to further reducing child pornography. Our understanding is that our Charter Members have accepted this challenge and each are developing proposals now. We will announce them as soon as they are finalized.

Second, we have appointed a well-credentialed leader to conduct DCIA's outreach with other concerned institutions, including other trade associations and law enforcement agencies. The thrust of this effort will be to create a new user assistance program, to help consumers help themselves in recognizing, removing, and reporting criminally obscene content. If you would like to help, please contact sari@dcia.info

Consumer Privacy and Content Integrity

During recent Congressional hearings and our day-long P2P TECH DEMO, as well as the GG2 conference, it has become apparent that a core attribute of any viable proposed business solution will be how it balances protection of two important concerns: consumer privacy and content integrity.

Accordingly, DCIA has initiated a review of the end user license agreements (EULA) currently employed by P2P software providers. We will publish our findings in next week's DCINFO.

In addition, we would like to encourage an industry dialogue on these subjects. What are your recommendations on guidelines and standards-and-practices? How far should we be willing to go to ensure optimal outcomes for each of these issues? Please respond at issues@dcia.info.

Copyright 2005 Distributed Computing Industry Association
This page last updated July 6, 2008
Privacy Policy