File Sharing Goes Mobile

from the on-the-go dept

With all these different music download stores and file sharing apps, it was only a matter of time before everything started to go mobile. I recently wrote up an article at TheFeature about all the various music download offerings for mobile phones, but it looks like some are already going beyond that to offer some form of “file sharing” as well. EMI has talked about mobile file sharing in the past, but it seemed pretty watered down. Recently, Wippit, makers of an increasingly popular DRM technology that encourages limited file sharing announced plans to offer mobile file sharing by letting users get around many wireless carriers by sending the file in response to an SMS message. The latest, though, is that SK Telecom is showing off a mobile file sharing system in Korea that will let users swap music files, ringtones, videos and more via their 3G network. They admit that it has no copy protection at all, and even say, “we’re not thinking about that type of problem.” It’s not clear if that’s because they never plan to actually launch it, or they just don’t care. Given that the recording industry in Korea wanted to sue wireless carriers for offering MP3 playing phones (even after they agreed to forcibly degrade the sound quality), you have to wonder how long such an application would remain on the market. Still, it’s been said many times before: it’s only a matter of time until a real Napster-style file sharing app is written for mobile phones, whether by the carriers themselves or (more likely) independently. And still, everyone in the wireless and music industry seems to ignore this potential problem and insist that overpriced ringtone revenue will be around forever.


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Comments on “File Sharing Goes Mobile”

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9 Comments
P2P Dude says:

What about P2P over wireless network?

I want to see P2P filesharing over a wireless network that is NOT connected to the internet at large.

Think about how many college kids ride the bus with their laptops / ipods / whatever.

Have an application that handshakes with other devices and swaps music lists. If you come in range of somebody with music that you have pre-selected, whamo! Automajic download to your devide.

Now way in hell the RIAA can track that download, unless they plan on riding the buses and hanging out at shopping centers.

zerobomber says:

Re: What about P2P over wireless network?

Exactly! Just imagine if every mobile device could exchange files transitively with every other mobile device in its vicinity. If every one had one in their home, office, vehicle, and on themselves participating, just think of the bandwidth of a neighborhood, commuter train, parking lot, sports event, or traffic jam. Downloading, sharing and storing files are inefficient though and can get you sued. Share the burden by becoming a Freenet (http://www.freenet.net) node and deal with anonymous pieces of data. If everyone published all they had to Freenet and just traded indexes and meta-indexes, one would in effect have access to everything and not need to waste bandwidth by hoarding big binaries. Use this space and bandwidth instead to run a Freenet server. To prevent abuse, everything should be cryptographically signed and a chain of trust should be established so the community can weed out losers(tm). Also, since indexes are just being shared, small mobile device can easily participate as they can use Freenet for the actual storage.

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