File Sharing… In… Spaaaaaaace

from the yeah,-that's-not-going-to-work dept

Various folks are sending over stories reporting on rather preliminary conversations on the Pirate Parties International (PPI) mailing list, concerning ideas for a file sharing platform… in space. More or less, the idea was that there needs to be an effort to get out from various regional jurisdictions, and so the sci-fi idea of launching a server in a satellite was suggested. Others apparently thought a balloon would be a good idea. And, eventually, some suggested that maybe just putting it on a boat in international waters.

None of these plans sound likely (or even that reasonable). And all of them seem to more or less ignore the fact that each of these would still require downstream connections, which would be subject to specific laws. Add to that ideas like the proposed COICA bill in the US, which would let the country order ISPs to block websites, and you can see why these ideas, while creative, probably aren’t going to get very far (and don’t get us started on the technical hurdles to what they’re discussing).

All that said, it is worth noting that this is just a peek into the ongoing game of whac-a-mole that the entertainment industry is dealing with. While these ideas are silly and unworkable, don’t count out the fact that there are a lot of very smart people working on ways to make sure file sharing remains viable and available. Like it or not, it’s here, and it’s not going to go away. At some point, it’s going to make sense for the industry to stop fighting, and start looking for ways to actually use it to their own advantage.

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Comments on “File Sharing… In… Spaaaaaaace”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Not quite so out of reach… Mike for someone in your position you’re not open minded about the whole thing. For the upstream provider, it could easily be provided by a country with less or no laws against copyright. For the air/space thing, people would definitely donate to fundraisers, only if it’s because they’re the first ones to put it in action (I know I would).

Oh and we all know torrentfreak put up nice titles to bring in the people and tend to over-exagerate everything… they shouldn’t be your base for real news.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“For the upstream provider, it could easily be provided by a country with less or no laws against copyright.”

The point of the article is to circumvent country laws not to find a country that has no such laws.

Far off into the future who knows. Right now, while humans are very earth bound, this might be a problem, but into the future as we improve our ability to travel into space and implement devices in space it could be feasible.

Of course, by then, tyrant govts would simply expand their jurisdiction to include the new territory, which is the main long term obstacle I see against these solutions and innovation in general.

senshikaze (profile) says:


I am surprised nobody mentioned Neal Stephenson’s book, Cryptonomicon. In it a group of techies get the capital to create a “data haven”. The location was a tiny island country with a gigantic wwII bunker converted to a damn near nuke proof datacenter. the king of the island was all but bought off and fat, redundant pipes were laid from multiple countries to it. The laws of the country were changed to where government (inside and out) can’t touch the data.

It is a brilliant idea. Nothing is monitored, and nothing is illegal. Anything goes. completely secure transfers in and out and no auditing. That is what we need.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: cryptonomicon

Some new technology (ie: quantum non – local communication) will probably come out that will make all these ideas (along with copy protection laws) obsolete and irrelevant. Even if the govt and their corporate leaders prevent it from being developed and sold in the free market, it will be delivered and sold on the black market, at least at first.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 cryptonomicon

Oh yeah, by all means. I didn’t really think you meant 100+ years in your original comment (god help us if current copyright laws haven’t changed by then) – I just meant that in the next couple of decades I don’t think defying locality is be possible any useful scale. There’s still plenty of debate as to whether it is really happening even where it has supposedly been observed at the subatomic level.

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