Friday, January 30, 2004

Here's another company you've never heard of . . .

. . . at least not yet. But you have heard of some of the people that work atSnocap. Snocap was founded by Shawn Fanning. Recognize the name? Ok, he wasn't that famous, but he was the founder of Napster. And I'm not talking about the legal version of Napster that exists now, I'm talking about the real start of P2P file-sharing that got Napster in serious trouble.

In any event Fanning and some of his Napster buddies have received funding from Ron Conway (he also initially funded Napster). Essentially Fanning is building a billing mechanism for the new P2P file-sharing services such as Kazaa and LimeWire. Provided the P2P software manufacturers are willing to participate with Snocap, Fanning is planning to be able to solve everyone's issues with P2P . . . or so it seems on the surface. What happens if P2P becomes regulated and billed? Users that demand free access to music, movies, software (by the way, although it's the RIAA that screaming the loudest, P2P affects the movie industry and the software industry as hard, and as personal video players -- imagine an IPod with a screen -- become more and more commonplace expect to hear more from the movie industry) will simply use software that allows private sharing forums. Software like Hotline allows anyone with a computer and an Internet connection to set up a by-invitation-only server.

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