File Sharing for Fun, Profit
Ask most Internet users about peer-to-peer (P2P) technology and they’ll tell you it’s for getting “whatever you want, for free, online,” whether that is their favorite music or the latest theatrical release or newest episode of a top reality show or even adult content.
This view, however, is as simplistic as saying, “there is only porn on the Internet.”
Indeed, the legitimate uses of today’s P2P technology go far beyond the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material to include the use of the platform as a legal channel for rights-holders to distribute their wares to a broad audience. This savvy approach has tremendous costsaving advantages in regards to resources such as bandwidth, computing power and storage space — and these benefits escalate in value as demand for your files increase and as their size swells — perfect for large adult video files, for example.
By using a private tracker you may have more control; by using a public tracker, you can have increased distribution. In either case, what is important is what you distribute — carefully naming files and not being shy about the advertising payload you impose, can help leverage the benefits, as can be using alternative files, including zip files and PDFs.
According to Wikipedia, this is one of the major advantages of using P2P networks as it makes the setup and running costs very small for the original content distributor. “As nodes arrive and demand on the system increases, the total capacity of the system also increases, and the likelihood of failure decreases. If one peer on the network fails to function properly, the whole network is not compromised or damaged,” Wikipedia states, noting that this is in contrast to typical client-server architectures, where the clients only share their demands with the system, but not their resources.
“In this case, as more clients join the system, fewer resources are available to serve each client, and if the central server fails, the entire network is taken down,” Wikipedia adds. “The decentralized nature of P2P networks increases robustness because it removes the single point of failure that can be inherent in a client-server based system.”
Need another benefit? It’s easy with a Windows-based VPS and remote access tools.
There are a lot of factors in the equation that works best for you, but it’s nearly free to get started, easy to maintain and offers unique opportunities: for example, why not offer a discounted membership for P2P users, without access to your standard members area?
There is little downside to testing this approach.
Although somewhat dated, the Federal Trade Commission offers a free 16-page PDF, authored by Michael A. Einhorn, Ph.D., entitled, “Getting to Yes: How the Market Can Resolve Peer-to-Peer” on the FTC.gov site, that provides some thoughtful, lasting insights into the enduring value of this technology.