Ars Technica published an intriguing piece by Nate Anderson today predicting that file-sharing programs like the new version of Lime Wire will lead to users just swapping files among friends. These private sharing networks are oftentimes called darknets, and Anderson believes that entertainment companies should be afraid of them because they puts users out of reach of their P2P investigations. People that donít share their files publicly canít be sued, and darknet-like features in applications as popular as Lime Wire could have a dramatic impact on the entertainment industryís efforts to enforce their rights online, Anderson believes.

I have a problem with this argument for a number of reasons: First of all, itís overstating the need for darknets. Users havenít felt like they had to hide in the past, and I donít think theyíll go underground now that the music industry has announced its intention to stop filing lawsuits. Secondly, darknets just donít work all that well for video content. And finally, looking at person-to-person file-sharing features through just your darknet glasses is severely underestimating their potential to make P2P more social. Continue reading on

Tags: , , , ,