Krzysztof Kowalczyk writes:
Napster had a flaw of being centrialized. It was a matter of winning one case to shut them down forever.
BitTorrent, Kazaa and other decentralized networks cannot be killed that way but they make it trivial to track down people who upload files. That allows RIAA and MPAA to sue individuals. Thats a very expensive way to fight p2p file sharing but I hear they still make lots of money. And they can always compensate by showing more ads in theaters or inserting ads in the middle of songs. Besides, this is more of a scare tactic: they dont have to sue everyone who uses p2p because in the end MPAA execs would be the only ones not being sued. They just have to convince public at large that downloading songs or movies is too dangerous, not worth the risk of being sued.
Creating an anonymous p2p network that will make pin-pointing individual file shares impossible on a practical level isnt that hard. And I predict that in 2005 an anonymous p2p network will rise in popularity rivaling current popular p2p networks.
This might happen as an anonymous overlay network like Tor or as a new, specialized networked protocol.