The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

I've always thought that the media companies/associations (like the RIAA, etc.) were fighting a losing battle by attacking endusers, when the more obvious target was the ISPs that enabled all that fileswapping. It makes more sense to choke off that activity at the source, rather than trying to convince (and prosecute) millions of consumers.

Those efforts are slowly moving forward, but in the meantime, some of the ISPs are looking to stem their own internal fileswapping issues. While this is being framed as a housecleaning project, in reality it dovetails nicely with the media companies' aims.

ISPs tend to rack up high bandwidth costs when a customer trades files with a customer at an outside ISP. The costs escalate further when a user in the UK trades a file with somebody in, say, Asia.

To me, this sounds like a dubious claim. How does the origination and endsource of fileswapping activity impact the amount of bandwith use? I'm no expert on this, but doesn't seem logical. I'm betting the real aim here is to attract people to stick with their current ISP, and perhaps compel community of friends/colleagues to join the same ones.