Freeman Cebu Business

There’s no business like showbiz at P2Ps

TRADE FORUM - Chris Malazarte -

How would you like to own for free a whole discography of your favorite rock or jazz group or a recent blockbuster perhaps? No kidding. Recently, a friend surprised me for a bunch of CDs of the Beatles starting from their first album in 1960 until their breakup in 1970. I thought the CDs were from the usual bootlegs from the sidewalks. But I was mistaken. The CDs looked exactly as the original albums with glossy front and back covers along with their barcodes. I thought they were original so I phoned in to say thank you for sending the gift ahead of the holidays.

“Oh that’s nothing,” says my friend. Will send up a code to help you get more of your other favorites by download.” He adds. “What the…?” was all I could blurt back.

Anyway, I tried to find out what it was and bingo, it was P2P now-turned big time. If you haven’t tried P2P (peer-to-peer) or just heard about it, the reality that exists in these networks today is just so overwhelming that you feel like downloading the whole world. Videos, books, music, games, software or just about anything that you can think of about digital contents…it’s right under your nose, at your whim and for free! But not so fast, downloading copyrighted material is illegal.

For those of you who are not familiar with this file sharing bandwagon, P2P is where you download contents (video, audio etc) from those who are willing to share their contents with others in the network. Unlike traditional downloads from a website or server, contents reside on the sharer’s client machine so you get it directly from the person who has the content. But before you can download those contents, you need to install a P2P client software to do this which are mostly or if not all, are also license-free. 

What makes P2P even more interesting and popular to users is because they have what they call “torrents” where downloads are faster since two or more may have the same file that your downloading and are also willing to allocate their bandwidth to help you get through with the download quickly. Here’s more, most downloads include a ready-to-print image of the labels such as covers, inserts, CD labels so you can print and build your “looks like the real thing” collection of DVDs or audio CDs.  

Looking at the P2P world vis-à-vis the raids against pirates, the tons of disks destroyed by government authorities and the cases that jam-packed court dossiers against infringers, make me think how meaningless it is to run against bootleggers as a whole. Today, knowingly or unknowingly, more and more computer users are added each day to the whole file sharing community from which you can easily figure the amount of free content that’s freely exchanged over in different networks which dwarf the zillion copies traded underground on a daily basis.  

I wonder how the Optical Media Board or Business Software Alliance go after those infringers operating virtually? Not only that, I saw a lot of Original Pilipino Music and movies scattered around popular P2P sites which also keep me thinking how the already-losing pinoy film and music industry would get around the freeloaders that’s taking the P2P space to their full benefit.  

* * *

I’d like to give justice to the emails in reaction to our “Radaza series” about the alleged “computer scam” that’s haunting the city of Lapu-Lapu.

From caleb_1981: Lapu-Lapu voters are to be faulted for putting a devil in city hall.

From glow_girl: Let the ombudsman decide. Pelaez must also shed light on the mess he is involved with. After all he is the president of the business chamber there. He should also prove that he is no cheater as a businessman.   

From batang_pardo: Computer scam, lamppost scam, ghost employees scam I wonder what’s next? He’s worse than Abalos ‘coz he still has the face to hold public office, yuk!

From bart_tolina: Radaza should quit. The most corrupt mayor Lapu-Lapu ever has in history.

Send emails to [email protected]

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