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Censorship The Internet

Mark Cuban Calls on ISPs to Block P2P 463

boaz112358 writes "Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner, HDNet CEO, and noted gadfly is publishing on his blog that Comcast and other ISPs should block all P2P traffic, because as he says, "As a consumer, I want my internet experience to be as fast as possible. The last thing I want slowing my internet service down are P2P freeloaders." He complains that commercial content distributors instead of paying for their own bandwidth, are leeching off consumers who are paying for the bandwidth. As an alternative distribution method (at least for audio and video), he suggests Google video."
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Mark Cuban Calls on ISPs to Block P2P

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  • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Friday November 23, 2007 @03:59AM (#21451897) Homepage
    A major ISP in the city I resided in in Romania help alleviate demands on bandwidth to and from the outside world by just setting up a DC++ server for their customers where they could share music and movies with other people in the same city. Seems easier to do than trying to ban all manner of P2P traffic. Too bad that sort of thing would never fly in the U.S.
  • Freeloaders? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by melted ( 227442 ) on Friday November 23, 2007 @04:03AM (#21451925) Homepage
    Excuse me? $46 a month for my Comcast connection is not exactly "free". In fact as far as I'm concerned, that's about $20 too much. Now if I had a free (as in beer) connection, I might give up my torrent rights, but as long as I pay for it (and pay dearly, including through taxes) I insist that I should be able to use it in whatever way I deem necessary. Whether I want to download the latest Fedora DVD, or a gig of porn - I've paid for the privilege.
  • by Enoxice ( 993945 ) on Friday November 23, 2007 @04:13AM (#21451979) Journal
    Sounds like what happens at various US universities. Students set up DC hubs, the IT dept. looks the other way, everybody wins. The hub keeps file-sharing traffic internal to the school, meaning the heavy traffic is on the intranet (where the school's infrastructure can handle it better than saturating their external pipe) and since no students are using KaZaa, there are no lawsuits.
  • Re:Paying Customer? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aussie_a ( 778472 ) on Friday November 23, 2007 @04:34AM (#21452091) Journal

    He complains that commercial content distributors instead of paying for their own bandwidth, are leeching off consumers who are paying for the bandwidth.
    Sounds to me like he's complaining about that 1% actually.
  • Re:Freeloaders? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jackharrer ( 972403 ) on Friday November 23, 2007 @04:36AM (#21452099)
    And that's the reason why instead of whining about p2p traffic they should finally invest in infrastructure.

    Do you know how long it takes to download film in Sweden? 15-30min. Why? Because somebody invested in fiber to homes and fast switches. That's the reason they have ethernet straight to home. Yes, ethernet socket at home, 10/10Mb, upgradeable to 100/100.

    And of course everybody knows that if your infrastructure is designed properly most of the traffic will stay local - p2p client usually prefer local fast nodes.

    So you pay for your 'net connection - it gives you possibility to download whatever you want, everybody can. You can download newest Fedora, but your neighbour probably sits 12 hours a day watching youtube. Same IMHO.
  • meanwhile (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lordvalrole ( 886029 ) on Friday November 23, 2007 @04:48AM (#21452151)
    cuban has thought of the fact that these telecos have squander all of our money away and have yet updated internet service. I find it funny that America is suppose to be the biggest badass country in the world and we lack on just about everything technology wise (except for when it comes to military needs). Other countries have way better internet than we do and we are so lagging behind.

    Americans just don't care. They don't see what we "could" have and suffice what we do have. Cable, DSL, FIOS are all better than dialup 56k so we must not complain. worthless I I tell you.

    For once I would love somebody from a corporation do something for the public and not for their own self interest. when will companies figure out that helping your customers out only attracts more people to their company and because of that you gain more business. They always seem to want to screw over the consumer as much as possible.

    I don't know but a lot of issues can be solved but no one wants to put the effort into solving it.
  • Re:hold on a sec... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Friday November 23, 2007 @06:10AM (#21452433)
    By his logic, we shouldn't be using the internet for VoIP, either. Or watching videos. Or listening to streaming radio stations. Or watching and listening to podcasts. After all, those all consume a lot of bandwidth, even if it's not over P2P. And of course, EVERYONE who uses P2P is a massive multinational corporation that can afford massive bills. Does he not realize that P2P allows a downloader to receive content in return for a small payment of bandwidth to help redistribute the same content to other users, instead of monetary compensation? P2P allows a significant number of small-time content producers to get their content out to a lot of people. Otherwise, they could never afford it and only the big guys would get to play the game.

    And really, if you are only using the internet for shell access and to get your email account and refresh drudgereport, then what the hell are you bitching and moaning about needing high speed for in the first place?!

    And really, if an internet provider wants to give HTTP, POP, IMAP and shell traffic top priority, that's fine with me. That way those packets will not be affected should a heavy load of other use throttle the connection -- and at the same time, a bunch of people just using HTTP and shell accounts isn't going to slow down your P2P or streaming activities by any noticeable amount.

    I don't see why all of this is a big deal. And I don't see why my solution isn't good enough. It allows the content of the supposed majority of users to always get through unimpeded while allowing all other content to cross the wires as the remaining bandwidth (which is supposedly the other 90% of traffic) allows.

    Cuban is a hot-headed little prick.
  • Also FYI (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Friday November 23, 2007 @07:21AM (#21452721) Journal
    Mark Cuban = Part owner/founder of HD Net*

    He isn't gunning for P2P because he actually thinks it's a bad thing, but because it has the potential to bring high definition programming to anyone with a net connection... which would directly compete with his HD cable network offerings.

    It's be vastly cheaper to offern HD content over a 'secure' P2P application instead of building up the infrastructure or business relations in order to offer it through traditional channels.

    *"The first all-high definition national television network"
  • by 404 Clue Not Found ( 763556 ) on Friday November 23, 2007 @07:27AM (#21452755)

    when you say 'everyone wins', you mean the artists too right? who still get paid right?
    or am I forgetting that its groupthink here to say "fuck the artists" still? despite the fact you can buy DRM free music from itunes, you guys still wont even pay a dollar.
    I used to pirate music all the time, 'specially back in the old Napster days. Then somebody brought up the "what about the artists?" argument, and I thought about it, and ya know... they were right. All the excuses in the world won't change the fact that if I get my music for free and don't go to concerts, the artists don't get a penny. Maybe they normally only get 10 cents of every dollar I spend on CDs and music downloads, but if I don't pay anything at all, they won't even get those 10 cents. Not exactly fair, is it? Did I care? Yes. Did I change my ways? No.

    I continued to pirate music for many more years, and when the Kazaa lawsuits started happening, I simply switched to allofmp3, bittorrent, and other less dangerous methods. Why? Because there was simply no viable alternative. I rarely liked more than one track on a CD, and DRM sucked (and still sucks) balls.

    Then iTunes came out with their DRM-free selection. Did I start buying? Like you said, nope. Not one track. I hated the iTunes interface and their limited selection (think it was only EMI at that point). But by this point, the RIAA had further tightened their grip and using allofmp3 became difficult because they would no longer accept credit card payments. Solution? I looked for alternative payment methods -- there were still some third-party intermediaries -- and I kept using allofmp3 for a while longer.

    Then the RIAA cracked down some more, and allofmp3 became nearly unusable for US users. Solution? I just stopped bothering with music altogether. Nobody got paid, but at least no music got pirated either. I guess they figured that since a win-win solution wasn't possible, we'd just have to settle for a lose-lose situation. And that's exactly what I did. Oh well.

    But then fast forward a few months, and something quite miraculous suddenly happened. Amazon got into the MP3 game, and ALL their tracks were DRM-free and available via a one-click download directly from my browser. No more bullshit psuedo-OSX interface and most of the songs I wanted were actually available for purchase. On my first day, I paid for and downloaded my favorite tracks again. And I've been using the service ever since, paying for every song I want that's actually available.

    Maybe most people still pirate. Maybe I'm one in a million. All I can say is that I never liked pirating music; I always believed they deserved SOME payment for their work. But until now, there simply wasn't a good way to actually BUY what I wanted DRMed tracks were more like rentals or even slavery, binding me to particular computers, devices, and stores. Yuck. And then Amazon came along, and you know what...? They actually made what I wanted available for purchase. And now I'm a paying customer again. Maybe if they keep that up, there will be others like me, and soon, they'll even have something that approaches a sustainable business model. And who knows, maybe some day in the far, distant future, they'll have mastered this "sell them want they want, not what we want (TM)" philosophy and actually be able to produce music, reap a reasonable profit, have non-bitter fans (who still trade tracks among themselves once in a while -- oh well), and actually maintain a non-hostile business relationship with their customers -- all at the same time!

    Wow. What an amazing concept, huh?
  • Re:hold on a sec... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 23, 2007 @08:11AM (#21452927)
    No. Read his article. He wans ALL p2p traffic blocked, and he doesnt't mantion any exceptions.

    He clearly doesnt't specialise in clear thinking though. He seems to think that blocking p2p would improve his own internet experience (at the expense of many other perople's of course, but that doesn't bother him). He seems to think that his own improved experience will come about because blocking p2p will reduce the amount of traffic flowing through the internet. The fact that all that p2p traffic is people downloading, and that if they can't download it p2p style that they will _all_ have to download it from a big server somewhere, and that the amount of traffic flowing over the internet would be THE SAME doesn't seem to have dawned on him.

    Of course, if you had to get your downloads from a great big server, someone would have to run that great big server, and that costs money. This provides excellent entry barriers to content distribution and represents an excellent way for the encumbent providers like the RIAA and multinationals to extend their stranglehold over the internet the same way they have over all other content distribution mechanisms. The limited number of distribution servers would all make fairly easy pickings for future moves to extend their control, like legislating well, any kind of restriction they want really. I see it as rather like bus companies trying to ban private cars from the road system, trying to re-establish the kind of monopoly over transport (and the economy as a whole) that the railways once enjoyed. I think this is his real agenda - gaining control of the internet for the big corporations.

    Actully, there is one problem I can think of with current p2p aplications - I don't think they make any attempt to favour local peers over wildly remote peers. It really would help the internet as a whole if p2p applications could show a preference for nearby peers. Perhaps measuring hop-count could be built into future p2p protocols?
  • Re:Freeloaders? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ptte ( 847981 ) on Friday November 23, 2007 @08:38AM (#21453009) Homepage
    Where I live, if you live in an apartment, you will mostly have the possibility to have 100/100mbps internet connection. That said, your own regular netgear wireless router will probably only have a throughput of 20-40 mbps, whatever the manual said. But that aint the ISP's fault anyway... I can assure you the connection is working, even during "primetime" and not only at 5 in the morning. And where I live, we are considered far behind most medium cities with their own city-net where you in some rare cases can get 1 / 1 gbps. And I live in Sweden, not China.
  • by billcopc ( 196330 ) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Friday November 23, 2007 @08:53AM (#21453067) Homepage
    In other news,

    P2P users call on ISP2 to block Mark Cuban.

    Seriously, this guy reminds me of an opposition party. Whatever the majority says, he contradicts for the sole reason of getting attention. The dumber his statements, the more we flame over it.

    Wasn't this asshat pushing P2P not so long ago with yet another stupid browser plugin called "Red Swoosh" ?
  • by budgenator ( 254554 ) on Friday November 23, 2007 @09:22AM (#21453203) Journal
    Mark Cuban owns a NBA basketball team and has a flashcraptic web site that distributes video clips. These Pro sports owners think if you pay $50 bucks to sit in the stadium and take a picture of the game you infringing on their copyrights; he'd gladly sacrifice the ability of 100 starving artists to make a buck so his team could get an 8 cent advertising impression. A profession sports team owner is hardly an unbiassed opinion on P2P and network utilization.
  • Re:Freeloaders? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nikanj ( 799034 ) on Friday November 23, 2007 @09:34AM (#21453245)
    Finland is also installing fiber. I think we can finally lay the "sparse population" argument to rest :)
  • by db32 ( 862117 ) on Friday November 23, 2007 @09:45AM (#21453321) Journal
    That's funny. I'm pretty sure those pay to play music boxes in bars and stuff have been charging .25 to .50 for a single play and have been doing quite well.
  • by zotz ( 3951 ) on Friday November 23, 2007 @10:00AM (#21453405) Homepage Journal

    "Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner, HDNet CEO, and noted gadfly is publishing on his blog that Comcast and other ISPs should block all P2P traffic,

    In light of that perhaps we should conclude that all free thinking people should boycott his wonderful Dallas Mavericks and any of his other businesses.

    It is a wonder he can't afford his own T3 or at least T1.

    The big boys don't like it too much when the little boys get to play the game at all. They don't want the advantage their wealth brings them, they want the game all to themselves. No thanks.

    all the best,

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday November 23, 2007 @09:16PM (#21459029)
    Fine with me.

    The point is not that I want 500mbit for 5 bucks a month and if you can't do that go to hell because we want it. What I want is honesty. I want ISPs to sell what they can sell.

    Our ISPs currently outbid each other with promises of bandwidth. 2m, 4m, 8m... but what you really get is less and less every time. I had 2mbit, and I could use 2mbit. Then I was promised 4mbit, and I got 1.5mbit actually. Now we're at 8mbit and on a good day, I get 1mbit. I fear when they promise 16mbit, I can't get a connection at all anymore.

    I'm fine with having 256kbit when I can have those 256kbit. I want to get what I buy. Else the promised bandwidth doesn't mean jack.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?