When file sharing isn’t file sharing

Shawn Fanning’s Snocap has been getting a lot of coverage recently and last night finally saw the official confirmation of what everyone already knew: the Universal Music have signed up content to the service. Snocap’s premise is that they provide a secure framework for distributing content on a global basis through file sharing networks. Although comments from some P-to-P networks that the technology is already out of date may or may not be valid, the larger question is why bother? Of course, extensive DRM free content on legal file sharing networks would be a perfect way for the industry to drive widespread uptake of digital music services. But that simply isn’t going to happen at the moment. The music industry has nailed it’s colours firmly to the mast of DRM and consequently any ‘file sharing’ solution that uses significant major label content is not going to be file sharing as file sharers would recognize it.

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