Thursday, January 13, 2005

AND IF YOU THOUGHT THE RIAA WAS A BIG THREAT TO P-2-P: A US peer-to-peer tech company called Altnet Inc. is hawking its patent portfolio around the file-sharing community looking for licensing deals. The company has mailed numerous companies claiming their services infringe patents around the use of hashing.

The technology appends a hash code to files on these distributed networks. When a file is downloaded and made available elsewhere on such a system, the hash goes with it. Thus, when the software searches for copies of a given file, it only has to check for the hash rather than scan the entire file, to verify its identity, which greatly speeds up searches.

Altnet says it has already reached a preliminary agreement with Sharman Networks, owners of the massive KaZaA network. It is now approaching the smaller players and nascent commercial industry, who are not so forthcoming.

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