[bittorrent] Open letter to the BBC

Jeff Burdges weasel at havoc.gtf.org
Mon Jun 20 07:10:05 EDT 2005

> Why bittorrent and not Rodi ?

In three words: not my problem.  I'm more interested in the politics, 
i.e. gaining legal immunity and widespread use for *some* P2P system.  
The BBC is clearly the best bet.

I would expect that the BBC's research team would put real work into 
the protocol.  In particular, they would need to add user/pass if its 
not already a standard extension.  Some such work, such as simulation 
of streaming, might make the protocol less suitable for traditional P2P 
applications, i.e. piracy.  However, I think the BBC would stay 
reasonably close to "public interest," as that's just the sort of 
people they are.

I have no problems with mentioning Rodi in a such a letter to the BBC, 
but I think the letter should focus on how the generally type of 
technology meshes well with their goals, not on technicalities.  These 
are serious people who just built a frigging codec free of patent 
problems, no doubt requiring them to employ serious people with PhDs in 
wavelets & shit.  If they decide BT/Rodi is the right way to go, they 
could easily improve it in ways your not expecting before deploying it.

Anyway, I see the main problem as convincing them that open source and 
BTish P2P is better then proprietary or true streaming.  For example, 
the I expect the BBC sees itself as providing service to ex-colonies 
all over the world.  I bet this makes them more vulnerable to exactly 
the sort of "growing pains" which BT is good at avoiding.

We can discuss what sort of protocol features the BBC might want.  I 
suggested that user/password could be critical.  I doubt trackerless 
operation is a priority, perhaps not even desirable.  Easy instillation 
and use on Windows and Mac are essential, so automated tuning of 
bandwidth use parameters is desirable.  The ability to simulate 
streaming might be a big deal, i.e. prioritization of early packets 
mixed with streaming from their servers.

Anyway, even if they were to modify the protocol in a way that made it 
useless to traditional P2P users, it would help BT/Rodi etc. just to 
have a "legit" protocol with a similar bandwidth usage signature.

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