Embedded in an old interview in the Guardian with Skype’s founder is a link to AltNet, which is “a secure file-sharing network where content owners promote their content with ad-words. Files can be encrypted and protected, then the rights owner decides if the files can be sold or used for demo purposes.”
Or, to put it another way, a very large, decentralised, rights-managed, metadata-enabled file repository. I’m ashamed to say I’d never heard it before, but it’s based on the same peer-to-peer technology that powers both Skype and Kazaa. Has anyone else heard of this? Does anyone else think an existing network like this has very profound implications for the academic community, which has been umming and ahhing about similar technologies for years?
Or am I barking up the wrong tree?