October 7, 2004
I’m used to seeing huge ads for Movielink as well as MPAA anti-piracy statements in The Harvard Crimson. Yesterday, there was a full page ad for the new version of Morpheus, touting an upgraded file-sharing system (discussed here) as well as Streamcast’s recent legal victory.
Predictably, Morpheus still seems to be saturated in adware. When they released a version in the spring that interoperated with other P2P systems, I could barely get searches to work on all networks at any sort of reasonable speed. I don’t know if that’s any better now, but I’m betting the program’s still not that slick. Do tell me what your experiences are.
One new feature did strike me. In addition to enabling use of proxy servers to protect privacy, Morpheus has supposedly implemented some anti-spoofing tools built off of Bitzi (which, fwiw, was co-created by Mike Linksvayer who now works for Creative Commons) Morpheus doesn’t spell out how this works and I refuse to load this software onto my computer again to find out, but it seems that Morpheus will be tapping into Bitzi’s metadata catalog. For identified files, people will be able to see if it’s been listed by someone as a spoof or as legit.
I’ve read about other peer-rating systems to combat spoofing, but this is one of the first anti-spoofing tools I’ve seen implemented in a P2P system. I don’t know how well it’s going to work, because I don’t know a lot about how good Bitzi is. It certainly seems interesting.
Of course, it seems copyright holders could enter spoofed files into Bitzi and rate them with high integrity. Thus, even if Bitzi helps people sort out spoofs, the technological arms race will continue.
Update: Mike explains how it works and Bitzi’s implementation in P2P software.