Research on Intellectual Property Right Problems of
Peer-to-Peer Network and Its Impact on Libraries
Ying Dong 1,2,3 Mingshu Li2 Meizhang Chen3 Shengli Zheng3
Division of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, U.K. 1
Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences, PRC 2
Intellectual Property Research Center of Peking University, PRC 3
The Napster case has drawn enormous attention on digital Intellectual Property
Right problems of online file swapping. These peer-to-peer network technologies
represent a powerful new paradigm for network. In this paper, we try to figure out
the Intellectual Property Right problems of peer-to-peer network, in order to deal
with potential digital piracy to avoid similar litigation. If libraries can embrace
peer-to-peer technologies into their own services, it possibly will develop new
service models, or improve existing ones.
Napster.com and its software provide free service of online MP3 file swapping. It has gained worldwide fame over the Internet rapidly. On one hand, the free service of MP3 exchanging and sharing which it offers has won wide acceptance, even becoming a trend of online service; On the other hand, there emerge serious problems on Intellectual Property Right (IPR) protection of digital files, for it allows unauthorized MP3 files to be shared. The 5 major recording labels filing suit against Napster, alleging its infringement on their intellectual property and copyright, has drawn great attention on the potential piracy over Peer-to-Peer (P2P) network.
Broadly defined, P2P networking is direct Internet-based communication or collaboration between two or more agents, such as personal computers or devices, that bypasses a centralized computer server . The arguments for P2P connectivity and distributed computing are so compelling that it will have a dramatic impact on how we use our computers in the future, since it demonstrates such a model that distributed resources are connecting via the Internet to create something entirely new.
For libraries, they have been file sharing for ages (Chudnov, 2001). Thus, P2P network is capable of developing new services for libraries, or improving existing ones, in ways we will discuss. However, as developers of ancillary services that depend upon or add value to P2P file-sharing networks, libraries have to be aware of the IPR problems in these kinds of practice to be held harmless from that.
In this paper, firstly IPR problems of online file sharing and swapping arising from Napster are investigated.
Then the further impacts of Napster problem are discussed. After that, we provide some solutions on how to deal with potential digital piracy to avoid similar litigation over P2P network. Finally, how P2P network technology could contribute to libraries is introduced.
2. Intellectual Property Right Problems of Online File Sharing and
2.1 What is wrong with Napster?
First, let us look at the digital IPR problems of online file swapping for free, which is generated by the case of Napster.
Napster is comprised of a client application and a set of servers. The client application can be downloaded easily on user's computer. What Napster provides is an MP3-file-index database on their central servers, by which users search for favorite songs with Napster client software. Of the Napster service, users can exchange their own MP files after registration, which are stored still on their own computers. No central server stores the files, for they come from the computers of individual network users. When you start up your Napster client software, you are logged into one of several servers run by Napster, and any MP3 files you share become available for others to search and download. Conversely, if you want to find a particular song or sound file, you can search the server's entries for files available from currently logged-on users. If you find something you want, the server connects you to the other person's computer for the download.
Users may then download files from other users of the Napster software and perhaps share their own files.
According to Napster's service helping with unauthorized music sharing, on December 6, 1999, 5 major recording labels - Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, EMI, BMG, and Sony Music - filed a federal copyright lawsuit seeking damages and injunctive relief against Napster Inc. These companies alleged that Napster's users were violating copyrights and that the Napster peer-to-peer file sharing technology and Internet directory service made it contributory and vicariously liable for its users' alleged copyright infringement. Other additional lawsuits were filed later against Napster by various recording industry entities.
It is worth noting that it never has been alleged that Napster itself directly infringed a single copyrighted work. Rather, the labels alleged the user-public was engaging in infringement and that Napster has enabled and/or could control the acts of infringement. Since users in fact download music from other people's hard drives instead of from Napster, Napster defended that the company was not responsible for users' behavior, whether legal or illegal. Although Napster's copyright protection page clearly said it "revokes the ability of users to access Napster if they violate copyright law" , these words "cannot undo the harm caused by millions of Napster users unlawfully downloading tens of millions of infringing music files", as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said, "Napster is actively encouraging and facilitating
the illegal copying and distribution of copyrighted music". 
In practice, the court decided that it was the Napster service failing to get permission from record labels and as a result promoting the copyright infringement of unauthorized works. The District Court, in a broadly worded and then amended order, enjoined Napster from "engaging in, or facilitating others in copying downloading, uploading, transmitting, or distributing" copyrighted works "without express permission of the rights owner." Then the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's preliminary injunction against Napster, which were on the facts: (i) The overwhelming majority of the MP3 files offered on Napster were infringing; and (ii) Napster was thus enabling and encouraging the illegal copying and distribution of copyrighted music. Just because Napster itself may not house the infringing recordings did not mean Napster was not guilty of copyright infringement. In the course of ruling against Napster, the court interpreted both contributory and vicarious infringement in an expansive way. (Contributory infringement is
similar to "aiding and abetting" be held accountable. And a person will be liable for vicarious infringement if he has the right and ability to supervise infringing activity and also has a direct financial interest in such activities.) The injunction from the District Court required Napster to filter the specified work from the Napster index, and then the decision by the Ninth Circuit ruled that, after receiving notice from a copyright owner that a work was being shared on its system without authorization, Napster had a duty to take reasonable steps (including implementing technical changes to its system) to prevent further distribution of the work. The Napster case is considered to be the first case involving the application of contributory and vicarious liability to a peer-to-peer file sharing system.
2.2 IPR problems of P2P network
Napster's case has drawn great attention to the similar IPR problems over P2P network, even reminding people of new potential or even worse problems.
Although Napster is described as P2P network, in reality it is only partly peer-to-peer, since it relies on central servers for indexing and searching. This makes it vulnerable to being shut down completely if adjudged illegal. A true P2P network, however, is almost completely invulnerable, due to the far and wide distribution of both capability and responsibility: All files come from the computers of individual network users; And no central server stores the files. These types of P2P network allow individuals to trade files without going through a central server, which will results in the lack of defendant in the future similar lawsuits according to the current legislation, which is going to be the situation "no one to sue" .
Furthermore, considering more powerful exchanging software is emerging, the file swapping can
include nearly all kinds of formats, which means not only MP3 but also common software and other digital files are involved. However among the obstacles to such freedom are only bandwidth constraints and corporate firewalls.
From the Napster case, the legal fights around P2P network have already broken out, with copyright owners targeting not only the makers of file-sharing clients like Napster, but also companies that provide products that rely on or add value to public P2P networks. But for no-central-control model P2P and more powerful exchanging software, it seems out of the range of current legislation as well. The fight has only just begun.
2.3 New powerful P2P technologies
More powerful and with anonymous applications' P2P software has quickly appeared, with Gnutella and Freenet being among the most widely known.
2.3.1 Gnutella 
What is Gnutella? "Gnutella is an open, decentralized, peer-to-peer search system that is mainly used to find files. Gnutella was originally developed by America Online as a competing application for downloading MP3 files. It is both a protocol and a software program that implements the protocol. It provides true peerto-peer networking for those who use it.
Firstly when you start up your Gnutella client, it announces your presence to all other Gnutella users. When you want to find something, or just about anything someone wants to share, you send out a query. That query is passed to a few of the closest computers. They in turn each pass it to more computers, and so on, until thousands of computers have received your query. During the query stage, neither the querying computer nor the responding computer knows the identity of the other. When you go to download the file, however, a direct connection is established between the requesting and providing computer. Since no logs or profiles are being kept, privacy is maintained.
Given the underlying power of this model, and because this technology is at a very early stage of
development, the potential of Gnutella, is substantial.
2.3.2 Freenet 
What is Freenet? "The Freenet project aims to create an information publication system similar to the World Wide Web (but with several major advantages over it) based on their protocol." Information can be inserted into the system associated with a "key", and later anyone else can retrieve the information using the appropriate key. Unlike the Web, information on Freenet is not stored at fixed locations or subject to any kind of centralized control. Since it is a world-wide information store that stores, caches, and distributes the information only based on demand, it allows Freenet to be more efficient at some functions than the Web, and also allows information to be published and read without fear of censorship because individual documents cannot be traced to their source or even to where they are physically stored.
Freenet does not have any form of centralized control or administration. It will be virtually impossible to forcibly remove a piece of information from Freenet, and anyone can publish information who does not need to buy a domain name or even a permanent Internet connection, since: (i) Both authors and readers of information stored on this system may remain anonymous if they wish (For anonymous authors, cryptographic signing of information allows people to prove authorship); and (ii) Information will be distributed throughout the Freenet network in such a way difficult to determine where information is being stored.
3. Impacts of Napster Problem
The Napster problem has drawn wide impacts on, from end users to major record labels, from IT industry to legislation organization, from e-Business model to Internet marketplace, etc.
3.1 The worldwide impact
Most users love the free MP3 sharing for it feels so comfortable and easy to enjoy such a large amounts of choices, that Napster has become popular very soon. For example, university networks always met congestion by the access of Napster service and students complained heavily about the likely shut down of Napster.
* Record labels, artists and copyright owners
Most of them considered seeking monetary damages only. While some of the independent artists were willing to assign deals with Napster, with it serving as a tool of distribution in a more effective way to audience.
For the state and federal laws, regulations and policies, there emerges gray areas of copyright law
considering Gnutella type of P2P network, where is no central organization to be responsible for the copyright infringement. The picture looks as if: anyone on the Internet could share anything they want anonymously; there is no company or set of central servers to shut down; and no way to track those who are breaking copyright law. From that, the enforceable digital copyright is being challenged. (Tennant, 2000)
For the industry, already transcending music, Napster's wildfire popularity is forcing whole industries to reconsider their business models, while changing the very definition of commercial entertainment and how people use it. Companies are realizing that the last shelter for the digital economy may be imaginative strategies that make use of widespread file sharing rather than fighting it.
3.2 New business models:
There are some examples of new business models which may benefit from P2P networks.
* Open Services
The idea is to make it possible for everyone to run a server or provide a network service, with the
combination of the low cost and availability of computing and network capacity (Kan, 2001). For software companies for example, which makes it possible to venture beyond the confines of desktop publishing and further onto the Web with services that essentially rent software applications as needed rather than sell them.
That is called "Application Services", which is for creative people to charge for more services and to license what has traditionally been sold through the back end with some kind of service. Such a move could theoretically allow for more protection of copyrighted material because stronger encryption and other security measures could be used to protect a master copy of software that can reside on some super server, which results in a new distribution mechanism considered to be an anti-piracy solution over P2P network.
* Enterprise's training program
Behind the corporate firewall, businesses can save money and time by letting their employees communicate directly, instead of chewing up expensive bandwidth connecting through centralized servers within an organization. For example, Intel has seen huge potential for P2P computing within businesses and launched an experiment in its training department. With operations around the globe, Intel faces the problem of training its employees offsite. The company is experimenting with P2P connections between trainers and students, avoiding time-consuming and expensive satellite connections between its foreign offices and
and the head office. 
* Global, virtual library of non-infringing content
Undaunted by the criticism and controversy surrounding Napster, Napster owner Bill Bales with other partners announced a new company to enable content owners to distribute their work digitally while giving them control over their intellectual property through digital rights management software. Although the new model closely parallels Napster's file-swapping service, it ensures that content owners will make money from each transaction involving their property. 
* Mobile P2P Content Networks
Next generation content networks must address the issue of unique and dynamic content on occasionally connected and mobile content providers. It is possible to build portable, anonymous, wireless, peer-to-peer file sharing networks, by gluing together off-the-shelf technologies, for example even using two-way pagers as peer-to-peer devices. (Foy, 2001)
3.3 Related groups and organizations
New business opportunities spawn advocacy groups, Web sites, and conferences. P2P is no exception, and at least two advocacy groups, numerous Web sites, and two conferences already exist.
* The Grid Forum 
The Grid Forum, founded last year, encourages collaboration and resource sharing among P2P system developers and users. It sponsored a conference, the Grid Forum Global Grid Forum 1 (GGF1), on 4-7 March 2001 in Amsterdam.
* The Peer to Peer Working Group 
Another group interested in promoting and standardizing P2P is the Peer-to-Peer Working Group, which is "a consortium for the advancement of infrastructure standards for P2P computing." Founding members include Alliance Consulting, Bright Station PLC, Entropia, Intel, J.D. Edwards, and Science Communications among others.
* The O'Reilly Network 
The O'Reilly Network, an offshoot of the technical publishing house, has started the Peer-To-Peer
DevCenter. It is also organizing a new conference to explore the technical, legal, and business dimensions of peer-to-peer computing. The first O'Reilly Peer-to-Peer Conference was 14 February 2001, and at least one announcement made there produced waves in the P2P community. (Delaney, 2001)
4. Anti-Piracy Solution over P2P Network
If these early skirmishes of lawsuits yield any lesson for future P2P developers, it is that a legal strategy needs to be in place early, preferably at the beginning of development, rather than at the end (Lohmann, 2001). Here we provide some solutions possibly contribute to the problem, with that further research on the mechanisms on anti-piracy over P2P network still deserves.
4.1 To enforce IPR
To learn from the experience of Napster, first it is technically possible to create a file-sharing system that only indexes or allows searches for artists or songs that have been authorized. In fact, Napster has designed and implemented a file-filtering system that blocks infringing files after being filed. Or in another way, it is to get permission to use other people's copyrighted works before using them, or to enforce IPR, in the context Napster also entered into agreements with Gracenote, Relatable, and Gigabeat, three music service companies. Further, Napster has also amended its terms of service to provide that the company will deny users that attempt to circumvent Napster's filtering system access to the service.
After several lawsuits later, peer-to-peer file sharing may be entering a new "secure" phase of its life cycle, to offer a depth of content to consumers, without violating anyone's rights or intellectual property.
Commonly speaking that is copyright enforcement. Portals and content sites can enforce policies to safeguard copyright holders' rights, allowing users to publish legitimate shareable content, and to enable content owners to distribute their work digitally while giving them control over their intellectual property through digital rights management software. Once in the controlled world of content, the content is provided by network operators who make agreements with content owners to release music and video inside the gated P2P network. Thus they do not have to worry about being sued over copyright issues. (Goroch, 2001) What's not clear is how integrating digital rights management will affect the end-user experience, and whether or not consumers will embrace secure peer-to-peer networks as emphatically they have free ones.
4.2 About Reputation System
To use the world "enforce", it sounds fairly blue. So, why not consider something from a bright point of view with the same effect? That is where the idea of "Reputation System" comes from.
The acceptance of peer technologies in the corporate world hinges on reputation and trust. So, it is to consider about a Reputation System, which has already had the beginnings from the digital certificate, and then the next step will be "digital reputations", something the same as credit reports, only on a broader scale.
It can help with the piracy problems for P2P network using a built-in reputation system, where P2P network enables reputations to be used to enhance searching as well as to filter out unwanted information, all while maintaining complete user privacy. The Reputation Management Framework (RMF) provides the basis for secure, pseudonymous, distributed communities and other applications. Reputations are the cornerstone to any virtual community. 
5. What is for Libraries?
Technology always has and always will affect libraries. In the recent past, they forced libraries to improve existing services and to add new formats. As the 21st century begins, dozens of emerging technologies will challenge libraries on a more fundamental scale, which certainly include P2P network (Guscott, 2001).
Libraries should make use of the new P2P network technologies to help fulfill their mission, which is to provide information, support lifelong learning, and promote reading and literacy. 
5.1 Current situation
Libraries are based on file-sharing, not simply pooling resources for a single geographic community but finding an item for any local user from any of thousands of peer libraries within cooperative national or international regions. (Chudnov, 2001) While from Napster, users have already viewed the Napster system as a public library of music, and P2P network will continue to be extremely popular as a kind of file-sharing networks. Furthermore, innovative twists on peer models will serve new and unusual yet useful purposes.
All of these only show that important lessons and concepts can be drawn from P2P networks and applied to libraries to enable library practitioners to work much faster, cheaper and better.
Some libraries has already developed peer-to-peer personal computer network. Those P2P networks can allow the user to access and download their own and other library's content stored on the system.
But considering with the great challenges for libraries of the digital age, which includes: (i) Malleability: which means we are inclined to do much more than preserve or distribute information, but prone to manipulate it, alter it, and enhance it, (ii) Selectivity: that is to enable users to get in touch of more resources... (Rutenbeck, 2000) P2P network may contribute more from a coalition point of view in some of the following scenarios.
5.2 Potential service models for libraries using P2P
There are some potential ways collected, in which P2P network can contributed to the services of libraries:
To common libraries, current service on-line is kind of like: portals like Yahoo! group materials into broad and hierarchical categories; and search engines pointing you toward a variety of sources.
Comparatively a more effective way is to let the user build his own personal library by the Internet, finding files and sorting them in a way that is logical and relevant to himself, just like his bookshelves at home. On P2P network, as individuals begin to serve copies of articles, papers, and even books by their own interest from a large amount of resources, in this way the library has bypassed the boundary of its own to help users to entirely to locate information on their own. Furthermore, with collaborative object look-up architecture, it can use intelligent agents to fetch files based on personal relevance criteria. These agents also collaborate in a P2P and cross-platform network.
One of the major components of a resource sharing strategy is interlibrary loan (ILL) (Littman, 2000). ILL is the "requesting and supplying of books and microfilm reels, as well as the supply of photocopies of journal articles, articles in conference proceedings, etc" (Jackson, 1998). A major force in ILL is the emergence of the International Standards Organization (ISO) ILL Protocol . The ISO ILL Protocol defines a standard for ILL system to ILL system communication, allowing any ISO ILL-compliant ILL system to communicate with any other ISO ILL-compliant ILL system for the purposes of negotiating an ILL transaction (Tennant, 2000). One of the models of communication enabled by ISO ILL is peerto-peer ILL communication . In other words, the ILL systems of borrowing libraries can communicate directly with the ILL systems of lending libraries for the purposes of negotiating an ILL transaction. For libraries to modify the Napster model of file sharing for use in interlibrary lending, the main change that is to add copyright compliance. Since then, it can explore the digital opportunities and the values for the library "brand" to be an entire Internet Public Library (Chudnov, 2000).
The power of P2P networking, combined with the development of learning and knowledge objects, will revolutionize learning. It provides an ideal way for learners within an organization, or across organizations, to share learning and knowledge . Since the mission of libraries includes supporting lifelong learning, it is of great interest for libraries to participate in making use of their huge resources to set up an E-Learning network. An E-Learning network operating on the P2P principle will help reduce training costs dramatically, with all kinds of copyrighted works in digital formats to be utilized.
To add more interest, if a distributed, privacy-protecting coalition formation system based on such a P2P E-Learning network can autonomously determines users' interests and then automatically forms discussion groups, users can share interests by sending real-time messages to enjoy learning together, since the P2P paradigm can be extended and enhanced to foster productivity in the workplace and support community activities (Parameswaran, 2001).
Next generation networks must address the issue of unique and dynamic content on occasionally
connected and mobile content providing. To address mobile issues to libraries is also a promising
challenge. Some libraries are considering offering access to the online system via the recently installed wireless technology . Technically, it is already possible to build portable, anonymous, wireless, peer-to-peer file sharing networks, by gluing together off-the-shelf technologies such as 802.11b, IP networking, HTTP services, and ordinary notebook PCs, to combine with the service of libraries.
To embrace P2P technology into the services of libraries, two main issues are to be highlighted: the trends for the development of the P2P technology and the IPR problem of P2P network.
The trends for the development of P2P network include:
Newer versions of computer and handheld operating systems will fully integrate P2P capabilities to harness the file sharing, distribution and communication aspects of the technology.
New P2P services will increasingly operate outside the confines of the traditional Web-based Internet, which will take advantage of the unused resources of the personal computers connected at the ends of the Internet to bypass centrality, decrease network congestion and establish dynamic, anonymous presence on the network.
And there are some of the other types of P2P systems may be useful as a searcher for libraries:
Agent technologies. Agents are programs that do things on your behalf. Many are "autonomous," meaning they are smart enough to both act on their own, and adapt to new information.
Distributed search. There are several interesting P2P projects that aim to improve search by distributing tasks like crawling and indexing among dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of computers.
For IPR problems of P2P network, the central copyright law concepts that P2P developers must grapple with are the doctrines of contributory and vicarious copyright infringement. These are so-called "indirect" or "secondary" theories of copyright liability that can hold a software maker or system developer liable for the infringing activities of end-users. Consequently, a using of these two copyright doctrines can be crucial if libraries act as P2P developers wish to limit their vulnerability to copyright liability.
The Napster case has drawn enormous attention as one of the first legal confrontations pitting novel Internet technologies against the rights of intellectual property holders. However the ruling against Napster is not the death of P2P networks, but a call to resolve how this runaway success will work with existing copyright and Intellectual property. Since it seems anyone on the Internet can share anything they want anonymously, the P2P file-sharing network is absolutely of great interest. Whatever happens, Napster, Gnutella and P2P network technologies represent a powerful new paradigm for network use that bypasses servers and connects individual users in new ways. If libraries can embrace it into their own services, it possibly will develop new service models, or improve existing ones, in ways parallel with the development of P2P networks.
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