Clevercactus.com – a place to sign up so you can share your files only with people you know. What ??
Why on earth would anyone sign up for something like that ? Using ftp isn’t that hard is it ? Even setting up a simple ftp server is ridiculously easy, as is then controlling who has access to it. I mean, if you sign up for this service, then unless it offers huge benefits in terms of controlling line speeds, timed downloads, and the resuming of broken downloads, then why bother ?
I suppose they are trying to get custom because of the RIAA (and probably others) monitoring file sharing networks like Kazaa, but surely if providers have been forced to hand over a certain amount of detail about network activity, then this offers the same sort of target for the copyright enforcers.
But let’s say you can’t work ftp, you have no clue that ftp server software can be installed, configured and be working within moments of the download completing, and you sign up for this cactus thing. Right now, it says ‘Invitation Only’ so they can preserve the community – that doesn’t work – Orkut should prove that one.
But you join – by being invited by a friend. And you fileshare with your friend. How would you then determine a ‘friend’ if all you had done was then met them online, and they offered you some files to ‘share’ from them. How do you know who they are ? How do you know what they are up to – after all, they may be sharing something innocuous and freeware but waiting for you to offer something copyrighted back. Am I being cynical in thinking that the copyright people would sign up for this sort of thing early on if nothing else to start gathering evidence just in case ?
Sharing copyrighted files is illegal – we should all know that by now – but it’s not going to go away. All the iTunes stores will never completely cover the music scene, they will never enable the viewing of a TV program that airs in the States weeks ahead of the UK, they will never offer the amount of game ROMS that a network like Shareaza does. Surely commonsense says that if you are going to engage in an illegal activity, you don’t go telling others unnecessarily, and you share /copy / call-it-what-you-will anonymously.
(there is one way to slash the sharing networks completely to shreds ….. put everyone on dial-up. But then the Telco’s really really don’t think that by offering ever greater d/l speeds that they are facilitating this mass ‘piracy’ do they ?)