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XP SP2 Torrent Shows Legal P2P's Promise 529

Posted by simoniker
from the come-get-some dept.
Downhill Battle writes "With Congress debating new legislation that would ban p2p networks (along with other innovations and beloved products), we thought it was important to demonstrate the huge potential of p2p software to benefit the public. So now at SP2torrent.com you can get Windows XP SP2 via BitTorrent." Update: 08/09 21:10 GMT by S : As commenters note, you can also get XP SP2 from Microsoft's site, but it's explained: "DO NOT CLICK DOWNLOAD IF YOU ARE UPDATING JUST ONE COMPUTER: A smaller, more appropriate download will be available soon on Windows Update."
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XP SP2 Torrent Shows Legal P2P's Promise

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  • Now, really... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:24PM (#9923269)
    ...would I want to download a Windows operating system upgrade from an unknown source? Why not just wait for Windows Update?
  • Go Team Go! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Short Circuit (52384) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:24PM (#9923271) Homepage Journal
    It definately helps to have object examples of good, legal use.

    Though I'm not sure if the XP SP2 torrent is legal...What's in the EULA about redistribution?
    • Re:Go Team Go! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by NanoGator (522640)
      "It definately helps to have object examples of good, legal use."

      It could totally backfire if MS says "we dint give you permission to do that." MS has made murmurs before about limiting SP's to only verified serial #s. (I don't remember what the outcome of that was. A refresher would be appreciated.) If the SP's given out when MS is trying to control it, then you'll have made MS an enemy of it. Bad news.

      Bit risky if you ask me.
      • Re:Go Team Go! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by nacturation (646836) <nacturation@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:47PM (#9923586) Journal
        It could totally backfire if MS says "we dint give you permission to do that." MS has made murmurs before about limiting SP's to only verified serial #s. (I don't remember what the outcome of that was. A refresher would be appreciated.) If the SP's given out when MS is trying to control it, then you'll have made MS an enemy of it. Bad news.

        Bit risky if you ask me.


        Why is it risky? Microsoft provides the download to anybody with a web browser. I'm downloading XP SP2 on a Mac right now, directly from Microsoft's website [microsoft.com]. So they're clearly not checking for valid serials before allowing the download. Perhaps the *install* is a different matter, however.

        As an aside, I'm also getting *much* better bandwidth directly from Microsoft than from the torrent.
        • by ultranova (717540) on Monday August 09, 2004 @05:14PM (#9923901)

          Why is it risky? Microsoft provides the download to anybody with a web browser. I'm downloading XP SP2 on a Mac right now, directly from Microsoft's website. So they're clearly not checking for valid serials before allowing the download. Perhaps the *install* is a different matter, however.

          Or it could be another fine example of quality Microsoft coding: since your Mac doesn't have a Windows serial number, it obviously can't have a serial number that's on the blacklist, and thus is allowed to download. This, in turn, means that your Mac can be used to circumvent the copy protection of the XP SP2 patch, and is therefore a copy protection circumvention device and in direct violation of the DMCA.

          Report yourself to the police immediately, citizen !

          Of course, the same would also be true for Linux, making Linux too a copy protection circumvention device and thus illegal. It seems I've uncovered the secret plot of Microsoft - will they sue me now for violating their patent on "method of having every competing operating system declared illegal to maintain monopoly position" ?

        • by pyrrhonist (701154) on Monday August 09, 2004 @05:53PM (#9924327)
          I'm downloading XP SP2 on a Mac right now, directly from Microsoft's website.

          Well, knock it off!!! Let people who can actually install it use the bandwidth.
          Sheesh, I don't go around downloading OS X patches for the fun of it. Fucking Mac zealots!!!!!

          </SATIRE>

    • by sczimme (603413) on Monday August 09, 2004 @05:15PM (#9923911)

      F/OSS OS (e.g. Linux, *BSD) ISOs makes two examples. We could probably stretch to include OO.org et al to make three.

      Three examples of legitimate use. Three.

      You PR guys will have to work overtime if you want to make P2P look like anything remotely resembling legitimate.

      No, I am not saying P2P should be criminalized. I am saying that the overwhelming majority of P2P traffic appears to be illegitimate (so to speak), most often for reasons of copyright infringement.

      Be honest: when people mention P2P networks, what do they describe as its best feature?

      A) "Dude, you can get stuff for free!"
      B) "Dude, you can download lots of stuff in a completely legal manner without infringing anyone's copyright!"

      I believe we all know the answer to that one, even if certain groups conveniently ignore it.

      And - as mentioned elsewhere in the thread - the SP2 EULA does prohibit redistribution e.g. via torrent.
  • Uh...Legal? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:24PM (#9923273)
    Do you have Microsoft's permission to redistribute the service pack?

    No?

    Surprise! It's illegal.
    • Hmm... does congress have the communities backup for banning P2P? No.

      The pro far outweights the con. Even if they ban p2p, other people can share service packs different ways. What are they going to do, ban bit-tolerant, ftp and every other protocol? This is lame. The government will never be ahead of the technology curve.

      • Re:Uh...Legal? (Score:4, Informative)

        by pyros (61399) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:57PM (#9923697) Journal
        man did you miss the point (at least I'm assuming you did since you didn't respond to it directly). The topic is using redistribution of SP2 to demonstrate a legal use of p2p. If MS doesn't allow redistribution, then this is still an example of illegal use. Copyright is the determining factor here, not the legality of p2p networks, which is what the OP was alluding to. Microsoft holds the copyright for the code in SP2, so they have the legal authority to say distribution of SP2 on p2p networks is not allowed.

        Now, before you go off on me for thinking I missed your point, I agree that Congress is out of touch with the tech community and behind the curve on what legislation will have the intended impact. All they seem to do is make things harder for honest people (the copyright infringers won't be slowed down, but people trying to spread valid security patches might for fear of prosecution).

    • by Lord Kano (13027) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:46PM (#9923570) Homepage Journal
      Perhaps this should have been titled "XP SP2 Shows Legitimate use for P2P."

      LK
  • Well, I got to the website OK. However, trying their torrent link results in "Timeout connecting to peers" :-( I tried it several times, all the same. Can somebody with some under-the-hood knowledge tell us, is it possible to slashdot a torrent link ?
    • Re:Slashdotted ? (Score:5, Informative)

      by barcodez (580516) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:29PM (#9923339)
      Yes, it is entirely possible to slashdot a torrent. Each client polls a central server (or in more modern clients one of a number of servers) for new hosts and to update the server on its progress. If this server can't service all the polls from all the clients then a torrent has been ./ed.
    • Re:Slashdotted ? (Score:3, Informative)

      by ViolentGreen (704134)
      I believe that it is possible to overload a tracker. That sounds like it might be what you are experiencing.
    • Any given torrent must have a tracker to coordinate all the peers. If the tracker goes down then new people trying to download the file won't know what peers are available to download from. Usually it doesn't take much resources at all to run the tracker, however it is possible to slashdot it.

      It may just be down temporarily, so I would recommend waiting a while.
  • by NanoGator (522640) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:25PM (#9923278) Homepage Journal
    ... if it wasn't for the fact that MS's hosting services have totally blown away every connection I've thrown at it. I've seriously gotten 500KB/s from them before. (Bytes, not bits.)
    • Should've used a faster connection. I've seen up to 3MB/s on some downloads, and that was on an old Pentium Pro system.

      On another note, the torrent file's MIME type on the site is set to plain text. They might want to fix that for browsers which are actually compliant... :)
    • I DLd SP2 this morning at speeds between 250 and 500KBps. On a good days I've gotten >700KBps on single downloads. Good luck slashdotting Microsoft.
    • I was thinking the same thing, then I read the article. MS is allowing 'only' 2.5 million downloads per day for the first few weeks.

      Of course, it's probable that someone else would have made a torrent of the service pack anyway, and this is just a PR thing, but it might be useful.
    • I got 7.5 meg per second off them today downloading mediaplayer at work.
    • I tried the BitTorrent connection and got 25Kb/s. I went to a remote server of mine that is connected via OC192 and got 12Mb/s downloading SP2 directly from MS with wget. Downloading from that server with sFTP over a public WiFi connection, I'm now pulling 640Kb/s.

      I should use BitTorrent WHY?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I know a lot of people got the DOOM 3 trailer via torrent.
  • A Good First Step (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wackysootroom (243310) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:25PM (#9923285)
    That's great and all, but lawmakers won't listen until MS or is using Bittorrent themselves to distribute updates.

    My prediction is that MS will do the "embrace and extend" thing with bittorrent once they catch on to it.
  • A nice idea... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Compholio (770966) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:25PM (#9923291)
    but one thing to point out:

    Download Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)
    Downloads require BitTorrent: Windows, Mac, Linux.


    Why would I want to download SP2 for Mac or Linux? Normally I could so downloading it on another machine if you don't have access to the internet where you want to install it. Honestly, if the machine you want to install it on doesn't have access to the internet then why do you need the security changes of SP2?
    • Re:A nice idea... (Score:5, Informative)

      by garcia (6573) * on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:27PM (#9923306) Homepage
      I don't use my Windows machine for BitTorrent. I prefer the console client that comes with Linux.

      btdownloadcurses --url "$URL" --max_upload_rate 5

      That way I can start the download to my home machine at work and still have it done by the time I get there.
    • Faster pipe at work, on my Linux machine, than I have at home with my Windows XP machine.
    • Why would I want to download SP2 for Mac or Linux?

      I dual boot, though I'm usually in Linux. I downloaded with QTorrent a couple days ago and stuck it on my FAT partition. Then I booted into Windows, installed it, and promptly went back to Gentoo :)

    • Re:A nice idea... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bearl (589272)
      You see, there are these things called "Internal Networks," and some of these "Internal Networks" have "computers" on them that can be prevented from connecting to the "External Network."

      But seriously, you might for example, use a Linux box to retrieve the update, then post it to an internal location, say a shared network drive, and have all the little XP machines get it from there.

      I guess the point is that it doesn't have to be used by the machine that first downloads it.
    • Re:A nice idea... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by NanoGator (522640)
      "Why would I want to download SP2 for Mac or Linux?"

      So you can be another host and help with the cause?

      "Honestly, if the machine you want to install it on doesn't have access to the internet then why do you need the security changes of SP2?"

      Sadly, if you install XP and get it on the net, the odds are good you'll pick up a worm. So.. disconnect from the net, download the updates elsewhere.
    • Honestly, if the machine you want to install it on doesn't have access to the internet then why do you need the security changes of SP2?

      Cuz there's more than just security fixes in SP2? Like Bluetooth support (well, that's kind of network stuff, but not generally internet type network stuff).

      Or perhaps the windows machine isn't on the network until it gets the security fixes but will be shortly after?

  • by Rude Turnip (49495) <valuation@@@gmail...com> on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:25PM (#9923293)
    Then this does not show how P2P can be used in a legal manner...INFINITELY USEFUL--yes!, but not legal.
    • by stratjakt (596332) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:56PM (#9923691) Journal
      Infinitely useful? Marginally practical is a better term, I think.

      MS has more bandwidth than jesus, and you'll download the patch much faster from them than from some torrent.

      I've yet to see any torrent download max out my downstream on this T1 at work. They have no problem maxing out my upstream of course - I wind up sending at 150 and recieving at 20 or so. I've tried big torrents too, new linux releases, spiderman and matrix trailers, etc..

      Which makes me wonder how well the bittorrent thing would/will be recieved by the general public. Why should our upstream bandwidth - which we pay for - be used to redistribute MSFT's shit? I don't see them mirroring our ftp distro site. I don't see them telling the Comcast rep to reactivate my account after it was suspended for bandwidth abuse. Fuck that, they already gouged me for 200 bucks for XP Pro, they can damn well foot the bandwidth bill for any patch I need to keep it working.

      I mean, would you let (random big corporation) Johnson and Johnson store products in your living room, and deliver them using your car and your gas? Even if you got a 15% discount on shampoo?
  • The stigma of P2P (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lake2112 (748837) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:26PM (#9923297)
    Thanks to Napster and other infamous P2P networks it will be next to impossible for the bad stigma of P2P networks to be lifted. Sure a SP2 torrent has some usefulness but bittorrent is not main stream enough for this website to accomplish any significant good.
  • by barcodez (580516) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:26PM (#9923299)
    Check out The Linux Mirror Project [tlm-project.org] for example. Which has torrents for Slackware, Slax, Fedora, Mandrake, Knoppix, Debian, Gentoo & FreeBSD
  • On one hand... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DragonPup (302885)
    ...this is a very good example of how p2p can be used in a productive legal way.

    On the other, I wouldn't trust any 'security' patches found on p2p networks unless the file's link came from MS's site directly. :p
  • by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedyNO@SPAMtpno-co.org> on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:27PM (#9923309) Homepage
    MPAA and RIAA ( through our beloved Sen Hatch ) will outlaw p2p networks.

    We'll use them anyway.

    A few people will get lawsuits ( notably, those who run insecure versions on their OS that are running, in effect, an open proxy ), a few people will pay thousands of dollars, and the rest of us won't even bat an eye.

  • hyperbole (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:27PM (#9923317) Journal
    While I don't agree with the INDUCE act, it doesn't ban all "P2P", it bans the setup of networks explicitly for exchanging pirated materials.. Ie; Kazaa, eDonkey.. Don't make yourself look like fools defending them, yeah there's some token 0.0001% of content that's legal on them.. Everyone knows that they're for downloading MP3s and DivX's and warez.

    I don't see any law that threatens to make it illegal to send content from one node on the network (or peer) to another node - hence, peer to peer. I've never seen bittorrent threatened when used to distribute legal content, though sites like suprnova are walking a fine line by encouraging it as a means for piracy.

    Complain, get active.. That's great. But dont exagerate or you wind up making a fool of yourself. If you want to write your congressperson or senator, do so with lucid well-thought arguments, not a bunch of "slippery slope" and hysterical dystopian visions of the future.. That, at most, gets chuckled at before crumpled and pitched into the can.
    • Re:hyperbole (Score:5, Informative)

      by Minna Kirai (624281) on Monday August 09, 2004 @05:19PM (#9923966)
      Everyone knows that they're for downloading MP3s and DivX's and warez.

      Interestingly, the act's sponsor disagrees with you. Orrin Hatch claims [senate.gov] that users of Kazaa and eDonkey assume that because the program is from a corporation, then it's major use must be legal.

      it bans the setup of networks explicitly for exchanging pirated materials..

      No, it says nothing about networks or piracy. Sounds like you might be arguing from ignorance. Since the INDUCE Act is trivially short, I'll post the whole thing here:
      1. the term 'intentionally infringes' means intentionally aids, abets, induces, or procures, and intent may be shown by acts which a reasonable person would find intent to induce infringement based upon all relevant information about such acts then reasonably available to the actor, including whether the activity relies on infringement for its commercial viability.
      2. Whoever intentionally induces any violation indentified in (...) shall be liable as an infringer.
      3. Nothing in this subsection shall enlarge or diminish the doctrines of vicarious and contributory liability for copyright infringement or require any court to unjustly withhold or impose any secondary liability for copyright infringement


      So what it says is that "inducing copyright infringement" is now a form of copyright infringement itself, which is already illegal.

      That's a nonsensical and moderately dangerous path: creating redundant laws. Copyright infringement is already illegal. Inducing a crime is also already illegal. Therefore INDUCE either has absolutely no effect and was a waste of Congressional time, or it means that inducement of infringement will be interpreted more loosely in the future.

      Note that under this act, Bram Moolenar would've been guilty for the publication of the BitTorrent protocol, which by his own admission was intended to aid in copyright infringement (of Phish concert tapes, which are illegal to share, even though the band has no intention of ever enforcing).

      The "Save The iPod" stuff is a stretch, but it'd be possible to prosecute Apple under this law too. All you'd have to do is show that iPod sales are somehow higher due to illegal copying. I bet a survey could be done showing that buyers of iPods often had pre-existing MP3 music collections, and that some of that came from copyright infringement.

      Furthermore, and more realistically, freenet and similar anonymizing networks would become illegal. Anyone running a freenet node will be subject to arrest.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:28PM (#9923323)
    You can now get it directly from Microsoft [microsoft.com].
    • Interesting. On the page you get by following the parent's link:

      "DO NOT CLICK DOWNLOAD IF YOU ARE UPDATING JUST ONE COMPUTER: A smaller, more appropriate download will be available soon on Windows Update."

      'More appropriate'? Are they just talking about installing only the missing patches through Windows Update, or is there likely to be anything genuinely different about it?

      I'm downloading from the link above anyway - I have family on dial-up and intend to burn this to CD and post it up. Still, interes

  • by ubiquitin (28396) * on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:28PM (#9923326) Homepage Journal
    One thing that any law must possess in order to be a law is that it can be enforced. You can't rule that breathing air is illegal because the law enforcement couldn't follow the law and still make it take effect. How could Congress ever enforce a BitTorrent ban? Copying certain types of data (terrorism communications or child pornography) can be limited and the enforcement of these sorts of transgressionsn is relatively routine now, but in the absence of enforceability, don't look for anti-BitTorrent legislation in the near future. Larry Rosen is right, there is reason to be optimistic about the ability for law to protect our freedoms.
    • Huh?

      it seems to me enforcing a Bittorrent ban would be infinitely easier than enforcing a lot of things that are currently illegal. simply monitor networks for the protocol, grab the users IP address, get the address from the isp and break the door down and get to the PC before it can be turned off.

      If ISPs 'had' to comply, and the resources were allotted, it would be a piece of cake to enforce.

      You could even have an automated system - a GPS in the swat team van coupled with a network connection to a mas
    • by Hatta (162192) on Monday August 09, 2004 @09:00PM (#9925625) Journal
      One thing that any law must possess in order to be a law is that it can be enforced.

      Over 30 years of the War on Drug Users proves you wrong.
  • Let's stop kidding ourselves on this subject. Yes, there are some legit uses for P2P networks, but let's just admit that 99% of the useage of P2P networks is Porn, MP3's and Warez.
    • "Let's stop kidding ourselves on this subject. Yes, there are some legit uses for P2P networks, but let's just admit that 99% of the useage of P2P networks is Porn, MP3's and Warez."

      Let's stop kidding ourselves on this subject. Stick to the porn, mp3's and warez!

  • It's downhillbattle (Score:2, Interesting)

    by doofusclam (528746)
    They're just showing legal uses of p2p with something that could do with the help - 250mb per Windows installation is a lot of bandwidth. BitTorrent is an ideal halfway house for getting stuff out fast and helping each other out.

    Hell, it's even worth you Linux users seeding the torrent. It'll mean your dsl connection gets less hammered with 0wn3d Windows boxes doing port scans.

    Good on them - a lot of publicity for not much cash. Nice.
    • Hell, it's even worth you Linux users seeding the torrent. It'll mean your dsl connection gets less hammered with 0wn3d Windows boxes doing port scans.

      Nah, sorry. We're too busy growing like a cancerour tumour on Ballmer's backside to have the time for that.

      • So you would rather stick one in the eye of Ballmer knowing that this will hurt the wider community?

        Pathetic.
        • So you would rather stick one in the eye of Ballmer knowing that this will hurt the wider community?

          Since, by this statement, you admit Windows fallibilities, how about you upgrading to Linux then?

          And, no I would rather drink beer from Ballmer's skull...

  • by GoNINzo (32266) <GoNINzo@y a h oo.com> on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:29PM (#9923351) Homepage Journal
    There are many linux distributions and gaming videos that are using torrents for fast distribution. A great example was the doom 3 video that came out shortly before the release. I was getting 180KB on my T1 on download.

    However, I don't think corporate america will embrace it entirely until another major corporation uses it. I suspect that the revamp of Steam to use bittorrent like behavior might be a great example of a bad system being replaced with a good system. Though I'm sure a few people will be upset that their bandwidth is being used without their expressed permission. (The guy who made BitTorrent got hired by value to help them out.)

    Either way, I think it's a bright future for us gamers. `8r) That is, assuming technology problems are treated as technology problems, rather than criminal problems. Just because someone can use a BetaMAX machine to copy a tape doesn't mean they will...

    • There are many linux distributions and gaming videos that are using torrents for fast distribution. A great example was the doom 3 video that came out shortly before the release. I was getting 180KB on my T1 on download.

      So true. You might have seen that Debian 3.1 RC1 [slashdot.org] came out yesterday, and we have been offering full CD images -- via BitTorrent. I took the liberty of posting the torrents to Suprnova.org, of all places.. :)

      Just goes to show that most technologies are double-edged swords. I don't see how
  • by ShatteredDream (636520) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:30PM (#9923357) Homepage
    I haven't actually seen anything that suggests that P2P protocols themselves might be banned, rather that certain companies will get their asses handed to them. BitTorrent has been often use illegitimately, but it is not billed as a big time file sharing network a la Kazaa. The fact that it is often used by geeks for legitimate purposes means that any judge who ruled against it on a "reasonable person" basis would probably get slapped down on appeals.

    Which brings me to the next reason I'm not too concerned with this bill. A reasonable person standard on something like this is highly subjective. There is no general public opinion upon which a consistent, long term reasonable person standard could be based. The SCOTUS will probably realize that and slap it down as unconstitutionally vague.

    Seriously people, if ya'll want to really make the copyright cartels eat crow, go out and buy music from non-RIAA labels like Century Media. If you've never heard of Lacuna Coil, they're an Italian metal band that is getting really big thanks to a stint on Headbangers' Ball and touring with Ozzfest. They're damn good AND not RIAA affiliated according to the RIAA Radar site. Century Media has a lot of affiliates, and chances are that if you buy European or underground metal, it's not RIAA affiliated.

    Don't pirate software or movies, at least not openly. If you're going to do movies, go to blockbuster, rent a new release, rip it, use dvd2one or dvdshrink and burn it to a DVD-R instead of fueling the propaganda about file sharing networks. Afterall, if rental rates increase, they have no excuse that people aren't using legitimate means to watch movies ;)
  • Oh, good thinking! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter (3800) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:31PM (#9923382) Journal
    How do you demonstrate that P2P isn't just a warez app? Show how readily it distributes Windows outside of Microsoft's normal channels!

    Please note that:

    1) I'm a Furthur.net user and understand that legal P2P exists.

    2) I oppose restrictions on P2P and am perfectly happy to rely on the RIAA suing violators instead.

    3) I understand that this is a patch, not Windows itself. (Although is this distribution within the rights of the EULA? I certainly hope they've made sure it is.)

    But as PR, this seems like a really poor idea.

  • by TommydCat (791543) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:33PM (#9923398) Homepage
    P2P networks really need to figure a way for an author to cyptographically sign a file as "authentic", like you can sign email with a PGP signature. This would be another step in giving P2P nets "legitimacy".

    Currently there are all sorts of miscreants out there doing unspeakable acts to poor defenseless setup.exe files which will burn the end-user and turn them off to P2P.

    If there existed a secure, integrated/easy way to verify that this XPSP2 fileset came from Microsoft without tampering (publishing MD5 sums is the antithesis to easy to normal users), I would click on the .torrent or whatever without hesitation.

    The authentication would rely on the Public Key Infrastructure and have chains of trust that would go back to the CA's, just like we do with SSL certs.

    I like "quotes"

    • You're missing a big part of signature-based cryptography: trust. 95% of the folks who put out torrents aren't doing so by the will of the original distributor, so you're going to have to rely on the digital signatures of a bunch of random people.

      Remember, digital signatures and hashes only verify that the content matches the original hash. It says nothing about whether or not the content was modified before a hash was made.
  • by DerProfi (318055) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:33PM (#9923401)
    ..and got sustained rates of over 250KB/sec. My P2P Bitborrent download (started at the same time) is still going and chugging along at a whopping 20KB/sec. I think I'll stick with Microsoft's servers.
    • your problem is probably that you havn't correctly forwarded ports from your router. or it just happens to be a slow torrent.
      i regularly get >600k/s with bittorrent, fastest being 2mb/s
      but not having forwarded ports limits the speed quite a bit.
  • Great, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tom7 (102298) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:33PM (#9923404) Homepage Journal
    I doubt Microsoft's bandwidth will suffer from this download.
  • Imagine If... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by emkey (717933) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:34PM (#9923434) Homepage
    Imagine if the vaudeville and stage actors had gotten together back in the early 20th century and gotten motion pictures outlawed. Or if actresses and actors who had horrible speaking voices had gotten talkies outlawed in the late 1920's, etc. The recent legal trend to try to hold back technological progress is disturbing to say the least. Its also stupid and futile in the long run.
  • by MasterOfDisaster (248401) <kristopf&gmail,com> on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:35PM (#9923436) Homepage Journal
    This isn't entirely legal p2p. The torrent is not seeded by microsoft, it's being hosted by a 3rd party. I don't have time to go through microsoft's EULA for SP2, but chances are - you're not allowed to distribute it. It may be "free beer", but MS can still raise a fuss about who sends it out.
  • If the whole point is to get something that is supposed to fix WinXP, and be trustworthy, how can you guarantee what you find on BitTorrent will be legit or correct? There could be some sort of checksum verifier, but we've never seen those cracked before.

    Myself, I've downloaded it directly from Microsoft [microsoft.com]Yes, that link works for SP2- found it on Neowin.net earlier. Not sure why it's not being publicized yet.

  • Let's all use BitTorrent to help Microsoft save money on their bandwidth bills. Maybe Microsoft might set up a Paypal donate button so we all can pitch in and help them out.

    We all need to band together to help Microsoft. It'd be a shame and make us all suffer if they couldn't afford to pay their bandwidth bill and their ISP shut them down.

  • Legality aside.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Emugamer (143719) * on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:41PM (#9923512) Homepage Journal
    Bittorret vs Alkwhateverthehellitscalled speed wise I think I can download it from Microsoft's site around 400 times before this bittorret gets to 50%. I have never been a big proponent of using P2P for something like this.
    a) I want to totally trust the source, no matter how evil it may be
    b) I want it to go faster....
    c) see above...

    I know bittorret could be a real tool if more people used it etc but it still doesn't always hit 500k when I click on a bittorret file... while whenever I download from Microsoft, it does... (except for a few DDOS days)

  • by drix (4602)
    I'll fire that baby up just as soon as the Windows XP torrent finishes.
  • Legal? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Karma Farmer (595141) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:44PM (#9923547)
    Has the copyright owner approved the redistribtion of this patch by third parties? Or can this be described as "Legal P2P" only using some brand new defintion of "Legal"?

    I think inexpensive distributed file hosting is a great idea, and I think P2P networks are a great way to implement that. But, copyright infringement is still copyright infringement, even if you're able to justify it to yourself.
  • US (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mr_tommy (619972) * <tgraham@NOSPAm.gmail.com> on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:50PM (#9923621) Journal
    Lets be a bit more clear here : If the US wants to ban it, fine! But lets get away from the US-centric mentallity! Just because the US says you cant do it, doesn't mean the rest of the world cant. How they could possibly attempt to legislate something like this is rediculous- the internet is no longer centered in one country - you cant define what people worldwide can and cant do. Asides from being impossible, its a major waste of time and US tax payers money.
  • Hmm.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by NotAHappyCoder (223421) on Monday August 09, 2004 @04:54PM (#9923671) Homepage
    Via Bittorrent, I'm getting about 0.1k/s, but if I go and directly download from Microsoft's website, I get 100k/s. Go BitTorrent, Go! :)
  • Help by not helping (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Monday August 09, 2004 @05:27PM (#9924056) Homepage
    Well, this is certainly a contender for the stupidest thing this week, but it's still early yet.

    17 USC 106 tells us that the copyright holder has the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute their works.

    Downloading is reproduction. See MAI Systems v. Peak Computer, 991 F.2d 511 (9th Cir. 1993), Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 75 F. Supp. 2d 1290 (D. Utah 1999), and A&M Records v. Napster, 239 F.3d 1004 (9th Cir. 2001).

    Uploading is distribution. See A&M Records v. Napster, 239 F.3d 1004 (9th Cir. 2001).

    Does it matter that MS is letting people download this from MS for free? No. They, and they alone have the right to decide whether, by whom, when, where, and how, their works will be distributed or reproduced.

    Does fair use apply? Almost certainly not. Three of the four factors are against it, and the fourth is basically a wash.

    Does any other exemption in copyright law apply? No.

    So basically this is a perfect example of P2P nets being used to break the law. And it also shows that many users (and many /.ers around here) wouldn't know what is and isn't legal if it bit them in the face.
  • Akamai (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Earlybird (56426) <slashdot.purefiction@net> on Monday August 09, 2004 @07:48PM (#9925206) Homepage
    Microsoft's downloadables, including SP2, are hosted by Akamai. Akamai's proximity-based distribution mechanism is essentially a competitor to BitTorrent. As some users are discovering, downloading directly from Microsoft -- that is, through Akamai -- is actually faster and more bandwidth-efficient than with BitTorrent.

    Not that this in any way puts BitTorrent in a bad light: First of all, Akamai is a commercial system, and Microsoft pays a lot of money to use it. Akamai is itself a system that scales statically, by providing fixed caches located around the globe; it must be manually maintained in order to scale.

    BitTorrent, on the other hand, is free, and is built on a pool of dynamic caches (ie., seeders), allowing it to scale indefinitely. BitTorrent's seeding system has weaknesses, but it's one of the best solutions so far.

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