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Interview With Lucas Gonze of Webjay 62

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-some-metallica dept.
Richard MacManus writes "I've published an interview with Lucas Gonze, creator of the P2P music-sharing web app Webjay. Lucas was an early developer of peer-to-peer applications and back in 2000 he created a P2P start-up called World OS (the product was called Goa). In this interview we discuss World OS / Goa, how it compared to other P2P apps such as Gnutella, the 'Internet as Platform' concept, how Webjay works, some P2P History and Decentralization Theory, and ways around the legal hassles of P2P."
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Interview With Lucas Gonze of Webjay

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  • by JoeLinux (20366) <joelinux@nOsPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @07:29PM (#10648318) Homepage
    Do you see p2p becoming anything other than an academic plaything? It's inherent "sometimes" nature (Sometimes you'll find the file you are looking for, sometimes it's busy/not found due to you not having the right connections) would seem to run counter to most business' requirements for reliability. How do you plan on redressing this?

    Joe
    • by Anonymous Coward
      On the other hand I dont see why the BitTorrent model with some very fast connection seeds (and some modification maybe for the seed upload algorithm to be fair to everybody regardless of their connection speed) hasnt gained more support for content distribution.
      • Many Earth Science types have been using the LDM [ucar.edu] for quite some time now. The LDM always struck me as the academic's BitTorrent.

        Granted, the LDM is geared more towards providing data in "near real-time," as opposed to delivering static content. . .but you can download and upload from/to just about anybody else with the LDM.
    • It's inherent "sometimes" nature (Sometimes you'll find the file you are looking for, sometimes it's busy/not found due to you not having the right connections) would seem to run counter to most business' requirements for reliability.

      I don't think that companies will ever use this for getting mp3s over the web. On the other hand, companies could use this to disseminate their own internal stuff. Search for ``joes spreadsheet'' on the internal p2p network, and if you don't find it, Joe is in trouble. Aca

    • P2P is certainly more than a 'play thing' it has enormous potential for distribution. Take Debian for example, they use p2p to distribute install CDs (http://www.debian.org/CD/torrent-cd/), the benefit is that they've effectibly reduced the load on their servers. The problem with p2p is that it's gotten a bad rap, by large un-named organizations, not the technology proper.
      • by Glass of Water (537481) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @08:22PM (#10648763) Journal

        Yeah, man, the basic principles of decentralization are still quite sound. I mean, how'd you get here? typing "66.35.250.150"?

        The thing is, Webjay [webjay.org] (Gonze's current project, for those who skipped the article) isn't a decentralized service. It's a centralized index of audio from all over the net. It provides tools to aggregate disparate and far-flung audio into a single playlist, and lets users judge. It's pretty cool, actually, because it solves (or tries to solve) a big problem with online free music, which is that nobody wants to weed through the crap to find the good stuff.

        • It provides tools to aggregate disparate and far-flung audio into a single playlist, and lets users judge. It's pretty cool, actually, because it solves (or tries to solve) a big problem with online free music, which is that nobody wants to weed through the crap to find the good stuff.

          Can this ever work? Everyone I know listens to different kinds of music. I like "obscure" rock bands, my best friend is into classical and new age, another good friend listens to folk, King Tubby and such, my wife like arti

          • Well, I'm not trying to sell you anything here. The simplest way to answer that question is for you to look at webjay [webjay.org] and judge for yourself, but I think there is a slight misunderstanding. The idea is that you find something you like on webjay, and there is a playlist [webjay.org] of stuff that goes with it. If you like one song in a playlist, you might like another, because somebody who made the playlist thinks that they go together. This is not a social networking site. You can look at your friends' playlists, b
    • For those unfamiliar with WebJay, it's worth pointing out that it's not an "app" (it's a Web site), and it's not "p2p" (at least not in the Napster, Kazaa sense of the term).

      Instead, it lets you build and publish playlists that point to content served by other boxes -- it doesn't "share" anything as much as it shares pointers to those things (a big difference from conventional "p2p" apps).

      Also, I believe Lucas' intent is that it only share authorized work (another big difference from conventional "p2p")

    • By throwing nodes at the problem. The virtue of P2P is that it scales up like nothing else. The disadvantage is that you need a lot of nodes. Given enough nodes, though, there is nothing with even remotely comparable uptime.

    • Do you see p2p becoming anything other than an academic plaything? It's inherent "sometimes" nature (Sometimes you'll find the file you are looking for, sometimes it's busy/not found due to you not having the right connections) would seem to run counter to most business' requirements for reliability. How do you plan on redressing this?

      So, let's say you want to download a file from some random FTP site. It's down. How do you propose you get the file?

      Now, picture this. You're on a P2P network like this. Th
  • p2p is dying. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zerdood (824300) <null@dev.com> on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @07:33PM (#10648365)
    P2P is becoming viewed more and more like warez. Whether or not there are thorny legal issues, it will still die. Joe User doesn't know his rights, he just listens to the propaganda.
    • But Open Source helps. Look at Shareaza, no RIAA threats to them yet, because you can't threaten them. Plus, certain important legal battles are finally being won in the fight for rights. Plus, (shameless plug follows), you can go open soruce and secure: WASTE [sf.net].
    • Are you kidding me?

      As long as joe user can get his free MP3s, he doesn't give a shit about the propoganda.

      I'm almost suprised the parent didn't read "netcraft confirms it will still die."

    • Re:p2p is dying. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Drakonian (518722)
      It is dying like all illegal things eventually do - speeding, jay-walking, drinking during the prohibition, etc?
    • Heh, P2P isn't anywhere close to dying. It's potential is too great. Like anything else we create, it can be used for what it was intented, and it can be misused.

      It's an awesome way to quickly disseminate updates and patches, I am surprised that some of the bigger game companies haven't started using it to release the often large patches they put out.

      And I think Joe User *does* know his rights, RIAA just needs to piss off a few more before they get stomped...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @07:39PM (#10648418)
    when I first read this, I thought it was going to be another negative Star Wars thread:
    "Interview with Lucas gone Gonzo"
  • by ozloy (575210)
    i'm sure it's been said before, but i haven't seen it put this way:

    why don't artists just give away their music, and charge for concerts?

    the cost of distributing used to be the promotion of a cd, the making of the cds, yadda. but with p2p those costs go to nothing.

    artists don't make much on cd sales anyways
    they make most of their money on concerts as it is.
    (from what i've heard)
    • by gregmac (629064) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @09:22PM (#10649155) Homepage
      just playing devil's advocate here, but:

      why don't artists just give away their music, and charge for concerts?

      the cost of distributing used to be the promotion of a cd, the making of the cds, yadda. but with p2p those costs go to nothing.


      the cost of a CD is more than just distributing: it is also the manufacture of the cd (ok, this again goes to $0 when you just go via P2P), cost of recording, administrative overhead, ....

      Recording music is not cheap. While yes, it is possible to setup a home recording studio fairly inexpensivly that sounds decent, to get really good quality sound you're paying lots of money (for example, a good studio mic can run thousands of dollars). Building a studio is expensive, and thus renting one is expensive. Not to mention, you have to pay your sound engineer, support staff, etc.

      Also, someone's gotta figure out how you're doing with fans (which is much harder to do with P2P than CD sales). Are you popular enough in Toronto that it's worth looking into playing a concert there?

      You've also got to pre-pay for a lot of the production - renting a stage if required, sound gear, lights, trucks (if touring), paying security, roadies, hotels, food..

      Now, here's the big problem. Where do you get that money? Do you go to the bank and say "hey look, I need $80,000 to put on this concert.."? Perhaps mortgage your house or sell your car.. what happens if you only sell 20% of the tickets you expected, because 5 other bands that are bigger than you are playing the same city the same night (since that's the only way they can make money now)?

      While I disagree a lot with the way record companies work, there's not many places that will spend $1-million on you, and if you don't "make it", just let it go..
      • ok, so then current music industry corporates embrace p2p to get around the problems.
        they provide the best p2p network with the highest quality files and broadest range
        in return you lose privacy. they want to know who you listen to, where you physically are, other stuff that helps them determine which artist is the best investment

        music execs invest the money for concerts on artists they think are worth it. if the concert is a success, the artist gets paid.

        everything shifts from promotion of cd to pro
  • i thought it's just playlists collection of music/video on the web. Does that qualify as mpoint to point?
  • Most of the criticisms folks sling against P2P these days are surprisingly similar to the ones they addressed against the Internet about ten years ago.

    Then, it was "You can't trust anyone on the internet. You can't depend on a web server being there when you need it. And you can't really get people to buy anything from you!"

    I think those criticisms answered themselves with time. The Net changed business and dating forever, and now seems to be leading the U.S.A. into a great standoff between the intelligen
  • Don't Steal Music (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SiliconEntity (448450) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @10:14PM (#10649475)
    Gonze has a good perspective on piracy:
    I don't believe there is a moral duty to stick to authorized music. I do believe that politeness is the only path to a political solution. If somebody wants me to stand on my head while listening to their music, I will either stand on my head or find other music. If somebody wants me to listen to their music, they will have to make it available under terms that I can accept.


    Politeness is a winner tactic. It forces the crappy businessmen in the recording industry to stop hiding behind piracy. It makes the good guys smell serious. It's a dignified way of living. It helps musicians who respect listeners get popular at the expense of musicians who don't. The sole problem with politeness is that the technology and culture to filter up the best music libre is still immature.
    In other words, don't steal music. Take music from people who give you permission to do so. It's common decency and politeness. Gonze's technology is supposed to help you find music like this which is just as good as the crap you've been stealing.

    Sounds to me like it's worth a try.
  • I've been personnally in touch with Lucas Gonze on some Creative Commons mailinglists, and he's a very nice guy.

    But when I read this from his interview :

    " Webjay will be history the instant somebody sues, no matter how stupid and wrong the suit is. Obviously. "

    Well, that's not serious in any way... I mean how can he go on with this project, under this kind of threat ?

    Isn't there a foundation like the FSF, but for P2P, which could help with at least obviously "wrong" suits ?
    • Isn't there a foundation like the FSF, but for P2P, which could help with at least obviously "wrong" suits ?

      Until the U.S. has a system like Britain's, where the loser pays the legal fees, there will be stupid lawsuits.

      Still, the quote reads:

      " Webjay will be history the instant somebody sues, no matter how stupid and wrong the suit is. Obviously. "

      It's a potential problem, sure, but it's not like a suit has been filed.

  • Wow, I thought the blink tag on webpages was dead.

    I was wrong : http://webjay.org/about [webjay.org]

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