This is a guest article from SearchFreak, an Internet engineer and chief executive of an Internet business that provides services to millions of users.
This past year has been most eventful. You can say many things about the sharing world, but you can’t say life is boring here.
And, as our calendar year is close to its end, I’m thinking back on some of the important events that happened this year:
1. The year, of course, started off with fireworks: the Megaupload shutdown, an operation that used at least as much force and international resources as the attack on Bin Laden.
And there have been interesting developments throughout the year. Especially the scandal in New Zealand, where the PM apologized to Dotcom.
2. Also in January, the internet flexed its muscle to stop SOPA. Firefox, Wikipedia, Google and WordPress were among the major contributors to the operation. Many called this event “the coming of age of the internet”. And it was the internet corporations’ first major political win.
3. Usenet has been very present in the news, with many operators having to shut down, following multiple types of pressure.
And we found out that one of the top anti-piracy organizations used to be a Usenet operator. Changing sides is easy when it’s only about the money.
4. US Thanksgiving brought us a nice surprise: the Republican’s Study Committee published a great Policy Brief on copyright reform. Then they withdrew it. But those shared ideas will remain forever in our minds(and our hard drives).
5. We’ve heard news from the future. A decentralized BitTorrent network named Tribler. Those Dutch are always up to something good. And then we heard about RetroShare.
6. In April, UK ISP’s were ordered to block multiple websites. Throughout the year, multiple local instances of MPAA/RIAA worked to obtain similar measures in courts.
And then general and specific proxies made the blocks irrelevant.
7. In April, ISP iiNET won over AFACT in Australia. ISPs are not liable for what their users do.
8. In July, in Europe, ACTA was declared dead by the EU Parliament vote. This happened after many citizens went to the streets in a plurality of cities around Europe. Seeing citizens take responsibility and action for their future freedoms is a great moment.
9. Also in July, Google launched its transparency report.
Then things went exponential and close to 4 million search results get delisted each week at this moment.
10. In August, the US Gov returned Rojadirecta’s domain name (after 18 months).
11. Universal, the horrible music label that killed many startups including the YouTube alternative Veoh, sued Grooveshark. Grooveshark v. Universal.
12. Demonoid and several other important bittorrent sites shut down.
So, all in all, for all the drama and events, not much has changed. Some sites are gone, some sites are new, but business goes on as usual in the file sharing world. And we’ve seen a glimpse of the future. And that future looks encrypted.