Thursday, January 29, 2015

Apple's New P2P Patent Is A Head Scratcher

P2P Network image
Apple has just been granted a patent that allows users to legally share music and videos with friends by using P2P technology instead of downloading from iTunes. This is curious indeed, considering the considerable resources put behind the tech industry in trying to kill P2P in the past.

Apple claims that this will save bandwidth costs by having users obtain the desired media files from other users, but they'll still receive the necessary licenses separately from Apple. That's actually the interesting part of the patent - decoupling the license from the content. Instead of getting a file from iTunes, users just purchase the license, which requires virtually no bandwidth and drops the delivery costs to almost zero.

While the company takes the stand that this will make piracy less attractive, streaming has already made piracy a non-issue, so it seems like this is a technology that's an answer without a question.

That said, the patent was filed in 2011 when it was a little more relevant than it is now, which goes to show how fast things run in the tech side of the business. Check here for the full patent.

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