p2p – tiny code on mobiles to share anywhere

I recently read about the Nokia N91 [1]. The mobile phone has a 4 GB hard disk, which takes – if you like music – up to 3\’000 songs. The disc has nearly the capacity of a single sided, single layer DVD-5 (4.7 GB). Lucky us it is not that big, otherwise we could eventually do the unforeseen and copy a DRM protected movie on the phone.

But the N91 is also a computer based on Symbian OS [2] and capable of running Python. You can e.g. run a webserver written in Python on the phone. But there are also p2p applications implemented in Python. One of them is written by Pascal Felber of the Université de Neuchâtel and takes not more than 6 lines of code [3]. Some more usability offers Symella [4], written by two students of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.

Let us consider some extrapolation. Everyone with such a mobile phone of such a configuration will basically be able to share files. According to Wikipedia in 2003 over 500 Mio. mobile phones have been sold. If just 10% of these new phones use p2p and share each day 5 files of 1 MB each, about 90\’000 terabytes would be shared a year. Only over mobile phones. If file sharing becomes a custom, a habit, how do we handle the copyright issues? With Digital Restriction Management the way we know it? I have my doubts. I will come back to that issue in another post.

[1] http://www.forum.nokia.com/N91
[2] http://www.symbian.com/phones/nokia_n91.html
[3] http://www.crossflux.org/uP2P/
[4] http://symella.aut.bme.hu

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