Plala vs. filesharing

Plala, a Japanese OSP has announced it will start constraining its subscribers’ use of Win-MX and Winny, two popular filesharing applications. Plala’s product page states:


The reasoning behind Plala’s decision is noteworthy:

  1. The Plala network is said to experience slow downstream transfer rates due to the intensive upstream filesharing traffic of some of its users.
  2. The filesharing on these networks (in this case Win-MX and Winny) is said to mainly consist of the sharing of illegal files (違法著作物).
  3. So, in order to improve these slow transfer rates, Plala decided to constrain (still unclear how exactly) the use of Win-MX and Winny – of course with a “hey, it’s illegal anyway” ring to it.
  4. Bonus: they might even lower the price of their service or start offering new services, in case this policy manages to lower the network costs.

All this sounds a littlebit to much like a quick-and-dirty solution to me; a few unclear estimations and statements about the percentage of users that is using filesharing programs and the effect this has on the network + a rather drastic change in the Plala network architecture that absolutely doesn’t take into account the fact that one can also share ‘legal files’ through filesharing networks.

I’d better like to see some discussion concerning copyright issues on filesharing networks – not an immediate and untransparent technical solution. Maybe the Plala staff should have a chat about copyright on the net with the people of the Dutch OSP Xs4all…

Via 『ぷらら、「Winny」や「Win-MX」のトラフィック制御を11月より開始』.

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  1. […] Also worth noting: Japanese ISP Plala, who was already constraining WinMX and Winny traffic on its network, has announced it will start blocking all Winny traffic from July 17 on. Dedicated Winny fans however can get around this default setting and turn off Plala’s Winny filter for their own account. Winny traffic on the Plala network however will remain constrained as it was before. […]

    » chosaq » Some recent Winny tidbits on June 21st, 2006 at 15:27