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Apple P2P review

Written by Thomas Mould on 31 January 2015

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Apple patented technology set to revolutionize P2P file sharing

Historically file sharing has been linked with the infringement of copyright and the sharing of illegally downloaded files. Apple however has obtained the patent which will be used to facilitate the legal sharing of music and films with friends.

The idea is that instead of downloading files from the iTunes server or another store, customers can get them from friends or family and obtain a licence separately. According to Apple, their invention will save significantly on bandwidth costs and make piracy less attractive. Once licensed, these files can be shared freely across your own devices, with friends, or even complete strangers.

According to Apple, benefits include less bandwidth use, less overhead costs and will result in a separate and cheaper price tier for those users who license files. This system encourages the legal sharing of music and thereby hopefully reduces content piracy.

While Apple paints a bright future for peer to peer sharing, the reality is far more restrictive. Apple will have to introduce a new layer of content protection, meaning that the files in question may only be used on “trusted client software”. In basic terms, the files may only be played by devices that support Apples licensing scheme, a step backwards from the system that we have in place today.

It is unclear whether Apple has any plans to utilise the P2P technology with the public, while the original idea of digital rights management is good on paper, it is one that has yet to be effectively implemented, a task that Apple will have to conquer before this technology is released. 

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