Just been reading about the demise of http://www.sharereactor.com/. For almost three years, Sharereactor was provinding indexed links to ed2k: file hashs. These are used within the eDonkey P2P file sharing network to allow people to share files.
Sharereactor has been taken down by the Swiss authorities for copyright enfringements on the basis that the majority of links on the Sharereactor site allowed you to find copyrighted material within the eDonkey network.
The arguements will go on for weeks, years, months… But when it boils down to it, Simon, the individual who was running the site, is being persecuted for collecting and collating hyperlinks. He wasn’t offering anything to download himself.
My point? What makes him so different from Google? Putting in the right phrases on Google will bring up the same results. Not quite so neat, but Google does catalogue the information and presents it via its search engine. I’m not going to start looking for more sinister material on Google, but I’m sure that it’s there if you’re willing to look hard enough.
Yet another case of a rule for the individual and a whole different rule set for the faceless multi-national.
I think this quote from Mike Godwin, representing the EFF, sums it up:
“I worry about my child and the Internet all the time, even though she’s too young to have logged on yet. Here’s what I worry about. I worry that 10 or 15 years from now, she will come to me and say ‘Daddy, where were you when they took freedom of the press away from the Internet?'”
Maybe Freenet is the future? It uses encryption and peer to peer file sharing techniques to distribute information across the Internet with complete anonymity. Time will tell. The FAQ takes an interesting view point regarding child porn and other unsavoury content.
Coding a new website at the moment, in Java… Watch this space, but don’t hold year breath!!