The Darknet and the Future of Content Protection

  • Peter Biddle
  • Paul England
  • Marcus Peinado
  • Bryan Willman
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2696)


We investigate the darknet – a collection of networks and technologies used to share digital content. The darknet is not a separate physical network but an application and protocol layer riding on existing networks. Examples of darknets are peer to peer file sharing, CD and DVD copying, and key or password sharing on email and newsgroups. The last few years have seen vast increases in the darknet’s aggregate bandwidth, reliability, usability, size of shared library, and availability of search engines. In this paper we categorize and analyze existing and future darknets, from both the technical and legal perspectives. We speculate that there will continue to be setbacks to the effectiveness of the darknet as a distribution mechanism, but ultimately the darknet genie will not be put back into the bottle. In view of this hypothesis, we examine the relevance of content protection and content distribution architectures.


Legal Action Small World Small World Network Content Protection Super Peer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Biddle
    • 1
  • Paul England
    • 1
  • Marcus Peinado
    • 1
  • Bryan Willman
    • 1
  1. 1.Microsoft CorporationRedmondUSA

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