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Akamai is best known for a service in which it redirects visitors to web sites to nearby mirrors. For example, a browser user in Japan who visits Salon.com may initially arrive at a server in the United States, and then be redirected to a server in Japan that has identical content. By providing equivalent functionality from a variety of physical locations, and doing it transparently, Akamai is creating a community of nodes that are, more or less, peers. Though not strictly decentralized, these communities of peers have some features of peer-to-peer networks. Whereas mirroring is generally used for copies of passive data like prose text, in this case it involves copies of programs running at different locations without visible differences. By separating the visible results of a program from the program's physical location, Akamai anticipated a common theme of peer to peer.

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Richard Koman Richard Koman's Weblog
Supreme Court Decides Unanimously Against Grokster
Updating as we go. Supremes have ruled 9-0 in favor of the studios in MGM v Grokster. But does the decision have wider import? Is it a death knell for tech? It's starting to look like the answer is no. (Jun 27, 2005)

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