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Anything else? Provide feedback about this page. Back to top. Get to Know Us. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Audible Download Audiobooks. DPReview Digital Photography. Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. Amazon Business Service for business customers. Doom uncovers the secret power at the heart of the planet, an avatar of his arch-foe Reed Richards' son, Franklin, the super-powered youth who conjured this globe and left a bit of himself behind to guide it from within.

Doom managed to convince the little boy to relinquish control of this world with little more than a few errant promises of a better life. When Susan Richards experienced problems with her second pregnancy while Reed was away, Johnny contacted Doom for help, correctly guessing that Doom will be unable to pass up a chance to succeed where Reed failed due to the complex events involving the then-recent resurrection of Galactus , this pregnancy is a 'repeat' of an earlier one where Sue miscarried.

Doom not only saves Sue's daughter but also cured Johnny of a recent problem with his powers where Johnny was unable to 'flame off' without technological support after becoming overcharged with energy from the Negative Zone by channeling Johnny's excess energy into Sue to keep her alive. After the birth, Doom's only apparent condition for his aid is that he be allowed to name Sue and Reed's daughter, calling her ' Valeria ' after his long-lost love. However, this inspires a new plan where Doom makes Valeria his familiar while seeking out her namesake as part of a deal with a trio of demons; by sacrificing his old lover, Doom is granted magical powers on the level he would possess if he had spent the past years studying sorcery rather than science.

The events of this were deleted from Marvel Comics continuity in the series Secret Wars. Whether or not it was sent by Doom himself remains to be seen, as does his role in the overall conflict. Doom was not invited to the wedding of Storm and the Black Panther. However, he did send a present: an invitation to form an alliance with Latveria, using the Civil War currently going on among the hero community as a reason to quite possibly forge an alliance between their two countries.

When Black Panther, on a diplomatic mission to other countries with Storm, did show up in Latveria, he presented them with a real present and extended another invitation to form an alliance with Black Panther. He demonstrated behavior very uncharacteristic of him, however, which may or may not become a plot point later. Panther spurned the invitation, detonating an EMP that blacked out a local portion of Latveria before Doctor Doom 's robots could destroy his ship. Later on, Doom is then shown collaborating with the Red Skull on a weapon which will only "be the beginning" of Captain America 's suffering.

The castle was owned by a "Baron of Iron" centuries prior, who had used his technological genius to protect himself and his people. The map the Red Skull used to find the castle bore a picture of Von Doom. Doom states that the technology the Red Skull gave him is more advanced than what he currently has and that he will become the Baron of Iron in his future; although he does not agree with the Red Skull's principles, the time paradox the situation causes forces him to comply. The Red Skull is currently in the process of reverse-engineering Doom's weapon for multiple uses, rather than the single use Doctor Doom agreed to.

At the end of the first chapter of the X-Men event Endangered Species , Doom is among the various geniuses that Beast contacts to help him reverse the effects of Decimation. He spurns Beast by stating that genetics do not number among his talents. Doctor Doom later defends Latveria from the Mighty Avengers , following a revelation that it was one of Doom's satellites that carried the 'Venom Virus' released in New York City which was actually hacked by an enemy of Doom.

Despite his helping, Doom ended up falsely incarcerated at The Raft. During the Secret Invasion storyline, Doom was among those who escaped the Raft when a virus was uploaded into its systems by the Skrulls. In the aftermath of the Secret Invasion, Doctor Doom became a member of the Dark Illuminati alongside Norman Osborn , Emma Frost , Namor , Loki 's female form, and the Hood , intending to seek revenge on the world for falsely ruining his reputation.

At the end of this meeting, Namor and Doom are seen having a discussion of their own plans that have already been set in motion. Doom soon allies himself with the isolationist group known as the Desturi to take control of Wakanda , attacking and wounding T'Challa, then the current Black Panther, maiming him enough to prevent him from holding the mantle again.

Doom's main objective was to secure Wakanda's store of vibranium, which he could mystically enhance to make himself invulnerable. Doom was also a part of the group known as the Intelligencia after being captured to complete their plan. With the help of Bruce Banner , he escaped and returned to Latveria, damaged by this experience. At the start of the Siege storyline, Doom was with the Cabal discussing the current problems with the X-Men and both Avengers teams. Doom demands that Osborn at once reverse his course of action against his ally Namor, to which Osborn refuses, saying that he and Emma Frost had "crossed the line" with him.

Doom, loathing Thor and the Asgardians all the more due to his recent defeat at their hands, claims that he will support Osborn's "madness" should Namor be returned to him, but Osborn refuses. Osborn's mysterious ally, the Void, violently attacks Doom, and an apparently amused Loki tells the Hood that he should go, as there is nothing here for either of them, which the Hood, now loyal to Loki due to his hand in the restoration of his mystical abilities, agrees. However, it is revealed that "Doctor Doom" who had been involved with the Cabal was actually an upgraded Doctor Doombot, which releases swarms of Doctor Doombot nanites against the Cabal, tearing down Avengers Tower and forcing its denizens, such as the Dark Avengers, to evacuate.

Osborn is rescued by the Sentry, who destroys the body. When Osborn contacts the real Von Doom, Victor informs him not to ever strike him again or he would be willing to go further. It has been revealed that the Scarlet Witch seen in Wundagore Mountain is actually a Doctor Doombot which apparently means that the real one has been captured by Doom sometime after the House of M event. This proves to be too much for Wanda to contain and it overtook her. With Wiccan and Doom's help, they seek to use the entity that is possessing Wanda to restore the powers of mutantkinds. This is stopped by the Young Avengers who are concerned at the fall-out that would ensue if the powerless mutants are suddenly re-powered only to find out that Doom intended to transfer the entity into his own body and gain Wanda's god-like powers of re-writing reality for himself.

The Young Avengers confront him, but Doom accidentally kills Cassie just before Wanda and Wiccan stole his new-found powers.

Law, the internet and society

At the start of the story arc "Fantastic Four: Three", a guilt-ridden Doom felt that he needed to be "reborn" and was making plans to abdicate his throne and give it to Kristoff when Valeria teleported to his room unexpectedly asking for his assistance to help her father. Valeria quickly notices that Doom had suffered brain damage from his previous battle and is slowly losing his memories; she makes a deal with him to restore his mental capacities if he helps Reed and the Fantastic Four.

When Valeria asks Victor if he has a backup for restoring his memories, he reveals that Kristoff Vernard is his backup. Mister Fantastic sets up a brain transfer machine in order to help restore Victor's memories and knowledge, which is successful. When Kristoff wants to return the throne to him, Doom states that it is not time yet because of a promise he made to Valeria.

When Mister Fantastic asks what promise Doom made to Valeria, Victor states that he made a promise to help her defeat Mister Fantastic when she calls for it. The Thing and the evolved Moloids give an invitation to the High Evolutionary. Dragon Man and Alex Power give an invitation to Diablo. Upon receiving an invitation from Spider-Man, Mad Thinker is convinced to take part in the event. Bentley 23 even gives an invitation to his creator, the Wizard , along with two A. However, it is subsequently revealed that the 'Richards' they have been invited to defeat are actually members of the "Council of Reeds" alternate versions of Reed who were trapped in this universe by Valeria a while back, possessing Reed's intellect while lacking his conscience.

Around this time, Von Doom performed brain surgery on the Hulk to separate him from Bruce Banner, extracting the uniquely Banner elements from Hulk's brain and cloning a new body for Banner, in return for a favor from the Hulk. With these resources, Doom created the Parliament of Doom, and interdimensional council maintaining peace across the multiverse. With the final Incursion imminent during the Secret Wars storyline, Doom usurps the power of the Beyonders with the aid of Doctor Strange and the Molecule Man, [40] collecting what he can of the destroyed multiverse and forming a new Battleworld consisting of different alternate realities.

He also assumes the role of God and claims complete dominion of this new world and its inhabitants, controlling them into thinking he was always the almighty force of creation; he takes Sue as his wife, Franklin and Valeria as his children, condemns the Human Torch to be the sun and Ben Grimm to be the Shield wall, and rewrites his own history to resurrect the majority of those whose deaths he caused. Richards and a ragtag collection of heroes and villains that survived the destruction of all universes challenge Doom and, with the help of Molecule Man, are able to take his power and restore the multiverse.

Opting to heal rather than harm, Reed finally uses the Beyonder's power to heal Doom's face. Doom disappears before Tony regains consciousness. Doom is trying to prove to Tony that he has changed and is trying to correct the mistakes he has made, explaining that he has arrived to check up on Tony and see if he is suffering from any side-effects from being in the presence of an exorcism. Remembering his dissatisfaction as a God, Doom decides that it was his role to help heal the world.

Inspired by Stark, and informing his A. Tony confronted the Hood and stumbled into Victor. Doom took on the Hood and the unidentified demon possessing him one-on-one, and his face was severely burned by the demon in the process. Following the villains' defeat, Victor retreated to the ruins of Castle Doom. She makes it past the many Doombots that guard the palace before finally confronting Doom himself. She tells him that Latveria has been overrun with dictators and opportunists since he left and that the nation needs its leader back.

Initially rejecting Zora's pleas for help, showing her his grotesquely scarred face in the process, Victor finally agrees when she refuses to give up and hands him his iconic mask, telling him the Latveria needs its true champion. Taking the mask, Doom ventures out into Latveria, quashing the civil war that is apparently raging and vowing to fix the country with his own strength — summoning magical energy as he does. Victor Von Doom is a polymath , scientist, and inventor who possesses genius -level intellect.

Doom has invented several doomsday machines and robots during his career as a supervillain, among them being his Doombots. Doctor Doom can exert technopathic control over certain machines, most notably his Doombots. Throughout most of his publication history, he has been depicted as one of the most intelligent humans in the Marvel Universe , most famously restoring the Thing's human form, a feat Reed Richards has also accomplished but has had difficulty in maintaining over a long period of time.

On the other hand, Richards managed to process all the computer calculations necessary to save the life of a disintegrating Kitty Pryde by himself, which is a feat that Doom at the time professed to be unable to do. Along with being genius scientist and inventor, Doom is also a very powerful sorcerer, primarily taught by Tibetan monks, later increased to a considerable extent due to tutoring from his lover at the time, Morgan le Fay.

Faber, Ulricus

He is capable of energy absorption and projection, manipulating electricity, creating protective shields, and summoning hordes of demonic creatures. The alien Ovoids inadvertently taught Doctor Doom the process of psionically transferring his consciousness into another nearby being through simple eye contact, as well as showing him other forms of technology [] [] which Doom uses to escape from incarcerations and to avoid being killed. In addition, Doom has a remarkably strong and indomitable will, as demonstrated in the graphic novel Emperor Doom when he dared his prisoner, the mind-controlling Purple Man , to attempt to control him and he successfully resisted.

Doom also has the ability to use touchscreen devices even though he wears metal gauntlets all the time. Doom's armor augments his natural physical strength and durability to superhuman levels, to the point where he is able to hold his own against and even overpower superhuman foes like Spider-Man , the Hulk and the Thing in combat, [] although he tends to rely on long-range tactics when engaging physically stronger opponents.

It is also nigh-indestructible, being able to take hits from most superhuman adversaries to some cosmic-level beings, and protects Doom from matter manipulation, reality warping and psychic assaults. The armor has an arsenal of high-tech weaponry and gadgets integrated within it, including gauntlets that can discharge lasers and force blasts, a defensive force field generator, [] and a lethal electric shock that can stun or kill anyone who comes into contact with Doom.

Even without his armor, Doom has proven himself to be a skilled hand-to-hand combatant , once even killing an endangered lion with a single punch, for no other reason than that he wished to. As the absolute monarch of Latveria, Doctor Doom has diplomatic immunity — allowing him to escape prosecution for most of his crimes — and total control of the nation's natural and technological resources, along with its manpower, economy, and military. Doom is known for the frequent plot device where in it is revealed that his actions were actually those of a " Doombot ", one of Victor Von Doom's many robot doubles, either working on his behalf or as a result of rogue artificial intelligence.

The plot element of Doombots is often used to retroactively erase events from Doom's history. On many occasions, Doom's only real weakness has been his arrogance. Layla Miller once reflected that Doom is incapable of accepting that he himself might be the reason for his failures. This is most keenly reflected in Doom's continued refusal to accept responsibility for the accident that fully scarred his face, instead preferring to blame Reed Richards for sabotaging his experiment.

While his high opinion of himself is generally accurate, he is unable to accept when others may have a better understanding of a situation than he does — with the occasional exception of hearing the recommendations of heroes such as Mister Fantastic or the Thing when it is to his advantage. Even when teaming up with others against a greater threat, Doom will often try to subvert the alliance for personal gain.

Von Doom adheres to a strict code of honor at all times. However, Von Doom will keep his exact word, which may or may not be beneficial to the person to whom he has given his promise. For example, Doom may swear that he will not harm an individual, but that only means he will not personally harm that person; it does not mean he will prevent others from harming that person. Doom's honor code led him to save Captain America from drowning because Captain America had earlier saved his life, and on another occasion he thanked Spider-Man for saving him from terrorists attacking him in an airport by allowing him to leave alive despite Spider-Man subsequently insulting him.

His code of honor also means that he will not attack a respected opponent who is weakened or at a severe disadvantage, as he regards any victory resulting from such circumstances as hollow and meaningless. He has even on several occasions battled opponents who were intent on killing the Fantastic Four , for no other reason than the fact that he does not want the ultimate defeat of the Fantastic Four to come from anyone's hands but his own.

Victor Von Doom has been shown to be devoted to the welfare and well-being of his subjects. The legal regulations governing the telephone networks meant that phone companies could not control what people could connect to their wires. In this section you have dealt with two of the most important ideas in the unit: the commons and the three layers. You have also been coping with information economics, the importance of the commons in the history of the internet, the neutral regulations of phone networks and a crash course in intellectual property!

Right from the start of the unit we have been referring to the explosive innovation that arose out of the internet, but up to now we have not talked in terms of specific examples. I hope you find it equally enjoyable. Well done again for making it this far — you've already got through a lot of work. The next section looks at innovations that have been enabled by the Net. These are governed by the laws of nature or the laws of physics.

The laws of nature limit what can be done in real space. We cannot travel faster than the speed of light, for example. Gravity prevents us from jumping from a standing start over the top of a tall tree, without some kind of artificial aid such as a jet-propelled backpack. This internet architecture is entirely artificially created and can, therefore, be changed. This section looks at the kinds of thing that restricted creativity before the internet existed and how some of those constraints were released when the Net came along.

It also looks at some examples of the explosion of innovation facilitated by the Net. Chapter 8 looks at some of the important innovations arising out of the Net, such as Napster and peer-to-peer technologies. Chapter 7 analyses creativity in the arts and commerce prior to the internet, imagining the real world divided up into content, code and physical layers.

Along the way we learn of the author's concerns about the expansion of copyright, an expansion which he believes is undermining the traditional balance between the rights of the copyright holder and those of the general public and hence a special subgroup of the general public — future creators.

At the content layer, some of the history of copyright's interaction with new technology is described. The stories of how copyright law coped with the advent of player pianos and cable TV are good examples of how balance was maintained in the face of new technology.

In the case of the player pianos, for example, compulsory licensing meant that the rights of the sheet music publishers were balanced with those of the people who had created new markets with new technology.

Baroque Cycle: Quicksilver

The sheet music publishers got paid for the use of their work in an innovative way but did not get to control the new market. Despite admitting balance in those two cases, Lessig still believes that the trend is towards giving more control to copyright holders. He is concerned about the increase in scope the number of things covered , but especially vexed about the increase in the term timespan of copyright.

We should note that Lessig was the lead counsel in a case challenging a law extending the term of copyright by 20 years. The decision of the Supreme Court was handed down in January Lessig's client lost. This case is outlined on pages — of The Future of Ideas. There have been a number of developments since the book was published, the most significant being that the US Supreme Court heard the case in the Autumn of and made a decision in January The Supreme Court rejected that argument by a majority.

Eric Eldred has a short web page about the case, and Harvard University's Berkman Center OpenLaw facility, which has done the legal legwork supporting Eldred, maintains a web page with the details of the case, if you are interested in looking into it further. The Department of Justice also have the legal documents available at their website. Lessig's immediate reflections on the loss were recorded in his weblog at Stanford on 16 January So I've got to go get onto a plane to go to my least favorite city DC. My inbox is filling with kind emails from friends. Also with a few of a different flavor.

It's my nature to identify most closely with those of the different flavor. Yes, no matter what is said, that is how I will always view this case. The constitutional question is not even close. To have failed to get the Court to see it is my failing. The Wind Done Gone case, which is also mentioned in this section of The Future of Ideas , was settled out of court in May , with the Mitchell Trust representatives agreeing to let Alice Randall's book go ahead, labelled as an unauthorised parody.

The details of the settlement are confidential, but included Randall's publishers, Houghton Mifflin, making a financial contribution to Morehouse College. The publishers maintain a website on their perspective of the case. The statistics quoted on Lessig page illustrate that the control of the media has become concentrated in a few hands. This is important in relation to Lessig's arguments in a later part of the book.

It was controlled at the code and physical layers because only a few have the resources to market and distribute books, papers and CDs, for example. Those with such resources act as or employ gatekeepers such as editors, and they decide what creative work gets published and distributed. Recall from Section 2 that the three layers stacked up like this in the controlled v commons stakes:.

Chapter 8 is devoted to the examples. PCs are the dark matter of the internet. Like the barely detectable stuff that makes up most of the mass of the universe, PCs are connected to the internet by the hundreds of millions but have very little discernable effect on the whole, because they are largely unused as anything other than dumb clients and expensive dumb clients to boot.

From the point of view of most of the internet industry, a PC is nothing more than a life-support system for a browser and a place to store cookies. The internet essentially offered a platform for new technologies MP3 and products audio and video streaming , new means of distribution and a vast new marketplace. It opened new markets for things like poetry and allowed new entrants like My. MP3 and Napster into the music distribution business just like the player piano innovators of an earlier era.

It offered all these in the thick of a mix of free and controlled resources. Lessig feels that originally the balance between free and controlled resources was right for innovation, but that has now changed. The My. MP3 and Napster stories are probably the most important in Chapter 8, and I would like to focus on Napster here. We will look at the legal arguments in the Napster case later in the unit. Lessig argues that Napster has a number of features that make it a useful technology beyond what many people see as its core function — to share music files.

It can be used to exchange preferences about music, helping to increase the overall demand for music. The increased demand could then be satisfied by Napster itself or by the usual retail outlets. But the extraordinary feature of Napster was not so much the ability to steal content as it is the range of content that Napster makes available … A significant portion of the content served by Napster is music that is no longer sold by the labels. Not just for the music that distributors want to push … but also for practically any recording with any fans using the service anywhere, the music was available.

I'm quoting directly from page of the book here because it was one of the passages that made the biggest impact on me when I first read it. Napster seemed a pretty clear case where copyright holders had a legitimate complaint. There is no denying that Napster had significant copyright problems or that lots of people did use it to get Madonna's or Britney Spears' latest songs.

However, this notion that it provided universal access to an unlimited range of music is a strongly reasoned one. Advocates, including Lessig, often use unfair tactics, some of which we will explore later, to get their point across. This, however, is a good example of using reason, through a story, to persuade someone to the advocate's point of view. Let's look at another technology — guns.

Gun ownership is protected by the US Constitution even though guns clearly have uses that infringe the law — e. Crowbars, kitchen knives and a huge range of everyday objects have uses that infringe the law. Yet Napster was shut down by the courts because it is a tool that can be, and has been, used to infringe the music copyrights. It does, however, have positive features and functions that do not break any laws. Chapter 8 includes a similar analysis of P2P technologies. There is also a case study of P2P later in this section.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. The birth of the World Wide Web is just one Most great technological innovations are made over substantial periods of time by large groups of individuals. The striking aspects of the Web are that:. It that sense, the Web is an excellent example of Lessig's argument about how the internet-as-commons enables innovation. The prime mover in the creation of the Web was an English physicist named Tim Berners-Lee, who was employed as a software engineer by CERN, the multinational particle physics research laboratory in Geneva.

CERN is a vast organisation, doing research of great complexity. Much of its experimentation is done by teams of visiting physicists who come and go. Maintaining coherent documentation in such circumstances was an almost impossible task. The task that Berners-Lee set himself was to design a radically new approach to the structuring of information that would meet the needs of such an idiosyncratic organisation.

At the beginning of he put forward a proposal on how this might be achieved. The problem was that CERN, by its very nature, had a very high turnover of people because physicists from participating countries were continually coming and going. With two years as the typical length of stay for researchers, information was constantly being lost. The introduction of the new people demanded a fair amount of their time and that of others before they had any idea of what went on at CERN. The technical details of past projects were sometimes lost forever, or only recovered after a detective investigation in an emergency.

Often, the information had been recorded but simply could not be located. If a CERN experiment were a static, once-and-for-all event, all the relevant information could conceivably be contained in one enormous reference book. But, Berners-Lee observed,. When a change is necessary, it normally affects only a small part of the organisation.

A local reason arises for changing a part of the experiment or detector. At this point, one has to dig around to find out what other parts and people will be affected. Keeping a book up to date becomes impractical, and the structure of the book needs to be constantly revised. Where is this module used? Who wrote this code? Where does this person work? What documents exist about that concept? Which laboratories are included in that project?

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Which systems depend on this device? What documents refer to this one? But what sort of system? After criticising the types of linking which were then in vogue — for example, the hierarchical tree-structures exemplified by the Help systems of mainframe computers, or those which relied upon indexed keywords — Berners-Lee went on to propose a solution to CERN's problem.


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The special requirements of a hypertext system for CERN were, he believed, that it should: allow remote access across networks; be heterogeneous i. The proposal was accepted by CERN management. It refracted, as it were, a world of disparate information sources in such a way that they appeared as a uniform whole.

By Christmas demo versions of both browsers and a prototype Web server were available, enabling users to access hypertext files, articles from internet news i. By March of the following year, the line-mode browser was released to a limited audience to run on a variety of different minicomputers. In August, information about the project and the software were posted in relevant internet news groups. It had taken just over a year from the moment Berners-Lee had typed the first line of code. That is to say, he envisaged a system in which information would be held on networked computers called servers, and that these would be accessed by client programs browsers running on other networked computers.

Servers, in this model, are essentially givers, while clients are always takers though they give some information about themselves to servers at the moment of interaction. The central tasks in building such a system were to design and write programs which would enable computers to act as servers and clients, to create a common language in which both could converse, and to set up some conventions by which they could locate one another.

The client-server model was already well established in the computer business when Berners-Lee started work. There were innumerable computers on the Net that operated as servers, and there were several ways of extracting information from them. At the lowest level, you could use the primitive TELNET facility to log onto a remote computer and if you had the necessary permissions run programs on it.

Or you could use the FTP program to log on remotely and download files. This indeed was — and remains — the standard way to transfer programs and data across the Net. In order to make use of these facilities, however, users needed to know what they were doing.

Sinister Strikes in Earth-619!

The trouble was that the lingo was user-hostile. Nobody owned the network. Virtually nobody made money from it directly. Almost every piece of software that governed or accessed it was free the people who wrote it generally did so from the goodness of their hearts, or to make names for themselves, or as parts of funded projects. But its egalitarianism aside, the internet's tight de facto admission requirements of technical acumen, access and pricey tools also made it a very elite realm. One of the central tasks that Berners-Lee faced in creating the Web was the lowering of this threshold.

He achieved it partly by inventing an interface — a program which stood between the user and the vast and disparate information resources of the Net. Creating the Web was not just a matter of writing the code for browsers, however. Because the Net, with its incredible diversity, was central to the project, Berners-Lee had to invent a way of ensuring that publicly available information resources held on any networked computer anywhere in the world could be accessed through the browser.

The only way to do this was to create a set of protocols by which different computers could talk to one another and exchange information. One protocol analogous to the IP convention for internet addressing had to specify the location where information was held. Another protocol was needed to specify how information exchange between computers should be handled. And finally he had to invent a uniform way of structuring documents. HTTP, the protocol which controls how computers issue and respond to requests for information, is more complicated.

In non-technical language, what HTTP essentially does is to prescribe how the four stages of a Web transaction — connection, request, response and close — should be conducted. Looking back, it is not so much the elegance of Berners-Lee's creation which is striking, but its comprehensiveness. In just over a year he took the Web all the way — from the original conception, through the hacking out of primitive browsers and servers, to the creation and elaboration of the protocols needed to make the whole thing work.

That is to say, anyone with a Net connection and a copy of the FTP program could call up the CERN site, log in without having to use a password, and download the browser code. Other researchers — many not based at CERN — were already busy developing graphics-based browsers. Two months later, the number of servers had almost doubled, to By internet standards this was encouraging growth, but nothing spectacular: the Web was still just one of the many applications running across the network.

And then there was another spike of innovation — in the Spring of a student in Illinois launched a browser that triggered the explosive growth of the Web. It was called Mosaic. Mosaic was created in just under three months by an undergraduate, Marc Andreessen, and a programmer, Eric Bina, working round the clock. Bina wrote most of the new code, in particular the graphics, modifying HTML to handle images, adding a GIF graphics interchange format decoder and colour management tools.

Like all good programmers, he did it by adapting software tools that already existed — particularly the UNIX Motifs toolkit — and were freely available. Andreessen's contribution was to take apart the library of communications code provided, again freely, by CERN and rewrite it so it would run more quickly and efficiently on the network. Between them the two wrote Mosaic's 9, lines of code compare that with the 11 million lines of Windows 95 , in the process producing the most rapidly propagated piece of software written up to that time.

On 23 January , Andreessen released the first version of Mosaic onto the Net. In a message posted to internet discussion groups, he signalled to the internet community that the software was now available for downloading across the network. Having posted the message, he then sat back to monitor the log automatically kept by the NCSA National Center for Supercomputing Applications server as it responded to download requests.

Within ten minutes of first posting the message, someone downloaded Mosaic. Within half an hour, a hundred people had it. In less than an hour Andreessen was getting excited email from users all over the world. The Mac and PC versions followed shortly afterwards. Within a few months it was estimated nobody at that stage was keeping precise records that the downloads numbered hundreds of thousands. Objective measures of the impact of Mosaic also began to emerge. By September, there were over known servers and HTTP accounted for one per cent of backbone traffic — i.

Mosaic was not the first browser, but it was the one that captured the market and shaped the future. This was partly due to the fact that it ran on simple desktop computers rather than fancy UNIX workstations. It also had something to do with the fact that it was the first browser that looked like a piece of modern, personal computer software: it had things like buttons and scroll bars and pulldown menus. In doing so it allowed Web pages to include images for the first time, thereby making them potentially much more attractive to the legions of people who would be turned off by slabs of hypertext.

At the time, the decision to extend HTML to handle images alongside text was controversial in some quarters, mainly because image files tend to be much bigger than text files. A full-colour A4 picture, for example, runs to dozens of megabytes. What this exchange portended was the change in perspective that was to fuel the Web's phenomenal growth from that point onwards. Berners-Lee and his colleagues saw their creation as a tool for furthering serious research communications between scientists.

The programmers at NCSA were more pragmatic, less judgmental. They knew that the facility for adding images to pages would make the Web into a mass medium. After Mosaic appeared, the Web entered a phase of explosive growth. The program spread very rapidly across the world.

As it did so, the numbers of people using the Net began to increase exponentially. As the number of users increased, so also did the numbers of servers. And as people discovered how simple it was to format documents in HTML, so the volume of information available to Web users began to increase exponentially. It was a classic positive feedback loop. The fallout from this explosion is clearly visible in the statistical data collected by Matthew Gray at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT , which show the traffic over the National Science Foundation NSF internet backbone broken down by the various protocols.

What this table shows is that in two years, the volume of internet traffic involving Web pages went from almost nothing to nearly a quarter of the total. The spread of the Web was like the process by which previous communications technologies had spread — but with one vital difference. It's a variant on the chicken and egg story.

In the early days of the telephone, for example, people were reluctant to make the investment in the new technology because there were so few other people with telephones that it was hardly worth the effort. The same was true for electronic mail. But once a critical mass of users in one's own intellectual, occupational or social group had gone online, suddenly email became almost de rigueur. A great difference between the Web and the telephone was that whereas the spread of the telephone depended on massive investment in physical infrastructure — trunk lines, connections to homes, exchanges, operators, engineers and so forth — the Web simply built on an existing infrastructure the internet, which itself was built originally on the physical layer of the telephone network.

The history of disruptive technologies — think of the automobile — is often one of ongoing struggle between technical innovation and social control. New developments create new possibilities and, with them, new threats to the established order. There follows a period of chaos, innovation and change while the old order is thrown into apparent disarray; then, after a burst of institutional reform and adaptation, a measure of social control is reasserted over the disruptive technology.

And so the process goes on. Looking at the internet from this perspective, we can see a similar pattern. Because it is an innovation commons, new technologies continually emerge, and some of them prove disruptive. The purpose of this case study is to:. In computer networking, peers are computers of equal status. To understand P2P, it's helpful to analyse the development of the internet in three phases.

Let us call them Internet 1. The internet as we know it today dates from January From its inception in to about the entire internet had a single model of connectivity. There were relatively few dial-up modem connections. Instead, internet-connected computers were always on i. It had the same status and functions. In particular, each computer could both request services from another computer and serve resources e. In the jargon of the business, each computer on the early internet could function both as a client and as a server. The system was a true peer-to-peer network.

This situation changed after the World Wide Web appeared. With the appearance of Mosaic , and the subsequent appearance of the Netscape browser in , Web use began to grow very rapidly and a different connectivity model began to appear. There was suddenly an explosive demand from people outside the academic and research world for access to the internet, mainly because they wanted to use the Web. To run a Web browser, a PC needed to be connected to the internet over a modem, with its own IP address. In order to make this possible on a large scale, the architecture of the original peer-to-peer internet had to be distorted.

There were several reasons for this:. Personal computers were then fairly primitive devices with primitive operating systems not suited to networking applications like serving files to remote computers. Thirdly, these dial-up computers could not have permanent IP addresses for the simple reason that there were not enough unique IP addresses available to handle the sudden demand generated by Mosaic and Netscape.

There is a limit to the number of addresses of the form xxx. The work-around devised to overcome the addressing limit was to assign Internet Service Providers ISPs blocks of IP addresses which they could then assign dynamically i. A subscriber might therefore be assigned a different IP address every time she logged on to the Net.

This variability prevented PCs from having DNS entries and therefore precluded PC users from hosting any data or net-facing applications locally, i. They were essentially clients — computers that requested services files, web pages, etc.

Internet 2. Such a world is, as we will see later in the unit, potentially vulnerable to governmental and corporate control, for if everything has to happen via a privileged server, and servers are easy to identify, then they can be targeted for legal and other kinds of regulation. For some years, the connectivity model based on treating PCs as dumb clients worked tolerably well. Indeed it was probably the only model that was feasible. Personal computers had not been designed to be part of the fabric of the internet, and in the early days of the Web the hardware and unstable operating systems of the average PC made it unsuitable for server functions.

Figures released in September suggested that 41 per cent of the UK population had broadband internet connections. On the software side, not only have proprietary operating systems e. As a result, it has become increasingly absurd to think of PCs equipped in this way as second-class citizens. The computing community realised quickly that the unused resources existing behind the veil of second-class connectivity might be worth harnessing.

After all, the world's Net-connected PCs have vast amounts of under-utilised processing power and disc storage. Early attempts to harness these distributed resources were projects like SETI Home, in which PCs around the globe analysed astronomical data as a background task when they were connected to the Net. This is an unsatisfactory term because, as we have seen, the servers within the DNS system have always interacted on a peer-to-peer basis, but P2P has been taken up by the mass media and is likely to stick.

Napster was a file-sharing system that enabled users to identify other users who were online and willing to share music files. I use the past tense because Napster was eventually closed down by litigation instituted by the record companies, as mentioned in Section 4. The solution adopted in both cases was essentially the same. Thereafter, whenever that computer connects to the Net the client program contacts a central server — which is inside the DNS system and running special database software — and supplies it with certain items of information.

If they are, the server notifies them and the user of this fact, enabling them to set up direct communications between one another. A typical Napster session involved the user typing the name of a desired song or track into a special search engine running on the Napster server. If any records matching the query were found, the server would notify the user, who could then click on one of the supplied links and initiate a direct file transfer from another Napster user's computer.

It demonstrated Lessig's point about the way in which an innovation commons facilitates technological development. Napster was the implementation in software of a set of simple but ingenious ideas. It was created by a few individuals who had access to few resources beyond their own ingenuity and a facility for writing computer software.

Because it could be realised via the open internet, it did not have to be approved by any gatekeeper. And it was phenomenally successful, attracting a subscriber base of nearly 60 million users in its first eighteen months of existence. It was disruptive in two senses. Firstly, it challenged the basic business model of a powerful and established industry. The record business was built around the provision of recorded music in the form of multi-track albums released in CD format.

What Napster revealed was a huge potential market for tracks rather than albums. It also revealed the potential of the Net as a medium for the distribution of tracks, something that the industry had up to that point ignored. Secondly, Napster was disruptive because it undermined conventional ways of protecting the intellectual property embodied in recorded music. Most of the music files shared via the system were copyrighted, which led the music industry to attack Napster as a vehicle for wholesale piracy. It provided a glimpse of how the internet could evolve from the server-dominated Internet 2.

Napster showed that PCs on the periphery of the Net might be capable of more ambitious things than merely requesting web pages from servers. In that sense, Napster can be seen as the precursor of what we might call Internet 3. Finally, it overturned the publishing model of Internet 2. As anyone who has ever spent time trying to upload material to a Web site knows, the Web has made downloading trivially easy, but uploading is still needlessly hard.

The MP3 files did not have to travel through any central Napster server; PCs running Napster did not need a fixed internet address or a permanent connection to use the service; and it ignored the reigning paradigm of client and server. Napster made no distinction between the two functions: if you could receive files from other people, they could receive files from you as well. In the end, the legal challenges to the original Napster led to its demise. Its critical vulnerability was the fact that the system required a central server to broker connections between its dispersed users.

The record companies succeeded in convincing a Californian court that the service was illegal and Napster was finally shut down in But although Napster the company was quashed, the idea that it had unleashed has continued to thrive and indeed Napster was relaunched as a legimate subscription-based music downloading company by new owners towards the end of So many users especially young people had acquired the file-sharing habit that Napster-like services have continued to proliferate, and it is said that more internet users are sharing music files now than at the height of the Napster boom.

Because of its reliance on a central server, Napster proved vulnerable to legal attack. But other, genuinely distributed, P2P technologies now exist which may be less susceptible to challenge. Freenet and Publius, for example, are file-distribution systems that use the resources of computers at the edge of the internet to store and exchange files without relying on any centralised resource.

In thinking about these P2P technologies it is important to remember that a file-sharing system does not just exist for illegally sharing copyrighted material. The files that are shared can be perfectly legitimate documents. And in a world where ideological censorship is rife and where conventional Web publication is vulnerable to political and legal attack, it may be very important to have methods of publishing that ensure the free dissemination of ideas.

From this perspective, Publius is a particularly interesting development. It is a Web publishing system designed to be highly resistant to censorship and provide publishers with a high degree of anonymity. This collection of 85 articles, published pseudonymously in New York State newspapers in —88, was influential in convincing New York voters to ratify the proposed United States constitution. Publius encrypts and fragments documents, then randomly places the pieces, or keys, onto the servers of volunteers in a variety of locations worldwide.

The volunteers have no way of knowing what information is being stored on their server. Software users configure their browser to use a proxy which will bring the pieces of the document back together. Only a few keys out of many possibilities are needed to reconstruct a document. Avi Rubin Shreve, , the lead inventor of the system, claims that even if 70 per cent of the websites are shut down, the content is still accessible. Only the publisher is able to remove or alter the information.

But they already offer powerful tools to groups interested in the free exchange of ideas and files online, especially if those ideas or files are likely to be controversial. Rubin, for example, has declared that his greatest hope is that Publius will become an instrument for free speech, a tool that could enable dissidents living under oppressive governments to speak out without fear of detection or punishment.

Libertarianism may have discovered a new tool kit. In April a US federal judge held that Grokster and Streamcast Networks, owners of Morpheus, could not be held liable for copyright infringement Morpheus is based on Gnutella. A transcript of the oral argument before the court is available at the EFF's MGM v Grokster archive that provides up to date developments in the case.

This archive includes the oral argument, linked below, heard on 3 February in the Appeal Court. Note: The Supreme Court decided the Grokster case largely in favour of MGM on 27 June , referring it back to lower district court to consider the question of damages and operating injunctions. You can read my initial analysis of the decision. In October Judge Stephen Wilson ordered the last remaining defendant in the case, Streamcast Networks, to install filters to inhibit copyright infringement.

There are ongoing proposals for laws in the US which could lead to the jailing of file sharers. By August the name of this proposed law was changed to the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of The passing of the European Union intellectual property rights enforcement directive in March could lead to raids on alleged filesharers' homes.

The letter appears to have been drafted by a senior vice president in the MPAA, however. With rapidly changing technologies and laws, all we can really say is that the impact of P2P in the copyright arena is evolving. Also that P2P is not just about file sharing but cuts across a wider spectrum of issues such as civil rights and computer crime.

They then gave anyone who could prove they had a copy of any of those CDs access to the music over the internet in return for a fee. Lessig explains the My. It was not a service for giving free access to music … MP3. Arguably MP3. They had, however, copied a large number of CDs for commercial gain. The incentive for people to create such databases would increase if a service such as My. MP3 were not allowed.