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Cocognut freely available finally

By Chris Williams. Published: 27th Jun 2005, 21:16:51 | Permalink | Printable

Don't tell the US Supreme Court [Updated]

Cocognut motifAs promised last month, file sharing application Cocognut is now available for free from developer Marc Warne's website. The previously commercial title is a RISC OS Gnutella network client that allows users to search for content and swap files over the Internet.

The version made available, sans source code, is 1.21, which includes a few bug fixes over the previous 1.20 release.

Marc is accepting cash donations from users of his software, which started life as a final year University project, for which he will offer technical support in return - existing paying customers are already entitled to support, according to Marc. Thanking punters who have already paid for allowing development of Cocognut to be possible, he said, "All donations will go towards other RISC OS products or to charities, particularly pro-peer-to-peer ones. Priority technical support, along with some good karma, will be provided to those who donate."

Today's Cocognut news comes on the same day that the Supreme Court in the US ruled against peer to peer file sharing networks, allowing film and music industries to sue file sharing software makers for copyright infringements committed by their users. Services such as Grokster are apparently in hot water as they tout their application specifically as a tool to download films and music for free. It's hoped other file sharing methods, such as Bit Torrent, will be spared as they're generally aimed at users who wish to download large files, such as Linux distribution ISO images.

Update at 01:51 11/11/07
Anyone downloading Cocognut from Marc's website now may find the client cannot connect to the Gnutella network. Users who struggle to connect and search for files should try replacing the !Cocognut.Resources.GWebCaches file inside the application with this latest list. Make a backup of your Cocognut installation first.


Cocognut website - now with a Donate-O-Meter

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Cocognut's an excellent bit of software; I use it daily. And with recent updates it finds and retrieves files remarkably quickly.

Many thanks to Marc Warne for this new free release. Now many more RISC OS users can benefit from peer-to-peer file sharing.

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 27/6/05 10:23PM
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I don't think the court ruling is quite as bad as Chris is saying. It appears to be that Grokster (the makers of a peer-to-peer filesharing client) lost a court case, but the reason was because they seemed to advocate copyright infringement. The courts recognised that there were many valid uses of peer-to-peer filesharing clients.


 is a RISC OS Usercocodude on 27/6/05 10:25PM
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Latest version still works on the A9home with RO Adjust32 Preview.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 27/6/05 10:44PM
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Actually, after reading a bit more about the Grokster v. MGM decision, things do look rather bleak. This is something that everybody interested in peer-to-peer technologies, and the benefits and potential benefits they bring to society, should look into.

A snippet of a press relase from <a href="[link]">The Electronic Frontier Foundation</a>:

<blockquote>Washington, DC - Today the Supreme Court issued a ruling that could impede makers of all kinds of technologies with expensive lawsuits. The long-awaited decision in MGM v. Grokster states that P2P software manufacturers can be held liable for the infringing activities of people who use their software. This decision relies on a new theory of copyright liability that measures whether manufacturers created their wares with the "intent" of inducing consumers to infringe. It means that inventors and entrepreneurs will not only bear the costs of bringing new products to market, but also the costs of lawsuits if consumers start using their products for illegal purposes.</blockquote>

Please also check out [link] This is quite a sad day. The first set of donations I receive will go to organisations such as The EFF, defending the rights of ordinary people from the RIAA and MPAA. It's now more likely an open-source CocoGnut will be made available sometime as well.

 is a RISC OS Usercocodude on 28/6/05 8:43AM
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I have never seen or heard of anyone use P2P software for anything other than illegally downloading and sharing music and films. If the recent court ruling does result in a blow to the P2P networks then I don't honestly have much sympathy with the users, who have clearly brought it upon themselves. Most people now seem to think that they have an inalienable right to free content via their internet connection (as if some proportion of the money they pay their ISP actually went to the copyright holders). One girl I spoke to the other day said to me that she needed the internet because she 'does a lot of downloading'. I can only speculate what she downloads, but 10 to 1 it is copyrighted music.

 is a RISC OS Userthesnark on 28/6/05 9:32AM
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Perhaps you should include a license agreement stating that the user is only licensed to use the program for downloading and sharing material with the copyright holders consent, and that it is the users responsibility to ensure this and delete any files accidentally downloaded that aren't.

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 28/6/05 9:48AM
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I'm certain you're right, thesnark, that by far most downloaded material is obtained illegally. However, sometimes there are fair uses which should trump whether it's actually illegal or not. For instance, converting an album you own to MP3s can be slow with some RISC OS machines, so is it wrong to download the album off the net? What if someone stole a DVD of a movie you once had, is it wrong to download it?

Also, people *do* use P2P software, particularly bittorrent-based ones, to download lots of legal software, especially Linux distributions, game updates and other things made freely available but where the author doesn't want to fork out loadsamoney on bandwidth.

I believe it is more reasonable for the end users to face the consequences than the people that produce the software enabling infringement to occur. This is what the case was really about - now the developers of software *can* be held liable. Think along the lines of a VCR - although they were definitely being used, to some extent, to result in copyright infringement, there were significant fair uses of them.

jess: You're probably right in saying that - it should perhaps be made more obvious. I do mention on the website that it shouldn't be used to share stuff illegally, but I wonder to what extent I'm 'required' to implement DRM restrictions in order to be legally in the right. Should I force any file with a .mp3 to be downloaded or uploaded for instance? There is no one way that would work (I'm certainly *not* planning on putting in DRM by the way).

 is a RISC OS Usercocodude on 28/6/05 9:56AM
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There are lots of things downloadable that are legitimate. Freeware, demos. There are even copyright free films.

There is also the question of unofficial remixes and live bootlegs.

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 28/6/05 10:10AM
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thesnark: I routinely use BitTorrent for downloading things legally. Like Ubuntu or RedHat ISOs, and other such large things.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 28/6/05 10:49AM
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Just a thought, but is the screenshot on the software home page a good idea? It appears to show a user attempting to download one of a number of mpg and avi files of Red Dwarf. Is this not copyright material? Surely not a good example to set.

 is a RISC OS Usersaffron on 28/6/05 12:46PM
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P2P software is almost exclusively used for downloading copyrighted material. I know of no-one who uses P2P to download anything other than movies, music or porn.

cocodude: yes, if somone steals your DVD, downloading it again is wrong. If someone steals your car, you don't pop along to the garage and steal a replacement, do you?

As regards downloading MP3s of an album you already own, well there surely isn't a problem with that. However, the person making the album available is almost certainly not doing so to help RISC OS users who don't want to wait a long time to encode MP3s of an album they happen to own. The whole P2P concept is built around the illegal distribution of copyright material and it's pointless trying to put a spin on it.

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 28/6/05 1:14PM
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saffron: I do see your point here. I do own Red Dwarf series 1 - 6 on DVD so I believe it's totally OK to download them in a different format to, say, fit more episodes onto a DVD or store on my computer. However, it might give the wrong image to others, so I might change it. I also (admittedly) own the Aqua CD that a downloaded file in another screenshot comes from.

arenaman: nunfetishist, jess and myself use p2p to download stuff we are allowed to download. Yes, it's probably copyrighted, but the license allows for its download, e.g. Linux distributions and stuff. On your second point, please don't say, "downloading it again is wrong". There is no right or wrong answer here. I believe it is not wrong, you obviously believe otherwise. I believe there is the fundamental difference that downloading a copy of a DVD is not stealing, while you seem to equate copyright infringement to stealing. This actually makes an example of why it's not stealing IMO. Do you think it's OK to make a backup of your CDs to use in your car in case the CDs then get stolen? With your third point, I'm more inclined to agree, but is it wrong to make something available for download when there are valid reasons when it could be downloaded? I'm not sure. Your final point, I'm afraid, is FUD. The Internet as a whole is based on the P2P concept. The BBC themselves are trialling some software allowing TV shows to be downloaded in a P2P fashion, so to simply rule P2P as being built around the illegal distribution of copyright material is wrong. There is information in P2P networks concerning things which may be illegal in certain counties, e.g. stuff that's usually censored from Chinese internet users (and more), and I believe it's good to allow free speach in situations such as this when it would usually be gagged.

 is a RISC OS Usercocodude on 28/6/05 1:35PM
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The funniest thing about the US supreme court decision is that if you substitute "P2P software manufacturers" with "guns manufacturers" you have a decision who would be totally unfavorable to the US armement lobby something which will never happen. This easely demonstrates that in the US, lobbies dictates the law.

Regarding P2P itself, it is certainly true that the bulk usage is piracy of movies or music (I myself regurlarly download dvix files with the half excuse that it's less mainstream stuff that won't be released here before 2-3 years) but it's far from the only piracy source. You have to wonder why DVD renting shops let you rent 10 DVDs which you have to return the next day, or propose the 5th one for free when you hire 4 DVDs, they are perfectly aware that the people who do so just make illegal copies of the DVDs.

 is a RISC OS Userandretim on 28/6/05 2:03PM
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So by the US supreme court ruling photocopier manufactures a liable if photocopier users use a photocopier to copy copyrighted material e.g books and magazines?

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 28/6/05 3:10PM
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Revin Kevin: Not quite. Unless the photocoper manufacturer says, "Use this to copy books to your heart's content -- never pay for a book again!". It seems to be the advocacy of copyright infringement (possibly the lack of things stopping you infringing too, but this isn't made clear) that comes under this ruling.

 is a RISC OS Usercocodude on 28/6/05 3:28PM
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Without commenting on the MGM/Grokster ruling, I'm happily bittorrent-ing the latest Knoppix Live DVD. I hope my ISP don't report me as a bittorrent user to any passing music company rep... :-)

 is a RISC OS Useralex on 28/6/05 6:00PM
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Being someone who researches within the area of P2P, I can assure you that P2P is not just about 'downloading'. Yes this maybe is how it is generally recognised in the media - but P2P is a networking ideal, not a type of application. In reality the technology is still early in its life, and I expect there will be an increasing number of application domains that will make use of it (you already have distributed storage, distributed web searching, IM, VOIP, distributed computation, gaming, etc).

If you do a google search on P2P conferences/workshops you will find plenty of material on how P2P technology has been used.

 is a RISC OS UserWalks on 28/6/05 8:18PM
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cocodude: "...while you seem to equate copyright infringement to stealing." Of course I do. You might define music and software and films as intellectual property, which indeed they are, but they are also products. Someone created that music and an artist and associated engineers etc spent time and money making a recording. This recording is a product that is sold, not given away and you know it. If you take something without permission or without paying for it when you should do, then it's quite straight forward... you are a thief. I learnt that when I was very young.

People who steal music and software seem to forget that it has cost money to make and that people are making a living out of it. Forget mega-rich stars, I am talking about programmers working for Adobe, engineers recording albums, little companies that will find it even more difficult to stay afloat because people are stealing instead of buying.

"...so to simply rule P2P as being built around the illegal distribution of copyright material is wrong." Hmmm, I don't think so. All the P2P networks thus far have generally been created in order to share MP3s etc. This is not to say that the technology cannot be used in a legal and useful fashion. I have no objection to the technology itself, but the current major purpose/use of it.

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 29/6/05 7:43PM
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arenaman: You're not *taking* something without permission, you're *copying* it. That's where the difference is. If I look at a piece of paper that you've drawn something on and take a photo of it, I haven't stolen your drawing. I've copied it without your permission. Of course taking something without permission is stealing - noone's arguing against that fact.

I'm not saying it's right to copy music or software without permission. I just feel it's the music/movie industry's propaganda that tries to call these activities stealing. It's worth noting that a downloaded copy of something doesn't equal a lost sale. Would someone who has hundreds of films/songs on his computer really have bought all of them? I know my purchases of music had previously increased significantly bceause of me downloading a couple of songs and liking them so much I bought the album. I don't buy nor download much mainstream music nowadays because I disagree with the RIAA's actions.

P2P networks were around long before they were used for the illegal distribution of copyright material. Please check your facts before making sweeping statements. I would count a network such as Fidonet as being P2P and that was long before the Internet as we know it.

I urge everybody to read arguments on both sides of the P2P debate, both from the advocates and those who think it's wrong. There are good arguments from both sides and everyone should make up their own mind. I stand firmly on the pro-P2P side after reading what *both* sides have to say. Being pro-P2P doesn't mean advocating copyright infringement.

 is a RISC OS Usercocodude on 29/6/05 10:13PM
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cocodude: " You're not taking something without permission, you're copying it. That's where the difference is. If I look at a piece of paper that you've drawn something on and take a photo of it, I haven't stolen your drawing. I've copied it without your permission."

And if that drawing was the blueprints of a new product, then you have stolen my design or concept. It doesn't matter how much spin is put on it, how much you argue over terminology, you are still taking products or, if you like, intellectual property, without permission and without paying, so in layman's terms, you are stealing.

A counter-example to your own springs to mind. ARM don't manufacture chips, they sell designs/intellectual property. Using your theory, someone could copy the latest ARM core design and use it, as in fact they are not stealing a product, but merely copying it.

A product does not have to be something you hold in your hand. Just because the product - for example a song - is not on a CD, does not mean it ceases to be a product.

Prime example. Your P2P software used to be commercial, right? As in, people had to pay for it. Now, if I had downloaded a cracked copy for nothing, since it didn't come on a physical disk, I take it you would have had no objections? Especially since I claim that "well, I already have lots of software so you can't expect me to buy all of it".

"P2P networks were around long before they were used for the illegal distribution of copyright material. Please check your facts before making sweeping statements." I think you know precisely what I meant.

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 30/6/05 1:09AM
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arenaman: I don't believe they've stolen the design, but copied it. The mere act of "taking intellectual property" doesn't make sense to me. The main definition of take at [link] seems to primarily be "To get into one's possession by force, skill, or artifice" which I don't think really is the case here.

I have never said that copying copyrighted content without permission is correct. My theory doesn't state that somebody could copy the latest ARM core design and use it. Your argument here is invalid because I never said such a thing. I also never said that intangible things can never be products. I am merely saying that I believe it would be copying as opposed to stealing where intangible products are concerned.

Regarding my P2P software, yes, it was previously commercial. Of course I would have objections if there were 'cracked copies'* about. Once again, I have *never* said that the fact it wouldn't be stealing makes it right. I wouldn't be majorly annoyed if, for instance, someone who was broke, or otherwise couldn't afford it (due to sensible reasons), ended up with a copied version of it.

<em>I think you know precisely what I meant.</em> We are on a public forum, so I believe you should make it much clearer as to what you were referring to. I disputed your point previously and you defended your original statement, so it really wasn't clear as to what you were referring to.

I think we should stop this discussion on whether it is stealing or not. We both obviously have some decent arguments and should let others make up their minds. There is plenty of discussion on this topic on the web already.

* - You can't 'crack' CocoGnut as there's no copy protection on it - I don't really believe much in copy protection as it seems to just treat legitimate purchasers as criminals.

 is a RISC OS Usercocodude on 30/6/05 8:53AM
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The grokster case is being mis-reported and sensationalised by the press (shock horror).

If in doubt in such cases I go to groklaw: [link]

Good summary at the top of the page - plus the full text of the decision.

 is a RISC OS Userbenc on 30/6/05 1:35PM
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I just tried remoing the line in the run file checking for RO 3.5 and tried running it on 3.1

It seems to work - it's downloading stuff anyway.

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 30/6/05 2:28PM
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