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OpenCola Lives On in Swarmcast

Can of OpenCola

I'm sure we've mentioned it before, but in case you didn't know, both George and I worked at OpenCola. George was a biz dev guy, and I was both an user interface developer as well as the developer relations guy. George worked out of New York, while I started off in Toronto, moved to San Francisco to work with co-founder Cory Doctorow and then went back to Toronto after the San Fran office closed.

Globe and Mail technology writer Matthew Ingram recently posted an entry titled Toronto's OpenCola Lives On in Swarmcast. Swarmcast is a “swarming” technology created by Minneapolis-based developer and former OpenColan Justin Chapweske that does peer-to-peer swarm-based file serving in a manner that's conceptually similar to BitTorrent.

In the article, Ingram writes:

So why is BitTorrent a relatively well-known name and Swarmcast is not? Because the two took different approaches to commercializing their software. Bram Cohen chose the “open source” route and released the code for his software so that anyone could use or distribute it (so long as they didn’t charge money for it or claim it as their own). It quickly became the technology of choice for downloading everything from cracked software and illegally copied movies to pornography, although it was also used for distributing large files such as the various flavours of the Linux operating system. And that in turn got the attention of content owners.

Swarmcast, meanwhile, decided to focus on working behind the scenes with companies that would have an interest in distributing large amounts of content over the Internet — including distributing digital films to movie theatres. The company also helps power MLB.com, the major-league baseball service, which distributes huge quantities of video and audio to baseball fans. Not as sexy as doing deals with Hollywood movie studios, but not bad either.

It's nice to see that Justin and company are getting some deals, and it's also nice to see them getting some recognition as well.

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0 replies on “OpenCola Lives On in Swarmcast”

Thanks for the link, Joey. I thought it would be nice for people to know that there was something before BitTorrent :-)
I guess time will tell which route was the best one to take.
Mathew

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