A Case for P2P Delivery of Paid Content

Sherman, Alex; Stavrou, Angelos; Nieh, Jason; Stein, Clifford S.; Keromytis, Angelos D.

P2P file sharing provides a powerful content distribution model by leveraging users' computing and bandwidth resources. However, companies have been reluctant to rely on P2P systems for paid content distribution due to their inability to limit the exploitation of these systems for free file sharing. We present TP2, a system that combines the more cost-effective and scalable distribution capabilities of P2P systems with a level of trust and control over content distribution similar to direct download content delivery networks. TP2 uses two key mechanisms that can be layered on top of existing P2P systems. First, it provides strong authentication to prevent free file sharing in the system. Second, it introduces a new notion of trusted auditors to detect and limit malicious attempts to gain information about participants in the system to facilitate additional out-of-band free file sharing. We analyze TP2 by modeling it as a novel game between malicious users who try to form free file sharing clusters and trusted auditors who curb the growth of such clusters. Our analysis shows that a small fraction of trusted auditors is sufficient to protect the P2P system against unauthorized file sharing. Using a simple economic model, we further show that TP2 provides a more cost-effective content distribution solution, resulting in higher profits for a content provider even in the presence of a large percentage of malicious users. Finally, we implemented TP2 on top of BitTorrent and use PlanetLab to show that our system can provide trusted P2P file sharing with negligible performance overhead.



More About This Work

Academic Units
Computer Science
Department of Computer Science, Columbia University
Columbia University Computer Science Technical Reports, CUCS-042-06
Published Here
April 27, 2011