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Society has grown increasingly reliant on technologies that allow the reproduction of both physical and abstract entities. The ease with which content can be copied has brought widespread benefits, however in many cases these benefits are also contingent on a suitable counter balance of content protection, allowing the process of copying to be restricted in certain circumstances. Dissemination of knowledge, mass production, financial systems and privacy protection all rely on both kinds of technology. This is as true in the digital world as it has been traditionally. Moreover, the success of future computing developments, such as the move towards Ubiquitous Computing, rely on increasingly fluid movements of data throughout a networked environment, a requirement that is often seen as being in conflict with the need to be able to restrict the movement of certain rights protected data. Yet customers can be unwilling to accept stringent restrictions imposed through technological means, and a suitable balance needs to be met. In this paper we build on our previous work on community based Digital Rights Management to show how it can be applied in an existing peer-to-peer file sharing network. We extend the Gnutella peer-to-peer protocol to show how a realistic implementation of a community-based trust mechanism can be achieved. Our mechanism models the peer-to-peer network as a cellular automaton using trust as a means to regulate the illegitimate flow of data. We discuss the implementation details and the synchronisation process that we have developed based on our initial results.
Date of Conference: 14-16 Dec. 2009