Talk:Timeline of file sharing

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This seriously needs an update. Shortly after the last entry here, Alan Ellis was cleared of conspiracy to defraud, surely that is notable? I actually find the lack of information on OiNK to be kind of disappointing; it was only the largest private tracker ever. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:35, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

No problem, just add what needs to be added and provide some reliable sources and none will object...
mfg, OldDeath (talk) 14:17, 31 May 2010 (UTC)


what, no word about eMule?!? it remains one of the largest p2p networks today. (talk) 19:10, 8 December 2008 (UTC)


Shouldn't there be something about IRC on here? 21:13, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

i agree, it was once a common way of sharing mp3 and warez. (talk) 19:10, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

The article already mentions IRC, DCC and XDCC. What more would you expect? --Easyas12c (talk) 20:42, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

And USENET and Audiogalaxy...[edit]

...should be on here somewhere.

then put it there

Initial Publication of Some Software[edit]

What should one cite when he states that a specific piece of software was originally published/announced at some time? Is it good enough to cite some web page were the developers state it. Maybe a link to some download site with an old time stamp be a good source? The article has lots of these and they will not get fixed unless someone states out the requirements. --Easyas12c (talk) 20:03, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Anything will suffice. Some of the information I added is based on posts in obscure forums unrelated to file sharing. The information isn't at all controversial, and is minor, so just about anything will do (though more credible sources are preferred). –MT 03:28, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Use of logos in the article[edit]

I've used the following as rationale for non-free logos on the pages of those logos:

"Given that the company or technology

  • is important to the chronology,
  • is identified by many readers in such contexts primarily by its logo or brand, and
  • does not limit the owner's rights, or profitability,

the use of the image is covered by the relevant fair use laws."

I should probably clarify more, though. A good timeline should be supplemented by images. Two examples of this are Timeline of Apple products and Timeline of Apple II family. This article is not about physical products which we can take pictures of, so we use logos instead. This is what a logo does - it identifies a company or product in the same way a face identifies a person. The Kazaa ruling story in wikinews uses the logo for exactly the same purpose. It is about that company, so it uses the logo to identify the company. So,

  • In this context, using logos to identify companies/programs important to a chronology is fair use

and further,

  • No one company is given favor, and logo use is based on popularity.
  • There are many readers who will remember and identify the subjects of this timeline by mascot, colors, and logo. The reaction we want is "hey, I remember using that thing", and not "Sharman? FastTrack? Kazaa? ... hmm, I remember, but is it talking about the same thing I used back in 2004?".
  • Some of the logos used are under free licenses.

This doesn't mean that we should plaster the timeline with logos, but the major networks, programs, and services (, audiogalaxy, napster; gnutella, edonkey, fasttrack; bittorrent, suprnova, piratebay, mininova) should be identified. –MT 23:00, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

I disagree, the time line can be augmented with images like any other article, example are the crowds protesting for something at the trials. Logo's don't convey much extra information to the time line, they just repeat the entity name, in fact they detract and focus attention needlessly on particular entities. How is No one company is given favor, and logo use is based on popularity not favoritism? Kbrose (talk) 18:00, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Because the criteria are impartial, and based on notability. If logos did not convey extra information, then why do we use them prominently in infoboxes?  M  05:28, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Not only that, it's our general practice to avoid using logos and other non-free media in list articles or list-like elements. The name of the company is sufficient to identify it; the logo may look nice but is unnecessary. (ESkog)(Talk) 18:12, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
The Timeline of Apple II family uses images to identify those specific manufactured goods. Logos are used to identify companies.  M  05:28, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
But all of the images on that other timeline are free. That's a critical difference. (ESkog)(Talk) 11:50, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
I have provided a valid fair use rationale on the image page of each of the included images (my first three points above). This makes them as free as when we use them at the top of their articles. Does that cover the objection, or did I misunderstand?  M  20:55, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

8-inch floppy diskette is first removable media?[edit]

What about IBM punchcards? Sure, they hold a tiny amount of information: but they are storage media, and definitely are removable. President Lethe (talk) 01:48, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

WP:OR. Floppies can be cited as removable media in the context of p2p file sharing, which isn't the case for punch cards.–MT 04:43, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
OR cuts both ways - there is no source making that assertion and as noted it can't be defended. Even within the narrow context you draw (which the article does not) it is easily disproved by earlier examples using open reel tape.
Six years, no source and no defence - time for that to be deleted. Justin Urquhart Stewart (talk)
True, and there were numerous other media in olden days. Objective3000 (talk) 22:06, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Date formatting[edit]

I think the currently used date formatting looks just riddiculus and unproffessionnal. We shoudl go back to what it was before because it a) looked better and b) gave a better overview and c) was generally more professionnal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Old Death (talkcontribs) 21:12, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

You mean on the left side? I went through a very large number of other timelines to find out which were the easiest to read. In particular, have a look at Timeline of algorithms. There are two 'before' headings there, look at which one is easier to read. The idea is that the keyword for every line should be in the exact same place. This is similar to how we make the article title the first word, and make it bold. In the previous format, the dates destroyed the ability to skim. The reader would pause and scan horizontally at every single line because of months like May and February. Other timelines have tried to solve this by putting the dates into footnotes. Tables have also been used to solve this alignment issue, but they a) are ugly because they add more things to look at for no good reason, b) turn data that is inherently a list into tabular data, and c) are impossible for newcomers to edit. You'll also notice that each line, unless it is the inception of a major network, has been kept short and to the point, with the keyword coming first. This leaves us with one line per event on most screen resolutions.
You might want to avoid words like riddiculus and unproffessionnal when talking about work that another editor has done (besides being hostile, their spelling is incorrect). I don't like abbreviations either, but this is absolutely trivial. The filesharing articles - networks, clients, ideas, events - are as a whole very poorly written and organized. There is plenty to do and it's usually easier to find something to work on, rather than to wait for someone else to do some work and then argue about how they should have done it. Citations are probably the biggest issue, and it would be great if we could get some usage statistics on the various networks, too. –MT 19:42, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, I am sorry. When saying it in that way, I didn't intend to hurt you. In fact, I really appreciate your work and the efford you put into amelioring the articles. Also, I was in a hurry when writing this comment, because I had to leave. Probably, I should have been a bit more constructive. What about writing the dates in blood font and not abreviating the month names? Since they come in their respective order, it shouldn't be too problematic to not abreviate them.
As you may have seen, most of my contribution are rather of a small nature or add only some sentences... It's not because I am too lazy to write longer texts (just writing a book in German^^) but because my english is often not good enough... ;)
The problem with network size and documentation is an old one. There are only very few reliable statisitics (such as the G2 network crawler for example), since most of them are done by surveys and are simply not representative as for their data, because most of them are eiter influenced from the pro-filesharing side or from the anti-filesharing camp. I remember there was a similar crawler online for gnutella, but appearently it has been taken down, so similar statisitics are not anymore available. I don't even know if the KAD developpers have thought about adding support for network analysis to their network, but I am sure there is no crawler for eD2k right now. The only 3 things there is available data are: a) client downloads b) G2 (see crawler) and c) tracker statistics from the pirate bay, which should be representative for the entire BT 'network', since TPB controlls anyway most BT swarms.
Greetings and a good evening, Old Death (talk) 21:47, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Not a problem :) I think I tried bolding, but it distracts too much from the actual text, which is much more important than the dates. I also tried numbers, like 2006/04/24, but this is hard to read. Even biased statistics might be good, because they can show how networks are in relation to each other. There are also search stats that I linked at the bottom, which show how popular they are relative to each other. –MT 01:41, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
I like the Timeline of algorithms page and it's format. but we're not dealing with more than a millennium, just 40 years. I think having the year as a heading, and then the month it occurred is enough for this article to look good. It has two different types of date formatting in it currently and just looks not so good. I'll go through and reformat it tonight if I find the time. JguyTalkDone 17:10, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Minor networks and statistics[edit],+limewire,+bearshare,+mininova,+pirate+bay

Statistics for Shareaza don't really matter on their own - it could have 3 million users, but if the other networks have 7 million, it's just not notable enough. Mute is the single biggest client on the mute network, but that doesn't mean we should include it. Shareaza might be popular, etc., but it's not in the same league. –MT 19:42, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Shareaza has about 200k users. Bpringlemeir (talk) 19:54, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Prior Work Before Napster[edit]

I put in my source for prior works. Linker which came out in 1994 was used for peer to peer file sharing of mp3 files and other files years before napster. Source is sited so if people have any integrity in wiki they will defend this properly sited information. The rewrite would seem like a blatant attempt to remove this properly sited prior work in an attempt to establish Napster as the first of its kind. Deathmolor (talk) 03:51, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

I took it out for now. That citation doesn't contain "linker" or "jayson". A google search for it turns up 600 irrelevant results. Also, a google group is not an acceptable source. I'm very interested to learn more about linker, but that just doesn't seem correct, from looking at your link. –MT 07:04, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
The source is, the file is in the simtel archive and has been there since 1994. Take a closer look. Deathmolor (talk) 03:42, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
i think we need to stop using revisionist history here, just because someone wrote a book saying napster was the first does not mean it was the first. the Simtel archive might as well be a vault in the Smithsonian, it can not be erased or changed. You can download the file and look at its documentation and read the name itself. I think people who doubt this need to do a search for on the google. Deathmolor (talk) 03:43, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Source code for linker34 can also be found on sourceforge, combining the simtel archive from 1994 and the source code submitted to sourceforge with all the file sending and list sending code sitting right there its impossible to deny. The book sited as a source for first p2p application is flat out wrong. Deathmolor (talk) 03:43, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Please read WP:V. Wikipedia does not care about truth, it cares about verifiability. You've deleted a published book, in favor of a mailing list. You cannot cite a mailing list. You cannot cite source code. You have to provide a legitimate published work that states that linker was the first p2p file sharing client. Nobody is going to trust the mailing list, and nobody is going to look through source code. Before you keep going with this, you should probably start a wikipedia page on Linker32 - but have your sources ready. M 11:54, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
First of all source code is a valid source. Valid enough to stand up in court and so is an executable file you can download that was archived in 1994. What your saying is references to the Mona Lisa are more important then the actual work. That is absolutely unfounded drivel. Do you work for napster? It would seem you do. the Simtel archive is just that. An archive. Those were not mailing lists those were cites of the lists of a data archive. I do believe a Simtel archive does constitute a published work. So does source code. There is no better form of source. Deathmolor (talk) 12:12, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Ok you just strangled yourself your reference WP:V specifically states electronic publications are valid sources and Simtel is a valid source. Deathmolor (talk) 12:28, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Not all electronic sources are valid, and yours is not. M 19:38, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Sorry you are absolutely wrong. Walnut Creek CDROM has been a publisher for decades, with millions of copies distributed and mirrors all over the world. Really who are you anyway and what makes you the authority on a credible source? You really need to check the ego at the door when you contribute. Deathmolor (talk) 03:42, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Please read WP:AGF and WP:CIVIL. If linker was in fact the first p2p system, then I would love to get it on the page. The early 90s don't have nearly enough info. But the problem is, there are certain things we can't add. What if I wanted to say "joiner was the first p2p network in 1992". Could you give me a link that proves that linker was the first peer to peer file sharing system, and that it was released in 1994? M 00:13, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I would say the archived file of existing within a published Walnut Creek CDROM archive is like a time machine. The CDROM is a permanent imprint made in 1994 on a plastic disk which cannot be faked or lied about. Its archived like a time capsule for all of history. Combined with the source code freely available it is rock solid proof your looking for. But instead it would seem your looking for some reporter or educational institute to say something about it. Am i correct? Since I am sure we could get cnet involved and get them to do an article but that seems a little over the top since the archive is a much better source then any book or article. The simtel archive was distributed world wide with hundreds of thousands of copies. I really don't understand what the problem is here. Deathmolor (talk) 03:42, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Could you give a link to this archive, and say what statement you think it supports? M 01:14, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Could you go to the source cited within the page and search for the word linker34 and please indicate what about its distribution in 1994 do you not understand and maybe i can better answer that question. See below. if you want me to overload this entire section with over 1000 sources i will. Deathmolor (talk) 03:42, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Just curious then which of the following sources do you find reputable then [1] i could go on to list hundreds and hundreds of sources. Newsgroups on usenet i take it are not acceptable for you. how about a publication by a reputable university, or maybe russian archive group [2], or possibly usenet newsgroup post from 1998 discussing the p2p file sharing ability of Linker if you didn't know google groups is an archive of USENET. Deathmolor (talk) 03:42, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Not only that but in the USENET Source you can view us discussing the file sharing of Linker34 being there for years and the usage of it over the Internet in a WWIVnet packet. Which actually makes linker34 the first p2p file sharing application on the Internet as WWIVnet by then was only used as a subpacket standard. By now you will begin to see that i can drown you in sources that predate the 1999 release of Napster. Deathmolor (talk) 01:39, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
<undent> Thanks! Well, it's not about them being reputable, it's about them being acceptable as wikipedia sources: WP:V. You can't submit a chat that you and your friends had as proof, even if it was over 10 years ago. The google groups links prove that "people were talking about a file sharing program in 1994" - but it doesn't prove that it got off the ground, or that it's really "file sharing" as we now know it, and not just a shared resource. Who is the publisher of the document (book?) you linked on scribd? Self-published books are not permitted. You should double-check that you're logged on before posting, your ip address is visible.  M  03:19, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Now your accusing me of self publishing? I didn't publish that. As for USENET Reference i think you actually have to read it. You will see numbers of users and file sharing discussed being in place for years. I don't understand why you would not just read it. All the source information is overwhelming and you yet still continue try and rebuke it. I think at this point your just getting out of hand and need to stop Deathmolor (talk) 03:42, 12 May 2009 (UTC) Combining the insane number of sources What picture does it paint. 1. Usenet articles of the simtel upload (empirical information not subjective information) 2. the simtel archives themselves with down loadable executable. 3. usenet articles indicating discussions of linkers file sending being present since version 3.4 release or linker34. 4. the source code complete with copyright notice from 1993. You can combine with the simtel archive. Absolutely none of this can be faked. Its impossible. M your being completely unreasonable. What your asking for is not a combination of articles your asking for a quote from the president of the united states that linker was there first. I am completely stunned this discussion has gone on as long as it has. I trying to be civil with you but its hard to see you more then just someone looking to argue. Deathmolor (talk) 04:01, 12 May 2009 (UTC). In fact i know your looking to argue since you have already indicated you wanted to argue here in a previous article, why is your intent to argue about this? And is it also your intent to argue needlessly forever? I am not likely to ever let this information be removed from Wiki. I believe the sources i provided are more then sufficient. Deathmolor (talk) 04:05, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Another article from 1995 talking about linker. Icenet news periodical. Deathmolor (talk) 04:30, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Calm down. I'm asking you who published the book. 100 invalid sources do not combine to create a valid source. You need one valid source. Usenet is not a valid source. A text file is not a valid source. A scribd link is not a published book, even if it has the word "book" in the title. What is the isbn or title of the book?  M  04:58, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
how convenient that every source you see is not valid. What i am saying is your flat out and out wrong. That all of them are valid sources. USENET is a valid source if the source is credible. It says it right in the documentation and apparently if the author of a work himself is in USENET discussing his own work backed by many other people who are discussing it also is valid. I am going to quote the excerpt for you to read because if i give you a link you wont read it. "One exception is that some authorities on certain topics have written extensively on Usenet, and their writings there are vouched for by them or by other reliable sources.". So in the case of early pre-internet software not in scientific fields. All you have from that period recorded is from text files which are archived, cdroms that are archived, and USENET newsgroups that are archived. What you propose to do is erase a whole piece of history entirely because you don't see scientists or universities endorsing its existence. What does it take to be an expert in the field? Here is what i think is interesting. Wiki under the reliable sources section denounces every source available on the internet. Yet the only way to source something is on the internet. That simple thing precludes all sources. For instance you cited a source of a book on google books. I could just say thats not reliable because it was altered from its original format to pdf and pdf's can be edited just as easily as a text file. Its ridiculous at some point is just making up reasons to deny everything you see. Experts in the field of BBSes in the 90's are all over the USENET and those people back up each other. So when you see a forum of people talking about BBSes they are all experts and a dying group as well as soon there will be no one that remembers them and they will disappear from history. Deathmolor (talk) 11:24, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry that you feel that BBS experts will disappear from history, but this is not the place to ensure that they (you) have left their (your) mark. Your claim that a usenet posting shows that someone is a 'bbs expert' is unacceptable. This 'linker' program that you're trying to add is of dubious notability. You've refused to provide anything near an acceptable source, though you've tried to cite zip files, old (and irrelevant) usenet postings, and an apparently self-published pdf. You need to calm down, to stop attacking me across several pages, to stop writing pages and pages of replies, and to provide a source that is acceptable by Wikipedia's standards.  M  13:45, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, you asked me for a review. There is exactly one of the sources that counts acording to the wiki guidelines: the 'book' [3]. Although, there are several problems: Neither do we have an ISBN, nor author name or year of release, for example. Also, the book cites a source with a [2] behind the respective sentence, but the reference cannot be found somewhere in the document, nor can it be clicked on. Also, the book tells only 'it was the first one', but it gives no information about when it was released. If you could at least provide the ISBN and author of the book, it would probably be sufficient to keep the part on linker in the timeline, if you manage to prove the date somehow (which should not be too difficult).
As for the rest of the article, we should clean up the 'anti-napster entry'. "Some people say it was the first peer-to-peer software because Napster claimed it was." sounds really unprofessionnal and is certainly not a neutral statement. Also, the formulation of the passage could be changed in to something like 'although Napster used a central server to coordinate its network and proceed search requests, it was (the first (?) << see my earlier comments) system to implement a P2P structure for the decentralized distribution of its shared files.' or something with a similar meaning.

Greetings, Old Death (talk) 16:32, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
PS.: I've added a request for sources also to the page about the linker network.
Looking further, it seems that the "book" (a pdf file with the word 'book' in it) was uploaded very recently and is actually a copy-paste of a much older version of the file sharing article, a mirror of which is available at So we've seen Zero reliable sources.  M  16:43, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Third Opinion[edit]

Per request at WP:3O, I have come here to render a third opinion (although it appears one was sort of already given - I am guessing this is because you already asked for advice on the sources.

In any case, here is the way I see it... There are several claimed sources here & I will address each separately:

  • File Archives: These prove only that a file "" existed in 1994. They do not show that it was a p2p program and even if they did they would be primary sources. Invalid
  • Source Code: The source code could theoretical prove that this program enabled true file sharing. However, even if it did this would be original research. Invalid
  • Scribd book: This document is at least partially copied from Wikipedia - notice the tiny [2] next to the fact in question? Well this document doesn't use notes or citations, so this is clearly a poor copy & paste job. Zero credibility: Invalid
  • Usenet archive: This only demonstrate that the software claimed to be able to share information in some fashion. This is not equivalent to true file sharing. In any case, Usenet chat is not a reliable source. Invalid
  • The Journal of IceNET: IMO, this is the best source you have. Unfortunately, it 1) doesn't make any claim of file sharing that I see, and 2) I don't see any reason to believe this journal has a "reputation for fact-checking and accuracy" and thus it likely fails WP:RS. Invalid

Thus I don't see any way the claims regarding Linker can be put into the article at this time. If this software is truly what you claim it to be, surely it would not be hard to get a reliable source to publish the information. Try contacting some major computer magazines, heck minor computer magazines, with this story about "the first p2p software" that has now been forgotten. I am sure many magazines would love to write an article about this, if it is true.

Until the time that these claims are verified by reliable source, however, this is complete original research and doesn't belong. --ThaddeusB (talk) 17:11, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your feedback. Since all three editors who have checked this newly-inserted 'linker' information seem to agree, I've returned the page to its prior state. (This includes the disruptive-to-prove-a-point edit that calls sneakernets "p2p file sharing", and the edit that claims that increased file sizes on usenet prove an increase in popularity.)  M  17:56, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Now, back to the article: I have copy edited the whole thing. I trimmed some excessive detail or irrelevant detail in parts and added some missing info. I attempted to neutrally word the Napster dispute - it is not really relevant to this timeline whether you call it a p2p network or not. Further work needs done in the following areas:

  1. Many of the later entries do not explain their importance, or in many cases even what the program is. I corrected a few.
  2. The article is way overlinked. You don't need to link to every file sharing device every time it is mentioned. I removed a few, but there are still way too many.
  3. The article needs more references, as many items are not references in any way. These sources can probably be easily found in the articles of the various software mentioned.

I strongly urge all parties to work toward consensus rather than merely reverting back and forth. This means, if you don't like a change someone made to try and hash out a mutually acceptable version rather than just changing back to your preferred version. --ThaddeusB (talk) 18:59, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

I think you did a very good job with the cleanup, and I agree with your points  M  20:01, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Anyway thank you for coming by and taking a neutral stand. Deathmolor (talk) 23:53, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
I am loving these wiki Etiquette WP:EQ edits going on here. Your basically taking everything we say and removing all the bull. Absolutely loving it. I feel like a kid getting my hand slapped. Lol.. thanks for putting it into perspective. As for legal action that was not serious in any way shape and form. And i am absolutely sure M didn't take it seriously either. So zero chance of that happening. retraction Lets move on to the topic now. Deathmolor (talk) 01:22, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Please excuse me answering my own edit but ThaddeusB Could you bring your master editing skills to bear on the above article deterioration section and remove all the bull please? Deathmolor (talk) 02:12, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
If you mean at File sharing, I did at about the time that ThaddeusB cleaned up this page (though this was reverted by an editor who I think was not aware of the situation and comment-removal policies). The other stuff above about sources, though it's long, is relevant to the article, so it should probably stay. Maybe we can work on getting more sources for the article now? Do you agree with the three points above?  M  02:40, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
As another editor commented on we need more legal in this article, for instance the origin of pirate comes from the file sharing people did in the 70's. The whole legality of file sharing has evolved a lot over the years and this article is missing that a lot. I remember file sharing in the 70's and 80's and we did this on sneakernet we did it alot and it was all illegal. We need to cover more history. but the above 3 points are great too. I am not happy with this topic starting with late p2p applications like napster. The legalities of file sharing started long before 1999. I could cite numbers of cases as well. Deathmolor (talk) 00:35, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

A note on sources.[edit]

I have only briefly skimmed the talk page, but there are 2 things which might be interesting for you. 1. Mailing lists are in fact usable as sources, please see the discussion on exim4. 2. Please see the WP:BLP section regarding self published sources, in a nutshell it states that selfpublished are permissible in some cases where they are autobiographical in nature. There is also the issue of parity of sources. Enjoy Unomi (talk) 00:27, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

That is out of the blue, i didn't expect someone would come by and support at least in part some of my sources. Thank you very much. So if i am correct in reading WP:BLP original research is acceptable if submitted by the person himself and like a house of cards everything from USENET to all the details listed above are acceptable as autobiographical. That's if I interpreted this correctly. I thought there was a key element missing to argument that these sources were unacceptable. Its not ok for others to use these sources but it is ok for the person mentioned to use. Since then the source can be verified. Makes total sense to me. I will do nothing yet until there is a consensus. Deathmolor (talk) 00:52, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
@Unomi: 1) No such discussion exists at that page that I see. Even if there was, some article talk page doesn't override official policy. 2) Um, this article isn't a BLP, or even remotely about a living person.
Policy is that primary sources are only acceptable if the general ideas in them are confirmed by secondary sources or if they are "autobiographical" (by a company or person) and not used to confirm either verifiability or notability. What we have in the linker34 case is no reliable source verification that this software was used for file sharing. --ThaddeusB (talk) 00:58, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
One sticky point that itches me is why would source code on sourceforge be considered original research anyway. First of all the publisher is sourceforge not wiki. Source code could easily be considered a work of english writing for that matter and sourceforge could be considered a book publisher. Sourceforge even though is a sort of s self publisher it does have oversite in that copyright material is protected and they do insure the works on the site fall into copyright laws of originality. They would remove anything that would have legal issues. So citing source code only seems to be defined as original research here because there is some concept that wiki is going to be the publisher of this work. Also what is stopping anyone from just going over to wikinews and making an autobiographical article and using it as a source? I know its a lot but please bear with me and if you could be so kind please help with the questions asked. Deathmolor (talk) 01:10, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
It's not original research, it's just A) self-published, B) not reliable, and C) not a secondary source. It depends on what you want to say. If you want to say "it's hosted on sourceforge", sure, it's good. If you want to say "it's hosted on sourceforge, and that means it's important" then no.  M  01:28, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Sourceforge has had an impeccable history of publishing source code. With an oversight committee as well. I am not sure of defined standing of Sourceforge as a publisher of works but developers must agree to grant a perpetual license before they can host code on its servers. You can read that on the page and investigate on your own. Does that not constitute as reliable source? I am asking questions because it seems like it might me useful elsewhere as well. Deathmolor (talk) 03:00, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Maybe I should clarify the terms here. Original research is information that isn't found in reliable sources. This may take the form of drawing a conclusion from facts presented or it may stating one's own opinion as fact. Reliable sources are sources independent of the subject that have a history of publishing accurate information, primarily because they have editorial oversight to prevent the publication of false information.

The reason we can't use primary sources to verify (important) information is because the primary source has a clear motive to exaggerate or lie. Now, using the source to determine that Linker was a file sharing system is original research because it is a form of taking the facts and drawing a conclusion. Whether it is a primary source or not is irrelevant. If the source makes a claim about itself, it is a primary source because it is not independent of the final product.

An example, might help hash out these ideas. Let's say I found ThaddeusSoft and write a really awesome p2p program. It quickly gains market share and is written up in a reliable source as a hot new p2p program. The article doesn't mention market share. Some fan of ThaddeusSoft comes here and creates adds ThaddeusSoft to the list of p2p software. No problem so far since this can be verified by the reliable source.
The editor in question goes to and sees that my software is claiming a 20% market share and 10 million users. They add this information to Wikipedia. Now we have a problem because this new claim can't be verified independently.
Suppose instead that the article mentioned also said ThaddeusSoft had gained 20% market share, but didn't mention a specific number of users. In this case, it would be OK to use the 10 million user number on Wikipedia since the primary jist of the claim had been verified, just not the specific details.

Hope that helps. --ThaddeusB (talk) 01:38, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Well i am not sure yet and clarification is really helping here i see where this is all going. Thank you very much for continuing to discuss this and thank you for your time. So from what i see is the issue is interpretation of what you see. Although its obvious for a C (programming language) programmer what the software does its not obvious for the lay person. So lets say for the moment sourceforge is a reliable publisher with oversight. Lets also say for a moment that the language used in the document is not understood by the layperson. Is this still considered to be inappropriate? Is there an obligation for all sources to be understood by everyone? I say this because much of the medical sources used in Wiki are self published with oversight and not understood by someone in the field of medicine. C (programming language) is an English language standard just not understood by all. Deathmolor (talk) 03:16, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Medical sources are or should be peer reviewed, so they're not self-published. We don't interpret primary sources at all. It doesn't matter if it's source code, the Book of Genesis, or Spot the Dog. We just look at what other people say. SF definitely does not guarantee that all software is open source, so they actually don't say anything about particular software projects at all. To hold up a contested claim, one needs to find an established authority on the subject that has published that contested claim.  M  04:57, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure that i completely agree with that assessment of what sourceforge does. They secure the rights to publish the project. They are a company. Within just this screen shot which is on wiki you can see that they review projects available, publish summaries and take any and all claims as far as copyright and remove any offending works. I am no expert but that seems to be a peer review process to me. I am not even sure that SF constitutes self publishing either because to setup a project it must be authorized by the SF team where they approve the project and check for possible conflicts. Although Linker would seem to have been put up within hours it was not the project was actually approved by the SF team at to be published. Deathmolor (talk) 09:26, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
This is the approval form for an open source project to be published. it takes several business days for approval from corporate. They indicate 1) Publish 2) Open Source 3) approval. is the authority in open source. If they are not then no one is. Deathmolor (talk) 09:35, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately what does not help is that google has now been polluted with linker34 hits to wikipedia content. Considering the absence of sources which will not be challenged I would suggest that you concentrate on 'the next thing' rather than dwell on the past. Unomi (talk) 09:23, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Acutually i would rather focus on SF because i do believe it is not what people believe it to be here. If you want to do a more specific search you need to search for WWIV and Linker. USENET is also a much better source for that information and you can search that by selecting groups on google. Using WWIV and Linker in your search you will get a number of hits which are non-wiki related. Please take the time to look. Deathmolor (talk) 09:42, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
This discussion needs to go to your talk page, it's no longer relevant to the article.  M  17:16, 16 May 2009 (UTC) corporation as a reputable publishing source is important as there are other projects in the p2p field which also predate napster on sourceforge besides linker which i may be interested in citing here. So i would like to get a consensus that this is a source with oversight and takes legal responsibility over any and all claims of software they publish. Recently was named in a law suit for its participation in p2p software. [4] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Deathmolor (talkcontribs) 20:58, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
There's already a consensus, the sourceforge ref is invalid. As your link clearly states, sourceforge does not take responsibility.  M  21:10, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
That was one persons opinion and out of context the link is to show proof of the case, the legal context is completely wrong. M please stop for a short time and let other voice their opinions please. You are pushing that button but i am interested in other editors opinions right now. Could i have a discussion with other editors please? I suspect the other editors have already been scared off though. Constant and repeated responses in a disruptive nature seems to deter others from comment. Its sad because i think a very valuable source of information has been silenced I will see what more i can find out to add to this though. Deathmolor (talk) 21:27, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Not sure if you guys are still interested in this. Any source (Usenet, sourceforge) might be reliable for establishing a time line. Generally an announcement made on source forge or Usenet can establish a chronology. I would say that they are weak references. Given no other sources, they are better than none. They are also better when supported by a more traditional reference. Any source can be wrong. It is up to someone to prove/disprove this with other sources. Hopefully a reliable source would itself provide references. I have seen many references from reliable source tied to wiki statements that have nothing to do with the article (or at least none that I can find). I think it is up to editors to be reasonable and not to have a personal opinion in the first place. If a usenet posting contradicts a refereed journal, then it is pretty clear which one is likely to be right. WP:V WP:NOR WP:NPOV Usenet and sourceforge may not establish notability, but that is another concept. Don't beat people up with rules! Bpringlemeir (talk) 16:34, 17 August 2010 (UTC)


If you find any sort of semi-reliable stats, for any network, add them directly to this list the list in the article.  M  23:24, 17 May 2009 (UTC)


The dates in the MMM dd format do not increase readability of the date over MMM/dd format, but the do make it harder for the reader to pick out concretely where the date ends and the sentence begins. The date is not beautiful, but short of turning the whole thing into a table (which makes editing very difficult), it's the best way to separate the date from the wording.  M  05:46, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

yes, mmm dd is much more readable, in addition no one writes dates the way you did, no one has trouble reading dates in every day life this way. This has been complained about before it seems. Dates are clearly separated from the text by hyphens. Kbrose (talk) 21:09, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
You can't distinguish it from the surrounding text, while mmm/dd, for its slash, is immediately obvious as a date. This isn't everyday life.  M  12:03, 28 May 2009 (UTC)


EZTV ( continues to be a very important source of torrents related to television. This is especially true for Television produced in the United States.

Because of this, it should be added to the timeline.

Supexcellency (talk) 01:09, 26 November 2009 (UTC)


Uhm... wow.. No one got the bright idea of including a mention of WinMX? One of the oldest networks. Pretty lazy and pathetic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:38, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

No problem, just do it ;)
mfg, OldDeath (talk) 09:48, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

First BBS[edit]

There is a claim in the article that CBBS was the first BBS. Clearly incorrect as there were numerous BBSs in the previous decade on ArpaNet. Although I was a moderator on one and used others, I can't use that as a source as that would violate WP:OR. I don't know any sources since the ArpaNet was little talked about prior to the DARPA creation. That is why I softened the language to say "an early" instead of "the first." My language is correct no matter what the facts. The current language is debatable. Objective3000 (talk) 01:00, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

I wonder what you define a BBS as? I generally think of it as a dial-in modem pool that is connection oriented with a simple text interface. I know that there were several telnet session type 'BBS's that existed on the Internet. The idea of this reference is that IP based connectivity was not available to many people prior to the 1990s. There were only about 10,000 hosts on the Internet in 1989. Things like AOL, CompuServe, and FidoNet had many more active users. There is a claim in the CBBS article that it is the first BBS. Part of this may be due to a definition of what a BBS is. Some of the pages support this with references; although they do not appear to be high quality references. I think that CBBS could be the first 'direct dial BBS'. As this applies to the history of file sharing, I think that direct dial BBS's were more important to file sharing prior to 1990, especially when combined with phreaking and protocols like ZModem, Sea-link, kermit, etc. If you can find a terse version of this to put in that entry, that is fine by me. Bpringlemeir (talk) 15:55, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
See the article on Bulletin board systems. Most of my points above are noted in the introduction of that article. So if this small claim in the timeline of filesharing is wrong, then so are the articles CBBS and Bulletin board system. If so, we should fix all of them, but I think you need a good rational. Bpringlemeir (talk) 16:13, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

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File:Pro piracy demonstration.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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2014 had some pretty notable news to do with filesharing: ·Pirate Bay raided and down for the longest time in its history. Devs unsure of its future. ·UK ISPs such as BT block hundreds of filesharing sites Some sites only available through TOR network ·ISOhunt shutdown ·Mininova shutdown contains hundreds of very notable stories and events in the filesharing world Elliott Stanley Music (talk) 23:40, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

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