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     OFF System
OFF System Logo"The Owner Free Filing System (OFF System) is a peer-to-peer distributed file system through which all shared files are represented by randomized data blocks. The system is referred to as a brightnet to contrast its method of operation with that of private file sharing systems known as darknets. OFF was created with the expressed intention 'to cut off some gangrene-infested bits of the copyright industry.'

How it works

The OFF System works on essentially the same principle as a one time pad commonly used for encrypting messages during World War II. A block of random numbers is associated to a cypher key. Because the numbers in the data block are random, only the key gives them meaning. This allows the same block to be used with multiple keys to represent different parts of different messages.

The OFF System is an online system for storing random data in 128 Kilobyte blocks. Using a link, these random bits of data may then be reassembled into any given file. What is interesting is that one given block may be usable in an infinite number of files for reconstruction purposes, thus making it impossible for anyone to claim that any one block should fall under their copyright. No data stored in the system is encrypted, compressed, or split into chunks, because it does not represent the original data inserted to begin with.

Because a computer file can be represented as one, long binary number, the same method can be applied to anonymize the storage of computer data and avoid the transmission of copyrighted material.

Transmission of non-copyrighted material

Because the same random data blocks can be used to represent portions of various copyrighted works, and only the combination of the various data blocks with the key allows the copyrighted material to be accessed, there is no actual transmission of copyrighted material. All retrieval of creative works is done exclusively on the user's local machine. More importantly, no copies of a creative work ever need to be made. All works can be accessed in-place and on-demand by locally resident software in the same way that traditional file servers are used.

When a work is added to the OFF System, a unique URL is generated. Should the person who stored the work want to allow access to others, he simply gives them the URL. The receiver can then access the work in-place without needing to make a copy. This is identical to the way that iTunes allows friends to play each others music via streaming without copying." --Wikipedia

     Home Page
     Download (Sourceforge)
     Brightnets vs. Darknets
     OFF System Development
     Technical Overview of OFF
     Mathematical principles behind the OFF System (pdf)
     Wikipedia: OFF System
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