Adob2p: can Adobe do for web p2p what it did for web video?

GigaOM considers Adobe and its P2P Ambitions.

By adding just-good-enough video playback to its ubiquitous Flash plug-in, Adobe solved web video in a way that years of clunky software from Real, Apple, and Microsoft did not, making YouTube and its ilk possible.

Now Adobe is dropping hints a p2p engine, perhaps the Kontiki system now owned by Verisign, could be bundled with its Flash player. As the first commenter at GigaOM notes, Adobe's internet distribution power, via its installed base, is second only to Microsoft.

I've wanted a p2p distribution mesh well-integrated with the web for years. I thought it'd arrive via some open source server-side extensions ("ap2pache"?) and an enhanced browser (Firefox extension?) capable of seamlessly peerloading resources via location-agnostic identifiers. But I'll take ubiquitous p2p as part of a proprietary plug-in, if that's what it takes.

The interesting question is: would the resulting p2p distribution capability be open to anyone with popular content, regardless of license or commercial status? Or will Adobe/Kontiki charge a toll to participate? The barriers for anyone to use Flash video seem negligible -- a good precedent. However, I don't know the full details, and if by chance Adobe thinks it deserved more of a payback from Flash video's runaway success, it might try harder to charge for using its next new Flash-bundled functionality.

One plug-in to rule them all?

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