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Coming Soon: Opera vs the Music Industry

By June 17, 2009

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Opera kicked up a nice little dust cloud yesterday in announcing a new technology named Opera Unite that will allow the Opera browser to act as a limited web server. According to the press release, Opera Unite will allow users to share information and files on their computer without the need for third-party servers, which means Opera can serve up files, photos, music and even act as a web server.

As cool as this sounds, my first thought was: "How hard is the music industry going to throw down the hammer on this?" After all, they haven't been too fond of any other peer-to-peer file sharing service, so they won't be greeting Opera's announcement with open arms.

I'm sure we are in for some saber rattling pretty soon, which may very well take the form of lawsuits and injunctions and crazy legalese.

As for Opera Unite, I have to admit, it sounds pretty cool. I think it is a little redundant in areas. Flickr is still a better place to share photos. And web hosting? There are free options out there that would be fine depending upon your need, and professional hosting is actually pretty cheap. The big drawback to using Opera Unite? What if you want to (gasp) turn your computer off.

But considering the number of services offered, like the Lounge which will be your own private chat server and the Fridge which lets you leave post-its for your friends, Opera Unite could be a pretty cool tool to add to the shed.

A larger issue will be whether or not Opera Unite opens the door for hackers. Opera Unite uses a secure sandbox security model, but any folders mounted onto the virtual drive may be vulnerable.

Still, I think this is a great move by Opera. Internet Explorer's market share is slipping, Firefox's addons make it perhaps the most flexible and useful browser on the market, and Chrome is a speed demon. Opera needed something to give people a reason to use it, and Opera Unite sounds like a pretty good reason.

June 18, 2009 at 12:23 pm
(1) Web Design Los Angeles says:

A represntative from Opera recently explained “Opera does not monitor your data,” meaning that they will not have an active role in locating infringning material on Unite. A spokeswoman explained that if the illegal sharing of copyrighted material is discovered, they will ask the user(s) to remove this material. This does not seem like a very effective way of discouraging the use of Unite as an illegal file sharing program.


June 18, 2009 at 9:23 pm
(2) Hector Macias Ayala says:

“Opera needed something to give people a reason to use it, and Opera Unite sounds like a pretty good reason.”

Opera already has tons of reasons for people to use it, just everything the others offer was invented by these europeans, and many other things they don’t. ie Firesucks is gonna offer bookmark sync between different Pcs, thats so ooooold, somebody needs to tell them thats old news, weve been doing that for so long in Opera.

June 19, 2009 at 12:01 pm
(3) Donna says:

I love Opera and would hate to see this indtroduced in light of yesterdays huge music infringement judgement. Merely having it on your computer will probably get you sued by the Greedy RIAA. I’ll upgrade Opera until the file sharing starts, then in fear of my and my heir’s futures, I’ll have to stop.

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