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How is LBRY different from "decentralized" websites, like BitChute or DTube?

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There are a number of web-based digital content sites, such as BitChute, DTube, DLive, or many others that claim to be some form of decentralized, censorship-resistant, or peer-to-peer.

There are a number of differences between LBRY and any specific platform, but there are two vital differences common to all of them:

  1. They all still have a single, centralized control point, typically their website.
  2. They all rely on the assumption that a single entity will continue to act benevolently for all time.

Why is that worse?

Let’s look at the differences through an example, Bitchute.

For each video, BitChute creates a corresponding torrent, that is supposed to decentralize the hosting of the data (though this is disputed).

However, let’s assume that there are magically enough people who download and continue to host these torrents, for free. All of the metadata and the entire user-experience is still entirely wrapped up in BitChute.

There is no alternative client. There is no data network that users are actively participating in (unless the video is open). If BitChute, goes down, or closes, or is taken over by censorious scolds (or the rent-extractors), the whole thing is gone. No one can even make another copy of it, because the source is closed.

Additionally, a single point of censorship means those around the world who would attempt to ban facts because they find them inconvenient have a clear place to go and ban them.

How is LBRY better?

In the case of LBRY:

  • You can access and use LBRY in a truly decentralized, peer-to-peer way. Via LBRY Desktop, anyone in the world can access the LBRY network without relying on LBRY Inc. servers or machinery.
  • If LBRY ever turns evil, all code is open-source and anyone in the world (okay, mainly nerds) could develop and release their own version with minimal effort. Hundreds of people have contributed to LBRY, the vast majority as volunteers.
  • Anyone in the world can run their own version of lbry.tv or make their own LBRY app, completely separate from us and without our permission.

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