SkyRider aims to monetize P2P

Mountain View based stealth P2P company SkyRider formally announced their company’s existence today but was maddeningly vague about what they will actually do when they launch this fall. The company, which is headed by former Cisco CTO Edward Kozel and has received funding from Sequoia Capital and Charles River, says it will enable the commercialization of P2P software through search keyword marketing and the creation of of software on top of P2P.

What does that mean? The company’s site and press release focus entirely on how desirable P2P monetization is. Some possible clues I’ve found are that SkyRider has the same investors, PR company and voice mail as another company, CRight Inc. which has been quietly identified months ago as an anti-piracy system. (Update: I’ve confirmed that CRight changed its name to SkyRider effective today. More when available.) Does this mean that SkyRider will offer software to enable P2P networks to detect and block illegal file sharing on their systems? That certainly would make many businesses more comfortable doing business by P2P. It may also be a means of searching across P2P networks, according to Silicon Beat, presumably for legal content. Om Malik says that though the company is mum about its technology, it will help P2P content get out of it’s current siloed state.

Several weeks ago we profiled a project called “Johny” from Guba that purports to detect copyrighted video on media sharing sites and RedSwoosh, a bittorent-like service for distributing large files. It will be interesting to see if SkyRider ends up offering anything like either of what these two companies are doing.

Update: I’m now told that my guess is wrong, that there is legacy technology from CRight at play in SkyRider but that it’s not fundamentally about blocking anything. Presumably this just means that this is just one of many features on its way. Today’s ambiguous press release certainly has caused a buzz, we’ll see if SkyRider lives up to it all this fall.