Prime-Time Hypermedia
Subject:   HTTP Swarming
Date:   2004-08-10 23:55:56
From:   gojomo
HTTP range requests don't just allow random access to rich media; they also are one step towards using HTTP to swarm-download big files from multiple sources, including peers.

See for example the specs collected at:

So, a random small fry with a popular big file could put it on their underpowered, underprovisioned HTTP server -- but then as it grows in popularity various other HTTP mirrors, including end-user P2P caches, would pick up the load.

It's not exactly the same thing, but the Coral HTTP-based content-distribution-network (CDN) is also interesting: