November 18, 2004 12:47 PM PST

Hollywood seeks Internet2 tests, P2P oversight

The Motion Picture Association of America is in talks with the Internet2 research consortium, hoping both to test next-generation video delivery projects and to monitor peer-to-peer piracy on the ultrahigh-speed network.

Internet2 is essentially a vastly faster version of the Internet run by universities and technology companies, aimed at facilitating research into high-bandwidth hardware and applications, and helping researchers who exchange huge amounts of data. Student file-swapping traffic also has found its way onto the network, however.

The MPAA has been talking with the research consortium for several months, with an eye toward possibly joining the Internet2 group as a member, or simply opening up a collaborative relationship.

"We've been working with Internet2 for a while to explore ways we can take advantage of delivering content at these extremely high speeds, and basically manage illegitimate content distribution at the same time," said Chris Russell, the MPAA's vice president of Internet standards and technology. "Those would go hand in hand."

The Internet2 project has shown Hollywood the commercial potential--and the dangers--of a network powerful enough to allow a full DVD to be transferred even faster than an ordinary MP3 might be today.

Recently, researchers successfully sent data from Switzerland to Tokyo at speeds of 7.21 gigabits per second. That was enough speed to transfer a full-length DVD anywhere in the world in less than five seconds, researchers said.

Talks between Internet2 and the Hollywood group have been ongoing for almost a year, following a speech that former MPAA chief Jack Valenti gave to university officials focusing on the problems of piracy and the possibility of having any movie ever made available at a moment's notice.

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