November 14, 2005 5:30 PM PST

Supercharged college P2P network closes

A file-swapping network that let college students download movies and music at blazing speeds on the Internet2 research network has closed its doors, the latest casualty of entertainment industry legal pressure.

The i2Hub network emerged in early 2004, taking advantage of the supercharged network that connects college campuses to let students trade files at speeds far faster than is possible on the ordinary Internet.

But the service, which had also expanded into less controversial legal territory such as textbook exchange and dating, had increasingly been a target of record labels and movie studios cracking down on piracy. Individuals using the network have already been sued for copyright infringement, and i2Hub itself was one of a handful of networks threatened with potential legal action by the Recording Industry Association of America in September.

I2Hub founder Wayne Chang declined to comment on the network's closure, citing potential legal concerns. Visitors to the service's Web site on Monday found a nearly blank page with the terse message: "R.I.P. 11.14.2005"

The entertainment industry's legal hand was bolstered this summer by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said peer-to-peer networks could not encourage or "induce" piracy in any way without risking legal liability.

Executives at MetaMachine, the company that distributes the eDonkey file-swapping software, the most popular such peer-to-peer network in the world, have said they plan to change their business into a paid music download service.

Grokster, the file-swapping software company that gave its name to the Supreme Court, also shut down last week after a settlement with the RIAA and Hollywood studios.

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Who pays?
I definitely don't condone using swapping networks for exchange of copyrighted materials (music, movies, software, etc.), but I think that a swapping service for universities has its place. The sharing of student or faculty generated works and research between universities can be beneficial. But, the question is, how do you police a file swapping network? All of that aside, the point that I take issue with the most is the fact that I imagine a fair amount of my tax money was used to build Internet2 and I want it to be used for education and research, as I think it was meant to be used.
Posted by (4 comments )
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Tuition
I pay 42 grand a year for college. It's not coming out of your tax dollars.
Posted by tatyanab (2 comments )
Link Flag
back in the day
People will always pirate things, regardless i remember back in the day when they had just created an "mp3" they would upload them to geocities, for you to download, but then they decided to crack down on mp3z, so they would name then song.zip, and you would have to rename them .mp3, it will always go on, the best thing for hollywood to do instead of restrict it, is to try to market it, look at apple, they are doing excellent with itunes, why not movies the day they hit the theatres???
Posted by digitallysick (103 comments )
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Because
the theater owners need to be paid and the studios need to recoup
the money spent on the movie. Theater revenues might be smaller
overall than they used to be, but they still account for goodly sized
chunk of a movies revenues.
Posted by nightveil (133 comments )
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Who truely suffers in this?
To think because I downloaded this one song this week that Justin Timberlake(just a random superstar nothing personal justin) will not be able to put gold handles on his bently this week. Or because I downloaded Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, Mr. Johnny Depp will have to wait a week before he can go to his private island in the Bahamas. We are seriously ruining these people's lives. They cant build there 100 foot deep pools or buy their multimillion dollar mansions if we continue to download and freely exchange music, movies and programs. I am a college student. Right now my finance are so limited that I can barely afford to do my laundry. When I manage to save some money I like to go the movies. Which do basically cost $10 now and thats with popcorn or soda. But I enjoy myself. And there are hundreds of millions of people who do the same. But if I really strapped for cash because I need to pay for o lets say college tution, rent, car, and food I would like to be able to download the movie. Things thats are downloaded off the internet are never a good a quality as seeing them live. That is a fact. I enjoy concerts, movies and non-pirated software cause they are live and are of a much better quality. But this crusade against downloading is unpatriotic and futher more it holds back technology from progessing. In the privacy of my own home, on my computer, on the internet which I have to 50 dollars a month to use, I should be in liberty to access any information avilable to me. If the RIAA keeps on killing off this service providers we will soon be left with nothing but the news to read online. There are so many more use for the internet then the news. My final point in this matter is if the musicians say they do for the love of the music, then why the law suits?
Posted by dwosilverdragon (1 comment )
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