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Internet2 Now an RIAA Target
April 13, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
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The Internet2 project is a collaborative effort among universities, colleges, government and corporate networks designed to implement advanced networking technologies. The project aims to create an extremely high-speed network for the research community, while developing cutting edge applications. The Internet2 project eventually hopes to bring its super-high speed technology to the general public.

With such a high-speed connection, it is not surprising that students residing on university or college networks are taking advantage of this for file-sharing. An Internet2 connection is considerably faster than even a high-speed cable connection, ranging upwards to 655 megabits/sec. Recently, researchers on the Internet2 network successfully sent data from Switzerland to Tokyo at 7.21 gigabits per second - fast enough to download full length DVD in seconds.

According to the RIAA, it takes "less than five minutes for a movie or less than 20 seconds for a song [to download.]"

The RIAA and MPAA have actively been pressuring the Internet2 consortium to either join the network, or play a significant role in its development. Both these organizations have a vested interest in its evolution, considering that P2P file-sharing is finding its way onto Internet2.

A significant portion of file-sharing that exists on Internet2 is coordinated through a centralized hub named "i2hub." Outwardly, i2Hub is not typical file-sharing or P2P network. It advertises itself as a central meeting point for university and college students share ideas, collaborate on research or assignments, or to simply chat.

However according to the RIAA, it has become a major file-sharing network capable of massive copyright infringement. In response to this growing trend of piracy on Internet2, the RIAA has sued 405 students at 18 universities who allegedly engaged in infringing activities on i2hub. The RIAA states those who were sued shared a combined total of 1.5 million songs.

“This next generation of the Internet is an extraordinarily exciting tool for researchers, technologists and many others with valuable legitimate uses,” said Cary Sherman, President, RIAA. “Yet, we cannot let this high-speed network become a zone of lawlessness where the normal rules don’t apply. We have worked very constructively with the university community, improving educational efforts at colleges across the country, expanding partnerships between schools and legal online services and providing a clearinghouse for expertise on technological anti-piracy solutions. We cannot let rampant illegal downloading on Internet2 jeopardize this collaborative work. By taking this initial action, we are putting students and administrators everywhere on notice that there are consequences for unlawful uses of this special network.”

Like much of their lawsuit campaign so far, the RIAA will be targeting those who share the most material. According the RIAA, the average file-sharer on i2hub had 2,300 songs available. Amazingly, some students had as many as 72,700 files available, however this total was a combination of mp3, audio and software.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Legal/Courtroom :: Individual Lawsuits
Entertainment Industry :: RIAA
Unauthorized Distribution :: Digital Piracy

You can read the RIAA's press release here.

You can discuss this article here - 34 replies

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