Being that I'm into all the techno stuff myself, I understand how folks are caught on public networks, but how is the RIAA catching people on Internet2 if it's a closed connection? Any ideas?
"The entertainment industry took another swipe at file traders on college campuses on Tuesday, saying that it will sue students who use Internet2, the high speed research and education network, to share copyright materials.
The Recording Industry Association of America will file 405 lawsuits against individuals at 18 colleges across the country on Wednesday. The RIAA is targeting those who use a file sharing application called i2hub to distribute music on a "massive scale," said RIAA president Cary Sherman.
At the same time, the Motion Picture Association of America is filing "several lawsuits" against file traders on college campuses, according to a press release issued on Tuesday morning.
Internet2 is a closed network that allows universities to share large files for research purposes. The i2hub software allows for lightening-quick downloads: Less than 20 seconds for a song and less than five minutes for a movie, Sherman said.
The software is a peer-to-peer, file-sharing application developed for "student collabortion" on Internet2, according to the i2hub website. "I2hub is the conduit in which students across the globe connect to share ideas, collaborate and form social networks in a real-time environment never before achieved," the site says.
Internet2 "as been hijacked for illegal purposes," Sherman said. For some reason, he said, students have considered i2hub as "a safe zone for illegal activity."
Sherman would not say how the group tracked down the alleged infringers.
According to the RIAA, those targeted distributed on average more than 3,900 files, such as audio, software and video. Music accounted for the majority of trades. Some alleged traders shared as many as 72,000 total files, the RIAA said.
The RIAA sent letters to university presidents alerting them to the lawsuits, and asking them for help in combating illegal file trading. Sherman said that the group is asking the schools to consider filtering and bringing legitimate music services to their campuses.
"We would hope they would be a little more proactive in identifying these problems," Sherman said.
Those sued in this first round against i2hub users include students at Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon and the University of California-Berkeley, among others. The RIAA is limiting the number of students sued to 25 per campus, though it has evidence of even more infringement.
Sherman said the trade group has collected evidence at another 140 schools in 41 states.
The RIAA is not targeting the company that developed i2hub. The RIAA said it is waiting for the outcome of the Grokster case recently heard by the Supreme Court. In that case, entertainment companies want two operators of file sharing services -- Grokster and StreamCast Networks -- to be held liable for the copyright infringement of their users. A decision is expected this summer.
Since it began its lawsuit campaign in September 2003, the music trade group has sued more than 9,000 file sharers, including a 12-year-old girl and computer-illiterate grandparents. Many have settled out of court for between $3,000 and 5,000. "