i2hub, a high-speed file-sharing network used by college students to download music and movies, has shut down, CNET.com reported Tuesday. After Grokster, WinMX.com and eDonkey, i2hub is the third major file-sharing service to close or announce that it will close in the past several months.
The move apparently came about because of the network's fear of lawsuits from the entertainment industry, though the network's website, www.i2hub.com, does not say why it has closed its doors. Other than the phrase "Remember i2hub" and the statement "RIP 03.14.1004-11.14.2005," the website is now nearly blank.
It is uncertain whether i2hub's shutting down will actually reduce music or movie piracy.
"[The closing of i2hub] is unlikely to reduce copyright infringement," said Alex Halderman GS, a Ph.D. candidate in computer science who works with professor Ed Felton on issues of digital rights management, privacy and public policy. "If anything, it will just drive it deeper underground, where the entertainment industry will have a harder time tracking it."
i2hub was created in March 2004. It took advantage of the Internet2 research network, operated by many research universities and affiliated institutions and used by students and researchers to share data at high speeds.
This summer, i2hub's legal status became more precarious after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that peer-to-peer networks could be held liable for encouraging or "inducing" piracy of copyrighted material.
Colleges and universities have long been close to the center of the controversy about sharing copyrighted material. Last month, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) launched a new round of copyright infringement lawsuits against college students for piracy, bringing the total number of Princeton students targeted by the RIAA to 32.
The most recent lawsuits focused on students who had illegally distributed copyrighted music via online peer-to-peer services such as Grokster, Kazaa, Limewire and i2hub.
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2005/11/16/13831/