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RIAA Cracks Down on Internet2 File Sharing 633

Daverd writes "Hundreds of students at 18 universities nation-wide have had lawsuits filed against them by the RIAA for filesharing over Internet2." The official RIAA Press Release and commentary at MSNBC is also available. From the article: "i2Hub has been seen as a safe haven, and what we wanted to do was puncture that misconception," said Cary Sherman, president of the RIAA. "This has been a subversion of the research purposes for which Internet2 was developed."
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RIAA Cracks Down on Internet2 File Sharing

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  • by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:17PM (#12216773) Journal
    Yes, we all hate the *AA's but they were breaking the law, and bastardizing a research network.
    • Actually it's a good stress test for the network. If the gateway machines had QoS running to let P2P stuff "mop up" available bandwidth, that is.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:26PM (#12216888)
      I believe you meant to say:
      "Yes, we all hate the *AA's *AND* they were breaking the law, and bastardizing a research network."

      The RIAA is not an academic/research institution, and therefore had no business being on the I2 to monitor file sharing activity in the first place. They were abusing the network and probably breaking laws governing access to restricted computer systems to be on there at all.

      But of course we all know it's perfectly all right to break in to other peoples' private networks, as long as you've got plenty of money and lawyers and lobbyists to back you up.
    • by Grym ( 725290 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:26PM (#12216894)

      Yes, we all hate the *AA's but they were breaking the law, and bastardizing a research network.

      I agree completely... I know I, for one, can now rest easily knowing that the long arm of the RIAA's corporate law enforcement division is patroling Internet2...


    • by Zutfen ( 841314 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:29PM (#12216938) Homepage
      Those ~5-8 mb files are like shooting BB's down an aircraft hanger!!

      Seriously, if I had "Internet2" at my disposal, I could most certainly find something more productive (6 CD Linux install in a few seconds? Yes please.)or at the very least more illegal to do with it than download a lot of crappy music!
    • by shadowmatter ( 734276 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:31PM (#12216967)
      bastardizing a research network

      Yeah right. Aside from using it to test some pretty fancy high speed protocols [], the Internet2 in general is really nothing more than a fast pipe for college students to download music on, insulated from the original Internet by BGP. You never see an academic conference requiring "tests on the Internet2" because its geographic concentration is entirely in North America [] and its speed is totally beyond anything you see in the real Internet; that is why everyone wants PlanetLab [] instead.

      - sm
      • What's very interesting is that many comments have been made for how P2P scales or doesn't scale, especially if it's partly decentralized, fully decentralized, encrypted, and/or anonymized beyond immediate neighbors.

        Why is this NOT a legitimate use of I2? Sure, copyright violations are illegal either way, but, if I2 is not very efficient for me to snag Slackware via torrents, then perhaps bittorrent could be improved to function better over higher-bandwidth connections.
    • by Ingenium13 ( 162116 ) <ingenium&gmail,com> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:33PM (#12216985) Homepage
      I am a student at the University of Pittsburgh, and all traffic from residence halls, no matter what it is, is automatically routed over the Internet2 when it is to another university. We do not have an upload cap for this traffic. For all traffic to the "regular Internet", if a connection is made to us, our upload and download speed over that connection is limited to 500 bytes/second or slower. This makes tasks such as AIM Direct Connect useless, and even useful features such as SSH are almost too slow for use. However, any Internet2 traffic, even as an incoming connection to me, runs at several MB/sec upload and download (essentially the full 100mbps connection).

      I2hub is used extensively here, and there has been no issues with bandwidth that I am aware of. If it was an issue, the university has shown they have the capabilities to put restrictions in place. Personally, I use i2hub to get legal files (such as Linux ISO images or the TV show that aired last night that I missed, though this is controversial) because the download speed is so fast.

      This is not abusing the research network; rather, it is using a network with extreme amounts of bandwidth that would otherwise go unused.
      • or the TV show that aired last night that I missed, though this is controversial

        No, it's not controversial, it's illegal. There is no greay area here whatsoever - unauthorized distribution of copyright material is illegal. The TV show is copyrighted, the copyright holder has not granted you permission to download it (or the sender to upload it).

        Whether it should be illegal is of course up for debate, but it is.
        • Except that he's not distributing copyrighted material. He's time shifting publicly broadcasted material, which is a right explicitly granted under copyright.
        • It IS legal to tape a TV program for a friend and share it with them them . . . err, at least in the country I currently live in, Canada. It has certainly been legal for quite some time in the States to tape TV programs for yourself [], so it's a grey area as to whether you can distribute them afterwards . . . yes, in the case of downloading TV programs it's currently considered illegal, however, enough various legislation that it would be a tough case to call, if someone downloaded a program that they misse
        • by Yartrebo ( 690383 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @07:58PM (#12218543)
          This post is the copyrighted property of me. You may only make one copy of this post for personal use. Any additional copies, such as that made by your browser cache, in the registers of your CPU, or on your retina are a violation of copyright law.

          Because I'm a nice guy, I'll make it easy on you. Pay me $5,000 and promise not to do it again, and I'll let you off the hook.
      • Personally, I use i2hub to get legal files (such as Linux ISO images or the TV show that aired last night that I missed, though this is controversial) because the download speed is so fast.

        I can attest to the enforcement of the distributing of TV shows. I got the following lovely notice about a year ago from our friends at the RIAA- after getting a Star Trek Enterprise episode off of bittorrent:

        We have received information that, at the above noted date and time, the IP address [removed] was used to off

    • by pilgrim23 ( 716938 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:44PM (#12217145)
      Actually this IS a research project! For years scientists have pushed poor mice through mazes with little to show (for the mouse), but some cheese and confusion. Here we shoot MP3's down a digital pipe and log the time it takes for "Weasels In Suits" (tm) to come sniffing for money. The abstract for the eventual paper resulting from this might finally explain some of the more perplexing issues surrounding weasel in suits behavior... The paper could have graphs for such things as: "press conference exposure ratio". You could maybe do a full study on the number of times names are reused in Word documents ( W.I.S. are notorious for failing to clear mark-up changes in Word documents). I see doctoral thesis material written large all over this..
    • by fafalone ( 633739 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:48PM (#12217185)
      That does not give the *AA the right to use extortionary techniques to threaten University's into installing filtering devices that hurt legitimate Internet2 uses (including research) and suppress the rights of students to use applications such as i2hub for legitimate purposes (like here at UMiami). It does not give them the right to access a private network they are not authorized to access, although they claim to have done it legally, but according to TFA, the exec of I2 says they were not given access. The whole lawsuit thing in general is extortionary... "give us money or else your legal fees when we bring you into court will be far higher." And furthermore, "bastardization of a research network"? Last analysis I looked at showed file sharing did not interfere with research activities, because there's just so damn much bandwidth, bandwidth to dorms is typically throttled according to the academic usage, and peak activity occurs at a different time of day.

      Vigilante justice, extortion, and unauthorized access of a private network are not tactics that are justifiable regardless of whether the people you are after are breaking the law.
    • by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs AT ajs DOT com> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @06:16PM (#12217494) Homepage Journal
      Hey, more power to 'em! I hope they sue a few thousand more people.

      Best thing the RIAA can do now is convince everyone to buy music only direct from artists with an agreement that file-sharing is cool. The RIAA can feel free to up the timetable on that process all they like.
  • true (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MankyD ( 567984 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:17PM (#12216777) Homepage
    "This has been a subversion of the research purposes for which Internet2 was developed."
    Let me know if you disagree, but actually, this is true.
    • Re:true (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:19PM (#12216811)
      well screw you, I'm gonna go make an Internet3. With gambling and hookers.
    • by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:25PM (#12216873) Homepage
      Since when is it the RIAA's job to enforce the Internet2 terms of service (or spirit or whatever)? Has Internet2 actually complained about all the file sharing?
    • Re:true (Score:5, Interesting)

      by kenthorvath ( 225950 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:32PM (#12216970)

      Not necessarily. I don't see any reason why i2 couldn't be used to develop secure, anonymous, and impervious to lawsuit P2P networks, a lá freenet (but maybe with a more "gnutellish" interface). But then, architectural issues aside, I'm sure that no publicly funded research is undertaken for the sole purpose of copyright infringement. Here's hoping that there is other stuff on that hub that (legally) justifies its existence.

      On a related note, anyone who hasn't read Lawrence Lessig's "Free Culture" and has strong oppinions on the topic of filesharing and copyrights owes it to themselves to read this wonderful book. It really gives alot of background to the debate, and puts to rest alot of myths that the major copyright owners would have you buy into. More info at [].

    • Re:true (Score:3, Informative)

      by noahm ( 4459 )
      "This has been a subversion of the research purposes for which Internet2 was developed."

      Let me know if you disagree, but actually, this is true.

      The thing is, though, the way most sites do their routing, if you're at an I2 site (most major US univerities) and communicating with some other I2 site you're using I2 whether you're doing research or not. All internet traffic between e.g. MIT and Cal Tech goes over I2 whether it's research or P2P. So you really can't get on anybody's case for treating

    • Re:true (Score:3, Interesting)

      I don't think internet2 was designed solely as a research network. Looking at i2's site [], you can see their stated goals which will probably change over time:
      • Create a leading edge network capability for the national research community
      • Enable revolutionary Internet applications
      • Ensure the rapid transfer of new network services and applications to the broader Internet community.

      P2P software falls under the last two points fairly well. I'm not saying it's right to download unauthorized copyrighted works,

  • by isd_glory ( 787646 ) * on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:17PM (#12216783)
    Who didn't see it coming? It was bound to happen.

    You just cant keep 100 TB of files "hidden" for all that long. Considering all the press [] it got last year, I'm surprised it has even lasted even this long.

    Also, don't forget our friends in the MPAA. In a short post [] by the author of the article: "According to the RIAA, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) will be announcing similar action later today."

    In case you don't read the article, here are the universities in question: Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Drexel University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, New York University, Ohio State University, Princeton University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at San Diego, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of Pittsburgh and the University of Southern California.
    Go RIT!
    • by John Seminal ( 698722 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:34PM (#12216998) Journal
      I see MIT listed, but no Cal-Tech. I guess the guys at Cal-Tech are either more honest and only buy music and never share, or they don't get caught.

      BTW, I also see Harvard and Princeton. I like that. Those are the guys who are damn good at shit like Law and turning a simple argument into a 5 year long case.

      Harvard Student: "But your Honor, we have not examined how this law relates to the 1892 Kapskern case"
      Judge: "Kapskern??"
      Harvard Student: "Yes, it set a precident about if the tomatoe is a fruit or vegitable, and there are many parallels between that question and the question of sharing music".
      Judge: Irrelevent, find something else.
      Harvard Student: We motion for a continuance so we can file an appeal to this decision.
      Judge: Case postponed for appelate review, we'll recovien in 4 months.

      • by vivin ( 671928 ) <vivin.paliath@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:46PM (#12217167) Homepage Journal
        Or how about:

        Harvard Student: Ladies and gentlemen of the supposed jury, The RIAA's attorney would certainly want you to believe that I downloaded copyrighted material through the internet2. And they make a good case. Hell, I almost felt pity myself! But ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider: Ladies and gentlemen this [pointing to a picture of Chewbacca] is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk, but Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now, think about that. That does not make sense! Why would a Wookiee--an eight foot tall Wookiee--want to live on Endor with a bunch of two foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense!

        And so on and so forth...
      • Re:No Cal-Tech?? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by deblau ( 68023 ) <> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @06:18PM (#12217512) Journal
        Harvard Student: We motion for a continuance so we can file an appeal to this decision.

        What will happen is probably more like:

        Judge: Motion denied, and here is an 11(c)(1)(B) motion [] for you to show cause why I shouldn't smack your ass around for causing unnecessary delay [].

        Yes, I know you were making a joke, but I'm taking Civil Procedure, and we just covered sanctions.

        Completely OT: the Supreme Court declared the tomato a vegetable in Nix v. Hedden, 149 U.S. 304 (1893) [], in response to a dispute over the Tariff Act of 1883, which taxed vegetables but not fruits.

    • And here's MPAA Looks to Sniff Internet2 Traffic for Sharers [].

      There was a really good comment in there about how some guy who was an admin on I2 kept getting bogus threat letters from the **AA's, to IPs that had never even existed. A mod up (next time I get points) to the person who finds it!
      • by me at werk ( 836328 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:44PM (#12217142) Homepage Journal
        Too late! MPAA "sniffing" is a laughingstock [].

        I work for a research institution. We have an Internet 2 connection. I'm the security guy, and (as if that ain't enough work) I sysadmin the mail exchangers, including maintaining anti-spam and anti-virus there. If you send email to the abuse or postmaster addresses at our site, I get it. If you send email to our domain contact about a security or abuse matter, he forwards it to me, and I answer it.

        We get complaints every once in a while from the MPAA or their lackeys, claiming that some host on our network is sharing copies of movies -- The Matrix, Harry Potter, Star Wars: Revenge of George Lucas's Crack Pipe ... you name it.

        Here's the funny thing: they're all wrong.

        I'm not doing all the work for you, click the link.
  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by ayn0r ( 771846 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:17PM (#12216785)
    ...RIAA was concerned about that Internet2 wasn't used for research only, and 'decided to help'. How kind of them...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:20PM (#12216819)
    There is also an official press release from the people at i2hub, here: df [].

    i2hub doesn't host any files centrally, nor do they keep any indexes of files on the network, so they should be fine. P2P lives on another day.
  • by nebaz ( 453974 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:20PM (#12216824)
    How did the RIAA get access to Internet2 to begin with?
  • by MoonFacedAssassin ( 539728 ) * on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:20PM (#12216825)
    Oh! Thank goodness! RIAA to the rescue again! I was losing so much sleep over this and cannot fathom people sharing files.


    Oooh...the Star Wars Episode 3 soundtrack is finished downloading...BRB!
  • by John Seminal ( 698722 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:24PM (#12216861) Journal
    Is there a second internet, or is it something like bittorrent or some small group that runs on top of the internet? Is it like what the french have?
  • by TsukasaZero ( 850187 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:24PM (#12216862)
    "This is Lars Ulrich, drummer of Metallica. Last week, he purchased a gold plated shark table to be installed in his basement club. But because of file sharers, he has to wait another week. This is the home of P. Miller, his wife, and his 4 year old son. All little TImmy wanted was an island in French Polynesia with giraffes and wild horses running free. But this year, he'll have to settle for his own island in the Bahamas with white Siberian tigers." -South Park, changed a bit. The students did do wrong though. 19535^13 megabits per second should not be used to share One Night In Paris.
  • Awww heck. (Score:5, Funny)

    by k4_pacific ( 736911 ) <{k4_pacific} {at} {}> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:27PM (#12216913) Homepage Journal
    Time to tear it down and start working on Internet3.
  • Invites? (Score:5, Funny)

    by tektek ( 829733 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:28PM (#12216926) Homepage
    Does anyone have any invites for Internet 3?
  • by Kethinov ( 636034 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:28PM (#12216927) Homepage Journal
    Slashdot Headline, 2010: RIAA cracks down on all network protocols.

    In their everlasting and Glorious Crusade against music piracy, the RIAA has successfully lobbied congress to make the entire concept of networking illegal, as it has the potential to violate music copyright. Also covered by this broad new bill passed by congress are all forms of LAN protocols such as NFS and Samba. Computers will no longer be allowed to exchange information in any way.

    Also covered by the bill is the /bin/cp binary on unix systems, CD and DVD burning devices, pens and pencils, and the freedom to hum and whistle tunes. The RIAA is working hard to enforce a mandatory cutting of vocal cords of all new babies born in the US, and the amputation of their arms so as to make their ability to infringe on Holy Copyrights more difficult.

    RIAA expects total victory over the human race within ten years.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:30PM (#12216942)
    From the article it said that they weren't divulging how they got this information.

    I don't think that the schools are ratting people out because of liability reasons (if the school is monitoring the network, then they have to report EVERY illegal action they see. If they don't monitor the network, then they don't have to report anything... )

    The RIAA is certainly not a research institution, and if they are trying to get access to internet2 to "test" it for content delivery, then I can see an argument, but I think the (obvious) real motivation is just to catch filesharers. And that is morally wrong. Even if the filesharers are breaking a law, two wrongs don't make a right.

    I'm not sure who is in charge of internet2, but I sure would like to hear that organization tell the RIAA that they're not welcome on internet2 if they're just going to spy on people. If the RIAA starts spending money on new (open) technologies and provides test services for students and researchers, etc... then that might be something. Until then, the RIAA should stay off internet2.
  • by bkissi01 ( 699085 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:30PM (#12216950)
    Back in November of '04 the RIAA petitioned to become a member of the Internet2 community. I don't know if they ever got their own network connection, but I remember them asking for one.
  • by maxpublic ( 450413 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:32PM (#12216973) Homepage
    ...when no matter how hard they try, no matter how many laws they buy, no matter how many sleazy tactics they pull, the amount of music shared over the internet keeps *increasing* rather than decreasing. From 12-year-old girls to 72-year-old grannies, everyone seems to be getting in on the game and no amount of whining/threatening/suing by the RIAA is making so much as a dent in the traffic.

    Seems it's time to re-evaluate the situation and see if the law - and perhaps someone's business model - is in need of change.

    (cue RIAA apologists)

  • by kingjosh ( 792336 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:33PM (#12216989)
    Ok, there is a way to beat this cartel [] at their own game. It's like diamonds, similarly run by cartels. You see, when a person gives their whole life mining nice, beautiful diamonds, they get only pennies . . . the pay for the people actually producing the diamonds is very little. The cartel that runs the industry, and the owners of the diamond companies make all the money.

    Music, unlike diamonds, does not rely on a natural resource. I've yet to figure out why the hell people just don't switch to independent music. You'd be amazed at how good this type of music really is. You can go to a show for $0.00 to $10.00, RECORD it if you want, TRADE it at will usually, and the MAJORITY of the money goes to the artists!

    The key here is that the MUSIC INDUSTRY is SUING the people IN COLLEGE who should simply REVOLUTIONIZE the industry! Go to your local jam band concerts, frequent the college shows, screw the big labels, use your own mind and broaden it. If the money goes independent, then so will the artists. And the artists who want to keep making sixty cents for every ten bucks their parent company makes can go right ahead. They're done getting my money.

    • by AceCaseOR ( 594637 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:38PM (#12217045) Homepage Journal

      Catch: What if there is a band signed to a label that you like. It doesn't matter if it's U2, or Bon Jovi, or Def Leppard, or Jethro Tull, or Rush. They're signed. And if they put out a new album, you're frelled.

      That's the whole problem with the whole "ditch the RIAA and all their artists" thing. Some people like some of the bands that have been signed.
      • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @06:27PM (#12217607)
        Catch: What if there is a band signed to a label that you like. It doesn't matter if it's U2, or Bon Jovi, or Def Leppard, or Jethro Tull, or Rush. They're signed. And if they put out a new album, you're frelled.

        Exactly. I've tried listening to some stuff on and some other places, but just haven't heard anything I really like. It doesn't help that I don't seem to like any kind of newer American music: most of my favorite stuff is 70's-80's rock and heavy metal, and a large amount of European heavy metal. Of course, I don't like much RIAA stuff either, but my favorite bands are all 15+ years old, so they're well established and of course, RIAA signed, so if I want copies of their new albums, I either have to download them illegally or buy them at RIAA prices.

        If I do buy any CDs, I always get them used, so at least I'm not directly supporting the RIAA (except by helping maintain the value of CDs after first sale), but I absolutely refuse to buy any CDs that have copy protection.
  • Sneaker net? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vidarlo ( 134906 ) <> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:35PM (#12217007) Homepage

    If I take a Maxtor [] 300GB portable usb drive, plugs it into my pc, loads up with movies, and ships of to a friend? Huge capcity, overnight, or in a few days at least. And besides, ??AA has no real chance of uncovering such transfers.

    Well, realistically. What about VPN? Having hard [] encryption [] easily obtainable, it should be trivial to share files with friends. If a key is signed by a large enough number of friends, trust it. Otherwise, discard. If a p2p net included strong cryptographi, and trust levels and/or ratings to users, it would be far more difficult for ??AA to eavesdrop those connections. At very least, they'd have to build up a trust, which would probably mean sharing...

    • Re:Sneaker net? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by cpt kangarooski ( 3773 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @06:03PM (#12217338) Homepage
      With regards to the trust system you describe, there is already some research along those lines with regards to defeating file spoofing.

      IIRC, the idea is that a file must either be spoofed or not. If Alice reports accurately as to which are and which are not, then you'd trust her ratings. If Bob reports inaccurately (i.e. claiming that spoofed files are not spoofed) then not only can you ignore him, you may even be able to assume that he always lies, which can provide useful information.

      You could make multiple users, to avoid building up a bad history, but this would mean that you'd also fail to build up a good history, and if people only trust ratings from people with a good history, this might not be practical.

      Similarly, you could try to make an attack by only lying sometimes, but since you're still mostly providing good information, you're still generally providing a benefit to other users.

      If you poke around, I'm sure you can find a better description of this general idea.
    • See, They (RIAA/MPAA) really really hated napster. Why? Everyone was on Napster, so if you looked for something you found it. easy, illegal, Cool.

      Now they want to fragment the file sharing networks. They're not stupid, they know they can't stop pirating completely, the goal is to make it harder, less worthwhile so people who have limited time and a budget (working people) to figure out the p2p method de jour and will just pony up th 99 cents for a sure bet good copy.

      If you make a network VPN with 10 of
  • by D4C5CE ( 578304 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:37PM (#12217035)
    for which the Constitution's copyright clause was conceived?
    IIRC it was mainly one to make people create, not litigate...
    If the founding fathers had imagined industries suing hundreds of students into oblivion (with copyrights extended into eternity), they would have scrapped the clause altogether, straight from the drafting board, back in the 18th century...
  • Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suitepotato ( 863945 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:43PM (#12217130)
    ...*AA don't belong on I2. They aren't researchers, they aren't proper party to its development, their desires aren't germane to what I2 is for.

    In addition to avoiding spending a single penny on any of their crud, sooner or later, they are going to go upgainst one or more people who will fight them tooth and nail in court in a to-the-death legal slugfest of attrition. All they are doing is making themselves look like greedy bastards.

    I'm not paranoid that they will eliminate file sharing whether legal or questionable, or wipe out fair use altogether. I'm confident they'll lose in the end. It just amazes me that they can be so dense as to think lawsuit frenzy will win them converts to their arguments or make enough people fear them. They ain't the government and don't have its police powers, no matter how many suits they file.

    How did they get on I2 and why? Is there an action that can be taken against them being there? Fine, supposed IP was being shared. Shotgunning lawsuits was not the answer. And to attack universities where the ratio of anti to pro corporate/ip-Nazi sentiment is so lopsided? They need to receive a Darwin Awards Lifetime Achievement trophy.
  • Paid Informants? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CodeBuster ( 516420 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:55PM (#12217263)
    I am curious about how the *AAs gained access to a restricted research network. Granted those people who were sharing non-research related files were probably violating the terms of use as well, but that does not excuse the unauthorized breaking and entry of the *AAs, if indeed that is how they got in, into a private research network. Couldn't the *AAs be busted too for breaking in or paying an insider? This is a legal grey area at the very least.
  • by Ex Machina ( 10710 ) <> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:55PM (#12217265) Homepage
    anyone know if this [] is actually effective?
    • by Motherfucking Shit ( 636021 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @09:45PM (#12219425) Journal
      anyone know if [PeerGuardian] is actually effective?
      That depends on your definition of effective. PeerGuardian does what it claims to do, and that is block connections to and from IP ranges known to be used by RIAA, MPAA, and their hired guns. If this makes you feel good, then by all means, install PeerGuardian. However, be warned that a "good feeling" is all that you're going to get. The logic behind PeerGuardian doesn't go full circle, for two reasons.

      First off, the PeerGuardian concept assumes that all enemy attacks are going to come from known enemy IP space. This is a dangerous and rather dumb assumption; nothing says that the RIAA or BayTSP et al are scanning/probing P2P networks from their own IP space. They might not be popular, but most of these organizations are full of lawyers and other relatively smart people. They do have at least half a clue.

      It's long been rumored that some of these organizations recruit a) employees to run P2P crawlers at home and b) students to run P2P crawlers on campus. The fact that they've somehow obtained access to Internet2 makes the idea that they're paying students to run P2P crawlers all the more likely. My guess is that running P2P spidering software on behalf of RIAA might be part of some silent settlements that we aren't hearing about. "We caught you sharing files you're not allowed to. Either we sue you, you pay us $2000 and we go away, or you run this nice little program and promise not to tell anyone..."

      So, PeerGuardian blocks a few connections from "known" RIAA IP space (nevermind that many of the blocks are a bit overzealous and will generate false positives). The user is lulled into a false sense of security - hey, it's working! Connections from those evil bastards are being stopped! I'm safe!!

      But are you sure that the connection from a Comcast cablemodem isn't really an RIAA lawyer's home PC? How do you know what application is really connecting to you from that address?

      Secondly, from what I understand of the C&D letters being sent to ISPs, and perhaps even some of the lawsuits being filed, often times no connection was involved at all. The P2P spidering software does a search for "Britney Spears MP3," parses the results, and builds a list of IP/Date/Filename. They don't actually try to connect to your computer and download the file, otherwise Professor Usher would never have been threatened, admins would not be getting C&D letters regarding IPs which have never been lit up, etc.

      PeerGuardian is a nice idea. It apparently makes a lot of people feel better. And it might even work if this was 1980 when everyone on the internet was exactly who they said they were.

      Don't go crying to the PeerGuardian authors when you get caught anyway.
  • by ekmo ( 128842 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @06:52PM (#12217890)
    Here is an article [] about the issue that was published in yesterday's edition of The Tartan, the student newspaper of Carnegie Mellon, one of the universities targeted by the RIAA. There was also an editorial [] written about the issue. (Note: The Tartan's website cannot be rendered in Internet Explorer. Please use a standards-compliant web browser.)

    Also, below is the full text of an email that was sent to all students on April 4 from Carnegie Mellon's Chief Information Officer Joel Smith.

    -------- Original Message -------- To: The Carnegie Mellon Community
    From: Joel Smith, Chief Information Officer
    Subject: Illegal use of copyrighted materials on Carnegie Mellon's network - your *personal* liability
    Date: Mon, 04 Apr 2005 22:33:47 -0000

    We are writing to remind the entire campus community of the University's commitment to the protection of intellectual property and copyrighted material. When it comes to illegal copying of digital materials - whether music, video, text, or pictures - the University imposes its own penalties (disciplinary action, loss of network connectivity) on anyone who is found to be using Carnegie Mellon's network for such purposes.

    Moreover, the trade organizations that are charged with protecting copyrighted materials, e.g. the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), are aggressively searching for copyright violators on the Internet and *will take independent legal action against such violators.* Peer to peer file sharing activity using the Carnegie Mellon network is accessible to their monitoring. Past actions by these industry associations have resulted in substantial monetary penalties imposed on the individuals involved. See: 02/news/8154.shtml []

    In fact, according to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, penalties can range from $750 to $150,000 per song if songs are the items being distributed illegally.

    Please be aware that the target of these actions is not the University, but rather the individuals engaged in the violations. As an Internet service provider, following the results of court rulings last year, the University is obliged to respond to subpoenas from organizations like the RIAA and the MPAA requesting the names of individuals who operate computers illegally sharing copyrighted materials. Do not be misled by the fact that Verizon, as an Internet service provider, won its case for not providing user names in response to certain kinds of "John Doe" subpoenas. The ruling allows the RIAA and the MPAA to discover the identities of copyright violators from Internet service providers (including universities) as long as they follow certain legal procedures.

    Simply put, if you are engaged in illegal use of copyrighted materials (usually done by peer-to-peer file sharing using programs like Kazza, LimeWire, BitTorrent, and others) and the University receives a proper subpoena asking for the name of the person who registered the computer being used for such purposes on the Carnegie Mellon network, we are legally obligated to supply that name. The result may well be that the RIAA or MPAA will take legal action against *you*. There is nothing the University can do to shield you from such action.

    Since your identity on the network is based on the match between your name an the IP address and *MAC* or *hardware* address of your computer, it is a very good idea to be sure that all and only the computers you physically control are registered to you. You can check the list of computers you have registered to your name using Computing Services' NetReg system. Go to [], click on the Enter button at
  • by Simonetta ( 207550 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @09:10PM (#12219161)
    In all this endless discussion about law and who 'owns' music, let us not forget that RIAA has no moral right to own music anymore.

    By indefinitely extending the copyright period by paying off the politicians, the RIAA companies stole the public domain.

    This is the biggest theft of artistic work in history.

    As a result, they have no longer any moral right to claim to own music copyrights.

    Copyrights are based on the principal that there is finite period of copyright ownership for artistic material. Since they broke this fundamental legal pricipal, we have no moral obligation to accept their claims of ownership of any artistic material, regardless of how old or new it may be.

    The rule of law is a balance: destroy the balance and you have destroyed your legal protection.

    Download all you want!!!
  • ipv6 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Thrakkerzog ( 7580 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:29PM (#12220188)
    File-sharing software should move to ipv6. Perhaps that would be the kick in the pants the internet needs to go forward.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard