Students using the new superfast Internet2 connections at many US colleges to share music and films are being targeted by the RIAA in its latest blitz on piracy. More than 1.5 million files were being shared on the network, according to the association - terabytes of data said to be equivalent to an entire video-rental store.
The network is still mainly intended for research, but students connected up realised the benefits of being able to download songs in 20 seconds and films in five minutes. However, the RIAA was less impresed at this use for it and will today file lawsuits against 405 students at 18 collegs across the US.
Cary Sherman, RIAA President, said: "We cannot let this high-speed network become a zone of lawlessness where the normal rules don't apply. 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."
Much of the sharing goes through a DirectConnect-style program, i2hub. A service spokesman said yesterday: "The i2hub organization does not condone activities and actions that breach the rights of copyright owners. Our companies are focused on bringing together students and connecting them in ways never before achieved."