After things were looking up for the P2P file sharing community when BitTorrent started its own search engine, the war against P2P gets back on track with these latest developments.
Firstly, a new batch of lawsuits is being conducted by the RIAA against 91 users at 20 colleges and universities in the US, on the grounds that they are allegedly using the super-fast "Internet2" network for illegal file sharing. Internet2, which is currently off limits for members of the public, but is accessible to people like university students, researchers and professionals, is apparently at the centre of a great deal of illegal file sharing among students right now. By tracking the students via their IP addresses, the RIAA can then force the college or university in question to reveal the identity of the student.
"The RIAA is just trying to get some quick settlements and make some publicity until the illegal downloading decreases or is eliminated. The Internet2 is the focus of recent suits probably because students might think it was someplace the RIAA could not monitor." - leader of the intellectual property practice group at the law firm Harris Beach Neal F. Slifkin.
Meanwhile, an internet site that helped thousands of P2P file sharers download the new Star Wars movie before it was even in the cinemas has been shutdown, but not before some 10,000 copies of the movie were downloaded. The site was shutdown as the result of raids by federal agents in 10 cities across the US.
The Elite Torrents site allowed 133,000 members to download thousands of films and software programs, according to the Homeland Security Department.
The action was the first time criminal enforcement has been taken against individuals using BitTorrent networks, which enable users to download large files such as films quickly. Acting assistant attorney general John C Richter said the crackdown "sends a clear and unmistakeable message" that internet pirates "cannot hide behind new technology".