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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 November 2005, 12:12 GMT
High-speed college network closes
The i2Hub was popular with college students
A file-swapping network popular with US students that used a superfast internet research network has closed down.

It follows repeated legal pressure from the entertainment industry.

The i2Hub network took advantage of the Internet2 research network which connects some 207 US universities.

Earlier this year, the Motion Picture Association of America said users had swapped films amounting to 99 terabytes in a single day, the equivalent of an entire video rental store.

Legal concerns

Record label and movie studios have been putting mounting pressure on peer-to-peer networks, which allow people to swap copyrighted music and movies for free.

Its determination to shut such networks down received a legal boost in the summer when a US court ruled that peer-to-peer networks could be held liable for inducing or encouraging piracy.

The i2Hub network was of particular concern to the entertainment industry as it allowed users to download large files in seconds.

The service was set up to allow students to share textbooks and research papers, but quickly become used by many for sharing films and music.

Last month the music industry announced a fourth set of lawsuits targeting users on Internet2's network.

The founder of i2Hub Wayne Chang cited potential legal concerns as the reason for the closure.

On the service's website, read a message saying "R.I.P. 11.14.2005".

Internet2 was set up to investigate ways of utilising turbo-charged broadband. The network was designed as an academic network for use in fields such as medicine and weather forecasting.

Legal battles

In its latest wave of action, the recording industry is targeting 2,100 alleged uploaders using peer-to-peer networks in 16 nations including the UK, France, Germany and Italy.

The entertainment industry has had some success in its battle against these networks.

Grokster has quit its file-sharing fight, following the US Supreme Court ruling that using peer-to-peer services could be held liable if they were encouraging the trading of copyrighted material.

However people who have already downloaded the software will still be able to trade music and movies with others because it is impossible to control the use of such software once it is released.

Despite the legal wins, file-sharing remains huge with an average of 9.2 million users using peer-to-peer networks in October, according to online analysts BigChampagne.

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