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RIAA Suits Continue; i2hub Server Shuts Down

By Kelley Rivoire

In a round of lawsuits filed on October 26, three MIT dormitory residents were sued by the record industry for copyright infringement.

The latest suits were filed against a total of 745 Internet2 network users of the i2hub application at 17 universities, including Harvard and Boston University.

As a result of legal pressure from the lawsuits, i2hub shut down yesterday. The Web site for i2hub now displays only the words “Remember i2hub” and “R.I.P. 03.14.2004–11.14.2005.”

The record industry has been granted permission to subpoena MIT for the names of the three students, who live in East Campus, Next House, and Burton Conner. Each is accused of illegally sharing five copyrighted songs in late September or early October. The songs include music by Foreigner, Michael Jackson, and O-Town.

The October lawsuit brings the total number of MIT students sued by the record industry since last March to 32, including three this September. Of this total, 22 students were sued last April; all 22 cases have now been dismissed, indicating that the cases were settled outside of court. Settlements are typically for several thousand dollars.

“Students have a responsibility to do the right thing and turn to legal sources of online music,” said Cary Sherman, president of the Recording Industry Association of American, which filed the lawsuits on behalf of the record industry, in a press release.

The lawsuit has been consolidated with previous suits, under case No. 04-12434 in federal district court in Massachusetts.