As a college student, I would never admit to the RIAA or MPAA how I came to acquire various files.

Nor would I suggest that I have ever committed any illegal activities. But what I will admit to is a consistent enjoyment of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) services for legal sharing.

In 1997, I discovered the first “Warez” site, offering new “gamez” and “appz” for no charge at all, other than a few thousand clicks of banners.

The Internet was then hit by Shawn Fanning’s P2P breakthrough Napster.

Napster was followed by a slew of P2P software, such as LimeWire and e-Donkey.

At college, I found myself with a ridiculously fast connection and nothing to exploit, I mean utilize, it properly.

Quickly I discovered DC++, a client for connecting to the direct connect network. This connected me to thousands of users. I enjoyed the fruits of others’ labors every day. But then in March 2004, Wayne Chang modified DC++ to use the new Internet2 network, effectively linking hundreds of colleges and universities together via their high-speed networks, creating i2hub.

i2hub became the go-to place to shop for your computer needs. The speed neared instantaneous, and its content was virtually anything ever created electronically.

Then, on Nov. 14, it suffered the demise of previous P2P networks. i2hub signed off with the message, “RIP 11/14/2005. It was a good run. Forced to shut down by the industry.”

Take heart, friends of P2P and legal file-sharing. P2P enabled Internet piracy to join the ranks of other consumer sanctions, such as boycotts.

And more importantly, i2hub will be back, as Chang, along with Morpheus and iMesh creators, are working on a new P2P program.

He can be reached at mhe@campustimes.org.



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