College students have always had the dubious distinction of being easy marks in the target against P2P file sharing. As of February 2007, the RIAA has dispatched thirteen new waves of litigation letters against U.S. University students in their ‘deterrence’ campaign aimed at more than 5,000 students. But one University is fighting back - albeit very quietly - and that’s Purdue.
Notoriously known for their aggressive pro-piracy stance and prolific file sharing, Purdue has never been one to fly under the RIAA radar. Perched at #2 on the all-time piracy “badass” list, they’re no strangers to RIAA’s threats, and students are continuously under attack in these personal litigation “waves”.
The RIAA threats are in large part due to the uncooperativeness of their Internet provider to assist in RIAA’s ‘nip it in the bud’ approach to thwarting music piracy at the school level. Not to be intimidated, however, Purdue has fired up their own P2P file-sharing “intranet” from behind the walls of their campus ISP. Dubbed ‘Dtella’ (from DC + Gnutella).
A Purdue student recently wrote on the CollegeOTR.com blog: “Maybe Purdue can’t beat other schools’ music scenes, frat-house parties, hot girls, and what not, but at least we’ve got them beat in the piracy department. After all, we are the #2 school in music piracy as noted by the RIAA.”
The filesharing network accomplishes two things:
1. It alleviates ‘bandwidth capping’ commonly imposed on all traffic that leaves the University’s intranet. When a file sharing program is self-contained within the ISP itself, there are usually no limitations to how much data can be transferred, and users are free to share huge amounts of files at high speeds. Currently, Purdue uses Resnet as their ISP which limits the daily traffic to a modest 5GB.
2. Even more important, it keeps the P2P traffic off the Internet, which in turn is advantageous for keeping file transfers out of the prying eyes of the RIAA or other anti-piracy organizations.
There’s nothing new about campuses using their “intranet” to share files, although it is relatively uncommon for one to take it a step further by setting up their own secure P2P network. This is simply a response to the RIAA threats and the countless ruined lives through pointless RIAA litigation.