It’s been the biggest mystery of the modern internet era – why have none of the anti-piracy campaigns bothered targeting usenet? The level of piracy on the “newsgroup” scene dwarfs the amount of movies and music available on newer file-sharing systems and Bittorrent, with hardcore web users swearing by the anonymous usenet system. It’s simple and fast, with decent news servers storing vast piles of material.
It might all be about to end. The RIAA has aimed its latest legal WAR at web-based usenet access provider Usenet.com, claiming the site offers “the same functionality” as P2P software.
If you’re not aware of usenet this won’t be much of a worry. But for the internet old school who grew up on it, it’ll be a total disaster if the system is brought down. Usenet isn’t just about stealing episodes of Heroes and watching Michelle Ryan in Bionic Woman before you’re supposed to – there are thousands of discussion groups that give the system a legitimate right to exist.
Hopefully the glory days of usenet aren’t about to come to an end – there’s nothing finer than maxing out your internet connection on a decent download.
(Via Ars Technica)