The entertainment industry's two major trade associations on Sept. 9 joined the coalition of universities and research institutions known as Internet2 that is developing the next generation of hyper-f


WASHINGTON, D.C. (The Hollywood Reporter) -- The entertainment industry's two major trade associations on Sept. 9 joined the coalition of universities and research institutions known as Internet2 that is developing the next generation of hyper-fast data delivery technology.

By joining the organization, the MPAA and RIAA will be sitting at the same table as the government and university researchers who are having a big say in how the Internet develops.


Currently Internet2 provides data links between about 200 universities capable of downloading a full-length movie in five minutes and a song in 20 seconds. According to the MPAA, the University of North Carolina ran a test on Internet2 where a movie was downloaded in less than a minute.

"Internet2 networking is an incredibly exciting tool for researchers, technologists and many others interested in developing new technologies, policies and business models for the next generation," said RIAA president Cary Sherman. "Its value now and potential in the future are extraordinary, and we are very pleased to join this diverse community."

Internet2 also has a dark side as it has been used for allegedly illegal activity. In April, the RIAA sued more than 400 students at 18 colleges for illegally downloaded songs on i2hub, a file-sharing service that uses the Internet2 backbone.

By joining the Internet2 consortium, the entertainment industries are demonstrating their commitment to becoming a partner of the technology sector, rather than an enemy, said MPAA president/CEO Dan Glickman.

"The movie industry is committed to working with the technology sector to find innovative new ways to deliver entertainment to consumers," Glickman said. "The MPAA views this partnership with Internet2 as an important opportunity for collaboration as we seek to link new delivery models with content protection."

Like any partnership, the academics and researchers hope that including the MPAA and RIAA will help them develop new business models without the rancor that developed as copyright theft became an Internet staple.

"Internet2 provides the MPAA and the RIAA with unique access to the research and education community, which shares its interest in developing secure leading-edge content distribution technologies," said Internet2 president/CEO Douglas Van Houwelling. "Together with the RIAA and MPAA, the Internet2 community is leading the way in helping to shape new business models for the future of the music and movie industries as consumers and businesses alike continue to rapidly adopt Internet technologies to receive these products and services."