Peer-to-Peer does not refer to one particular program or company. Peer-to-Peer describes the nature of the protocol used to retrieve information. Instead of using a typical download, where one user connects to a server to download a file with one stream, peer-to-peer software connects many people to download a file in pieces using multiple streams. This presents two problems for CWU:
- Peer-to-Peer file sharing is bandwidth intensive. It overwhelms network resources and degrades service for all users.
- As an Internet Service Provider, CWU must police the illegal acquisition of copyrighted material and intellectual property. Campuses all over the country are being legally challenged by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), and CWU does not intend to be one of them. Remember that illegal downloading is just that - illegal.
BBC News P2P Court Case Article