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Nothing gold can stay: DC++ network shut down permanently

Meredith Collier

Issue date: 1/22/10 Section: News
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The Case DC++ network was shut down permanently last Friday. Over the course of eight years, more than 5000 users downloaded from the hub.
Media Credit: Denton Zhou
The Case DC++ network was shut down permanently last Friday. Over the course of eight years, more than 5000 users downloaded from the hub.
[Click to enlarge]
When Robert Frost penned his famous poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" in 1923, he surely wasn't heralding the end of an era for Case Western Reserve University internet users, and yet the same sentiments he wrote of in 1923 are once again being evoked following the shut-down of, more commonly known as DC++ or simply "the hub."

On Friday, Jan. 15, the DC++ administrators unplugged the hub server and disbanded the hub permanently. "We're sorry it ended this way, but all trains reach the end of the line sooner or later," said an anonymous hub spokesperson via e-mail.

The process of shutting down the DC++ network was a short one for Case students. Schuyler Thompson, vice president of information technology for USG, was informed of the impending shutdown by Chief Information Security Officer Tom Siu soon after returning from winter break.

"He [Siu] told me that due to a federal law change, because the university knows about the hub, they have to shut it down because they know it's being used for illegal file sharing," said Thompson. The federal law in question, the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, requires universities to publically inform students about potential repercussions for illegal peer-to-peer file sharing, but also requires that universities who are aware of illegal file sharing make strides to stop such activities. According to the language of the act, universities who comply by implementing prevention and legal alternative programs are eligible for "grants" to be disbursed by the Secretary of Education.

"The Department of Education sets the rulemaking for adherence to this law," explained Siu via e-mail, "and they touch us (a private university) through the artery we call Federal Student Loans."

Faced with such an ultimatum, Siu was left with little choice but to inform Thompson- and subsequently the rest of the student body at Case- that the hub would have to go. It was not an easy announcement for Thompson and the rest of the USG information technology committee to take.
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    posted 1/22/10 @ 7:03 PM EST

    She will be missed... the sad thing is that I probably spent more money on bands because of the free music I downloaded than had I needed to pay for albums. (Continued…)

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