NZ peer-to-peer service shut down

New Zealand's largest peer-to-peer (P2P) service has shut down, apparently for good.

P2p.net.nz, hosted on Orcon internet's servers, returns a 404 "file not found" error and speculation in the industry suggests that it won't be returning.

According to the Domain Name Commissioner's website, the p2p.net.nz domain name is owned by Seeby Woodhouse, managing director of Orcon Internet, however Woodhouse denied any involvement with the service other than having it as a client.

ISPs in Australia and New Zealand are being targeted by copyright owners trying to limit the sharing of copyright files, but Woodhouse would not comment on why p2p.net.nz has closed.

Discussion in various newsgroups centres on one of two theories. The first is that the traffic charges were getting so high that Orcon decided it couldn't maintain them any longer. The second theory is that legal pressure to close the service was brought to bear, possibly by the Recording Industry Association New Zealand.

RIANZ chief executive Terence O'Neill-Joyce did not immediately return Computerworld Online calls.

P2p.net.nz ran a series of connected hubs and several users are still using the "direct connect" DC++ software to share files. One posting to the nz.comp newsgroup offering connection to a private hub received several replies from interested users.

Because p2p.net.nz was run as a New Zealand only model, traffic to and from the site was predominantly local. Traffic on Telecom's JetStream Starter service and TelstraClear's Paradise cable network do not charge full rates for national traffic, so users weren't paying for the downloads. On top of that, connecting to other file sharers locally means the connection speeds are much faster than trying to connect to someone overseas. Orcon typically blocked international traffic to the local hubs.

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