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Hollywood movie studios launched new legal action Tuesday against operators of sites that help connect people to movies on three major peer-to-peer file-sharing networks.

In the United States and the United Kingdom, the Motion Picture Association of America, the main lobbying arm of U.S. film studios, filed civil lawsuits against more than 100 operators of BitTorrent "tracker" servers that point to locations where digital files of movies, music and other content can be found.

BitTorrent, eDonkey and Direct Connect allow millions of internet users to share copies of movies, music, software and games. The services don't host the files themselves; instead, they point users to other users who have the files available for sharing. In BitTorrent's case, users tap tracker sites that keep dynamic lists of where files are stored and available for download. The MPAA is trying to cripple BitTorrent and its peers by suing people who host the tracker servers. Because of its efficiency in helping users handle very large files -- such as digital copies of feature-length films -- BitTorrent has attracted the enmity of Hollywood.

- "Hollywood Wants BitTorrent Dead," Xeni Jardin, WiredNews.com http://www.wired.com, December 14, 2004

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File Name: xeni_jardin20041214

Post Date: December 16, 2004 at 8:30 AM CST; 1430 GMT