IPFI, German Authorities Shutter eDonkey Servers

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Global recording industry trade group IFPI has now shuttered a number of heavy-duty eDonkey servers in Germany, according to information recently shared by the organization.

The actions specifically affected the DonkeyServer cluster, and followed court injunctions issued in Hamburg, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, and Frankfurt.  The German shutdowns follow similar actions in the Netherlands and France, according to the IFPI.  “In the last few weeks the number of eDonkey users worldwide has been reduced by more than a million, knocking an estimated third of users off the network,” the group said.  “Fresh actions will continue to target the remaining eDonkey servers.”

eDonkey is a decentralized network, though mega-servers play an important role as supernodes within the architecture.  The result of the recent action is disruptive, though the longer-term health of the network is not necessarily affected.  Meanwhile, the eDonkey network itself is a distant third behind more popular networks Gnutella (tapped by Limewire) and BitTorrent, according to user-based data recently culled and reported by Digital Music News.  In September of last year, leading eDonkey developer and client eDonkey2000 – owned by MetaMachine – settled with the RIAA for $30 million.  Since then, the network has continued, albeit in a more underground fashion.

Report by editor Paul Resnikoff in Berlin.