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Software Exposes BitTorrent Pirates at Major Entertainment Companies

| 14 Dec 2011 16:44
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While the entertainment industry continues to fight the world's pirating habits, it apparently forgot to check in on its own employees.

Popular BitTorrent website TorrentFreak has used a new Russian-based website capable of tracking about 20% of all public torrenting to search the habits of multiple companies involved in the war against pirating. Using the IP addresses of major Hollywood studios, the folks at TorrentFreak were able to pull the download history of these companies' employees. Depending on how cynical you are, the results were somewhat unsurprising.

TorrentFreak found evidence against the employees of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Fox Entertainment, NBC Universal, and others. A quick search using this tool showed that in the last month alone, Sony employees downloaded Conan the Barbarian, some Dubstep music, and Beavis and Butthead. Fox showed records of downloading Super 8, while NBC was bagged stealing the entire first season of Game of Thrones, Cowboys and Aliens, and a collection of trance .mp3s. It's also important to note that this only covers offenses made from within the offices themselves (not at home), approximately 20% of total pirating, only the first three weeks of November, and but one of the hundreds of IP addresses associated with the companies.

TorrentFreak isn't the only one using the service to expose anti-piracy groups. Dutch blog Geenstijil used it to pin theft of Battlefield 3 and all of Entourage onto the music royalty collecting agency Buma/Stemra.

Buma/Stemra has argued against these findings by claiming that the IP addresses were spoofed, even suggesting that Sony, Fox, and the others adopt a similar stance against these recent accusations. This defense, however, comes with an interesting counter. As TorrentFreak puts it: "If it's so easy to spoof an IP-address, then accused file-sharers can use this same defense against copyright holders.

"Checkmate?"

Here's the site that TorrentFreak used. If you click on it, your results will be automatically shown for the IP from which you access it. Accessing the site will not "pull" your data, just show you what's already in a public database on you and your naughty pirating habits.

Source: TorrentFreak

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