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Sony, Universal and Fox Caught Pirating Through BitTorrent

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the hand-in-cookie-jar dept.

Piracy 284

New submitter Bad_Feeling sends in a followup to the story we discussed on Monday about a new site that scanned a few popular torrent trackers and linked torrents to IP addresses. The folks at TorrentFreak decided to check IP addresses belonging to major companies in the entertainment industry and published lists of pirated files from several, including Fox, Sony, and NBC Universal. Of course, they used the information to make a slightly different point than the industry usually does: "By highlighting the above our intention is not to get anyone into trouble, and for that reason we masked out the end of the IP addresses to avoid a witch hunt. An IP address is not a person, IP addresses can be shared among many people, and anyone can be behind a keyboard at any given time."

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284 comments

So they are uploading the movie? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38368794)

So surely the companies are distributing the movies to everyone. As they are the rights holder, it should be legal to download it?

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (4, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38368866)

If they are downloading them, they are sharing them as well. Would be great that those 3 companies sue each other out of existence for sharing bittorrents of the movies of the other companies.

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (5, Insightful)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38368888)

Not only that, but if they are indeed sharing, you could argue that all the stuff you have downloaded were from their IPs, so really the rightsholders were giving it out for free.

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (5, Insightful)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38368938)

If they are downloading them, they are sharing them as well.

That's simply not true. They could have turned off uploading.

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (1)

gfreeman (456642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369082)

This is not how torrents work.

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (5, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369332)

Torrents work by establishing connections either peer to peer or peer to seed. Peers request blocks of the file over those connections, download them and then check their hashes against those in the torrent file.

Peers may perform some form of tit-for-tat to punish those who download without uploading but seeds aren't trying to download anything so can't perform tit-for-tat. So it's perfectly possible to download from a torrent while refusing to upload anything.

Oh and the stats collected by the tracker are completely dependent on the honesty of the clients that report them.

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (4, Insightful)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369362)

I download torrents all the time without uploading anything. There are many ways of preventing outbound traffic...

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (5, Funny)

gfreeman (456642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369426)

You live and learn. I go away for a few weeks and suddenly you can torrent without seeding and the speed of light is no longer a limit. Bloody technology, in my day .... blah blah blah .... lawns etc

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369632)

In Azureus you can set a current download to seed queue, meaning I can download without it uploading back out.

If I wanted to get high tech about it, I could just tell my firewall to refuse any outgoing requests for the torrent port. Incoming would be untouched as it's already initiated.

-1 nerd point

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (5, Funny)

capnkr (1153623) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369140)

Are you accusing these fine, upstanding, all-taxes-and-royalty-paying media corporations of being greedy and/or acting solely in their own interests? Heh. Next thing you'll come up with is that they've intentionally uploaded corrupted files, stuffed the Obama administration and political process with their lobbyist sock puppets, or something else ridiculous like that...

For shame, you, you... pirate!

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38368926)

It still doesn't make it legal to redistribute it...

They have the right to distribute the works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369132)

And they gave it to people under no constraints.

Therefore those people have a legal right to redistribute it.

Unless FOX et al shared IP they didn't own...

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38368956)

They first downloaded the movie and then were seeding it. The purpose of doing this is to log the IPs of other peers in the swarm. Call peer block lists ineffective but it hasn't harmed my activity, and I block the bogon ranges, and government and corporate ranges.

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38368970)

peerblock + bluetack list (p2p) + any torrenting app = you won't/can't be tracked by any industry in any legal fashion. It literally is that simple these days.

confirms that even of the thousands of torrents I've downloaded over the years, my IP address comes up with zero records.

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (1)

spaceplanesfan (2120596) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369094)

Lemme, turn on my ADSL modem we have here at my $BIG BUCKS HOLYWOOD COMPANY. Yep got you. Expect lawsuit any minute now....
Really, seriously, your IP is available to everyone. YOU are broadcasting it to the whole world. Thats the bad thing about torrents that always scared me.
Nothing prevents them to connect to me as a regular user and then no peerblock could save me.

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369124)

you know, it helps to have a vague understanding of reality and not function off fear which defines that you have a lack of understanding.

Just because they have your IP, so what? Where's the proof of anything? Where's the proof you actually uploaded a movie? yes, upload. Download is entirely legal and always has been. Personal use is not a copyright infringement. Again, there is more to the situation than you portray in your idiocy.

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (2)

spaceplanesfan (2120596) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369206)

True. But point is that media companies can trivially know the IP and time it was used to download/upload.
And yes most peoples upload, 'cause its too slow otherwise.
Then you are one subpoena away from being IDed.
Yes, I know that currently not much was done against torrent users since there are just too much of them, but that slowly changes.
Besides as a Linux user that also doesn't like much ether music nor movies, I don't have any reason to pirate anything.

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369232)

I think what spaceplanesfan was saying is that there's no really guarantee that you're going to be able to block your actions on the Internet. Yes you can use measures such as Peerblock and the like, but if some industry stooge wants to see what you are doing then there's really no way around it. Especially if they have enough clout to call your ISP with official credentials and get a data stream capture of your session. Unless you're using a SSL (not even then in some cases) and have uploading turned off, then MAYBE they won't be able to get anywhere.

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (5, Interesting)

RubberMallet (2499906) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369338)

Tell that to the lawyers who are suing people. I received a letter from a law firm claiming to represent a movie studio. They stated that they had "proof" that my IP address was being used to download a movie called Split - I had never even heard of the movie prior to the letter. I took it to a lawyer and they are handling it.. it's been almost 18 months now... they challenged the idiots who are trying to sue me, and it turns out they blitzed out 10,000 letters in the city I live in... all claiming infringement on the same movie based on the IP addresses collected via torrent clients they were monitoring.

Proof? How do you prove it wasn't you? They say it was, and they have an IP address that may or may not have been yours at the time... they say that the IP address was at the time, involved in downloading said copyrighted material. Where's your defense? How do you prove it wasn't me (or anyone else) that was downloading the file. I can't prove it. All I can do is say.. I didn't do it, and if it goes to court... it's my word against theirs, and they have ISP records that appear to "prove" that I did download the movie.

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369284)

peerblock + bluetack list (p2p) + any torrenting app

Bluetack appears to have been taken off the air.

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369346)

So, if you are working in WallMart, is it normal to eat anything and everything for free?

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (5, Informative)

KnightMB (823876) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369454)

I don't know why this article at torrentfreak doesn't just list the IP address, it only took me all of 3 minutes to figure what the real IPs were.

For the world to see now:

208.84.225.10
United States (US), California, Culver City
Downloaded files
Conan the Barbarian 2011 ... 80p DTS AC3 dxva-LoNeWolf (12.19 GB) Nov, 2011
The Black Keys - Lonely Boy (7.50 MB) Nov, 2011
VA - Dubstep Meditations - 2010 [FLAC] (336.47 MB) Nov, 2011
{www.scenetime.com}Beavis ... port.480p.WEB-DL.x264-mSD (75.64 MB) Nov, 2011
[ www.TorrentDay.com ] - ... rls.S01E08.HDTV.XviD-P0W4 (183.19 MB) Nov, 2011

208.73.113.6
United States (US), Florida, Fort Lauderdale
Downloaded files
Beatport Halloween Trance 2011 {aSBo} (389.74 MB) Dec, 2011
Cowboys and Aliens [2010] dvd rip nlx (1.28 GB) Dec, 2011
Game of Thrones Season 1 Complete 720p (14.53 GB) Nov, 2011
2.Broke.Girls.S01E08.HDTV.XviD-P0W4.avi (174.89 MB) Nov, 2011
How.to.Make.It.in.America ... 20p.HDTV.x264-IMMERSE.mkv (1013.61 MB) Nov, 2011

216.205.224.10
United States (US), California, Valley Village
Downloaded files
Super 8 2011 1080p BRRip ... ac vice (HDScene Release) (3.70 GB)

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (3, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369654)

Because this is about showing how shady the labels are, not about retaliating in kind. We all know it's trivial to find out who these people are, there's no need for TF to stoop to their level (you know the first thing that would happen if they did is some script kiddies would go for a DoS attack and TF would take flak over it or be accused of implicitly instigating it).

Re:So they are uploading the movie? (-1, Offtopic)

Bad Ad (729117) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369546)

So, I forget to login and end up getting first post AND my first +5.

:-(

Dumb argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38368806)

So their point is if IPs change, and it is hard to figure out who broke the law, law enforcement might as well just give up?

I'm all for sharing of information and media freely. Hell! I pirate the shit out of everything, but this is the worst argument for it I have ever heard.

The argument is equivalent to: A murderer used many cars during his escape, since it is hard to pinpoint which one is his we should give up.

Re:Dumb argument (5, Informative)

blackicye (760472) | more than 2 years ago | (#38368824)

So their point is if IPs change, and it is hard to figure out who broke the law, law enforcement might as well just give up?

I'm all for sharing of information and media freely. Hell! I pirate the shit out of everything, but this is the worst argument for it I have ever heard.

The argument is equivalent to: A murderer used many cars during his escape, since it is hard to pinpoint which one is his we should give up.

Then obviously we should ban cars.

Re:Dumb argument (4, Insightful)

Darfeld (1147131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369028)

It seems to me it's not so much about giving up enforcement than pointing out that ip isn't a good way to identify law breakers.

It more like, a murderer used a stolen cars ( Or the murderer give/sell the car away) and the police arrest the owner of the car...

Re:Dumb argument (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369100)

That's exactly what happens. Until the owner can prove it wasn't them driving, or the cops have a reason to believe otherwise, they are the prime suspect.
Much in the same way that if your car is caught on a speed/red light camera, the owner gets the fine. Until they prove in court it wasn't them, or the real driver owns up to it, the owner is responsible for paying it.

Re:Dumb argument (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369192)

That's exactly what happens. Until the owner can prove it wasn't them driving

R.I.P. Presumption of Innocence.

Re:Dumb argument (4, Insightful)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369380)

Good grief, are you really that dumb? Presumption of innocence means you are not guilty until proven otherwise (ie at trial). It does NOT refer to what the police do or who they consider guilty (a suspect). The stuff that happens BEFORE the trial is based on 'probable cause'. If your car is seen fleeing a crime scene, there is good reason (probable cause) to think you were involved. No, you have not been PROVEN to be involved yet, that would occur at trial. Same thing with an IP address. No, it does not mean the owner of the address is the guilty party, but there is probable cause to think he is, and that probable cause opens the door to the collection of further evidence and legal action. Nobody has been convicted or successfully sued based solely on an IP address.

Re:Dumb argument (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369626)

I think a better analogy would be:

A car manufacturer rails for a couple decades against the use of certain lithium batteries for its negative eco-impact.
Car manufacturer is found to be using those batteries in their cars, and their cars to produce more eco-damage than the batteries.
Car manufacturer says "See, the battery's not so big of a deal. There are more important considerations for a car."

Basically, they reversed completely their opinion on prosecuting based on IP. That is their primary means of going after 'criminal' P2P sharers. I wish this had come out as "We're sorry, we realized we messed up, we're not going to use IP as prosecution material anymore."

Re:Dumb argument (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369316)

Their point is that an IP is a terrible basis for an accusation. It is. It's still a good starting point for a real investigation.

Wasn't that site a hoax? (3, Informative)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38368828)

Didn't we discuss to death that the site www.youhavedownloaded.com was a hoax? I mean we're talking about a site that says "Don't take it seriously" at the bottom of every page. Also apparently I've downloaded a single episode of some series I've never heard of (mid-season mind you), and my IP has been static for about 8 years now.

Re:Wasn't that site a hoax? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38368884)

Oh sorry that was me. I've been living in your roof for 3 years now.
How's Sally doing in school?

Re:Wasn't that site a hoax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38368940)

I do know the site is right about the five downloads it lists for me (Japanese anime), although it is ("thankfully") only a small fraction of what I'm downloading.

Re:Wasn't that site a hoax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38368946)

They had 1 thing I had downloaded recently listed.

Re:Wasn't that site a hoax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38368982)

They had 1 thing I had downloaded recently listed.

Same here,

It was a popular title bun in an uncommon format, so it is very unlikely to be coincidence.

Re:Wasn't that site a hoax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369042)

I do use torrents a bit (lots of games&music) and the site had properly recognised that I've downloaded Spiderman 1&2 for PSX, but nothing else.

Re:Wasn't that site a hoax? (3, Interesting)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369068)

No, they had me dead to rights on all the torrents they had my IP listed for... the latest episodes of "Glee", "2 Broke Girls", "New Girl" and "How I met Your Mother"... plus a Miley Cyrus discography I was pulling down for my daughter (honest!!!)...

Re:Wasn't that site a hoax? (4, Funny)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369224)

Have you considered just using www.youporn.com?

Re:Wasn't that site a hoax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369658)

Have you considered just using www.youporn.com?

For his daughter? YOU SICK BASTARD!~

Re:Wasn't that site a hoax? (2)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369238)

If you were downloading all of the rest for yourself, don't worry, the Miley Cyrus is an improvement of your taste.

Re:Wasn't that site a hoax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369070)

I pirate constantly and it says that I've never downloaded anything.

Re:Wasn't that site a hoax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369076)

Apparently I'm in the clear.

ROFLMAO.

Re:Wasn't that site a hoax? (4, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369080)

Hoax? No, they had certainly scanned TPB for recent torrents - they listed me accurately, that's not a coincidence. That doesn't mean their lists are complete, accurate or anything like that, I'm sure it's easy to poison a tracker into giving out IPs that aren't actually torrenting. Maybe the trackers add some random IPs too for plausible deniability? Whatever the case, the legal value is hogwash. Why should it be a joke anyway? Grab a torrent, connect to the tracker, voila you get a list of IPs to stuff in a database. That and being illegal too, at least in my country so in any it'd be thrown out on that basis alone. But it's not like they did something magic.

Re:Wasn't that site a hoax? (3, Insightful)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369448)

I'm sure it's easy to poison a tracker into giving out IPs that aren't actually torrenting.

The protocol is dead simple, actually. HTTP GET's and decoder for bencoded [theory.org] formats, and you're halfway to making a database already. Add some web crawling for torrents, and you're set.

Tracker protocol:
http://wiki.theory.org/BitTorrent_Tracker_Protocol [theory.org]

GET announce example from there:

hxxp://some.tracker.com:999/announce
?info_hash=12345678901234567890
&peer_id=ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST
&ip=255.255.255.255
&port=6881
&downloaded=1234
&left=98765
&event=stopped

And it will answer with a list of active peers (with IP) it already have on that info_hash, in bencoded format.

Bencoded format example:

d4:spaml1:a1:bee represents the dictionary { "spam" => [ "a", "b" ] }

This is more or less a weekend project, if even that.

Re:Wasn't that site a hoax? (3, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369376)

I entered the IP of one of my seedboxes which is also a Tor exit node (did the lookup through Tor, using HTTPS to the site, using a secure and anonymous browser). That exit node has Bittorrent blocked and it's on a dynamic IP that changes often. 4 out of the 8 torrents displayed were ones that I'd downloaded, 1 was recent and the other 3 had been on there for a long time. The seedbox has around 500 torrents on it.

It also showed results for the German exit node I was viewing it through.

Re:Wasn't that site a hoax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369414)

It's not entirely a hoax. I downloaded one episode of Top Chef (horrible show, btw) because it was about chili. The site correctly identified me for downloading it. It listed two other obscure torrents I downloaded as well. I download several gigs of shows every week, and it had no data on any of that. But some of the site's data are correct.

Just checking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38368862)

Maybe they downloaded stuff just to see if it was really their content or not =P

Haha... my captcha is "denial"

It's been a common theory for some time... (4, Insightful)

beaverdownunder (1822050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38368864)

...that if a property is doing sluggishly the PR arms of the studios put it out on the 'net to try to raise buzz. The irony is that then the legal arms of these same companies go after those very people the other side of their company want to resuscitate their ailing properties by word-of-mouth.

It's cynical, hypocritical and just downright fucked up.

Re:It's been a common theory for some time... (2)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38368974)

Not really... As the rights holder they can distribute it for free to as many people as they want. They can also say that those people do NOT have the right to distribute it to others. It's not the fault of the PR arm if the people they give a work to proceed to do something illegal with it.

Re:It's been a common theory for some time... (1)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369030)

Not really... As the rights holder they can distribute it for free to as many people as they want. They can also say that those people do NOT have the right to distribute it to others. It's not the fault of the PR arm if the people they give a work to proceed to do something illegal with it.

I *so* want to be on the jury of a trial testing that bit of legal theory.

Re:It's been a common theory for some time... (4, Interesting)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369318)

It's not a theory. It's put into practice all the time... The PR arm distributes copies for publicity to many people (critics, celebrities, etc) . If those people start distributing their free copies, I guarantee they'll be in court as soon as they're caught.

Re:It's been a common theory for some time... (0)

Rennt (582550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369590)

Beg to differ. Unless you have signed some sort of NDA that is perfectly legal.

Re:It's been a common theory for some time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369602)

...and those copies clearly state they are not for resale or distribution. You cannot make the same claim on a torrent. Torrents, by default, automatically reseed and redistribute anything downloaded (yes I am aware that you can override this setting). By placing torrent files into the feed with no notice not to distribute, they really are going to have a hard time convincing any judge that there was not a implicit grant of distribution rights. If, on the otherhand, they placed such restrictions into the torrent descriptions, then they may have a case, but I doubt that is being done. Unless you notify the recipient of such restrictions you cannot, after the fact, claim that such restrictions exist. and of course IANAL, YMMV.

They could, but didn't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369394)

They did NOT claim all rights reserved and the mechanism of a torrent is to give rights to redistribute.

Without an explicit agreement to the contrary, all torrent downloaders and their subsequents have a right to distribute too.

Re:They could, but didn't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369624)

What kind of bullshit is that? 'The mechanism of a torrent' is not a license dumbass. You have it exactly backwards. Without an explicit agreement to the contrary, you have no rights to distribute someone else's copyrighted material, period.

Re:It's been a common theory for some time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369642)

It's highly unlikely that would stand up in any reasonable court. Distributing something by torrent is not just granting implicit permission to redistribution, it is actively requesting it.

Re:It's been a common theory for some time... (1)

CmdrEdem (2229572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369178)

I could say that suing people will raise "word-of-mouth". Even more than letting people download stuff freely. Bad sh*t always get more attention than good stuff.

Re:It's been a common theory for some time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369466)

If that's true it's neither cynical nor hypocritical. I wish Slashdotters would understand that large companies are so complex that it's very easy for one side to be doing one thing while the other does the opposite, and when large organizations do this there is no implicit cynicism nor hypocrisy involved, merely a lack of coordination (or, you might say, schizophrenia, which is more accurate if we are modelling the organization as an organism).

It's fucked up, for sure - it indicates a sad lack of control within the company - but it's an illness, not a personality trait.

This story is somewhat confused or editing was bad (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38368872)

By highlighting the above our intention is not to get anyone into trouble . . .

This quote is not from Hollywood studios but the author of the article on torrentfreak. This is somewhat of a non-story. It is possible that an employee of a studio is downloading via torrents without permission. After all, how many people do you know use their work networks to download pirated content. Their companies most likely do not approve of such actions. This is only a story if a high-ranking employee is pirating. If the downloading was authorized, what was the purpose? If someone from the legal/copyright department is doing so to verify that their content is on the internet, that's well within the scope of their jobs.

Re:This story is somewhat confused or editing was (2, Insightful)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369006)

how many people do you know use their work networks to download pirated content

None, actually. That's a really stupid thing to do... The only thing worse than being slapped with a 100k fine for downloading some music is also getting fired over it.

Re:This story is somewhat confused or editing was (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369306)

Well, I haven't heard anyone admit to it but receiving C&D letters was the reason filtering was turned on at a previous employer of mine. And there was no witch hunt tone, just a "This is what we're doing, this is why we're doing it, please remember that what you do on the company network can be tracked back to us and reflect poorly on the company." Never heard of anyone getting punished for it, then again I of course didn't have access to anyone's HR files. That said, I don't live in the US...

Re:This story is somewhat confused or editing was (5, Insightful)

glop (181086) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369040)

Actually it's pretty much a story if it's low-level employees doing it.
Come on! the MPAA and RIAA are always trying to get ISPs to police their customers and make sure nobody is using their connection to pirate stuff.
But then they can't even block their own freaking employees from going to torrents and pirating copyrighted works?

I mean, it should be easier to control employees than customers, no? So this makes the point of the ISPs that have long said that they can't monitor their customers and make sure they don't pirate.

Re:This story is somewhat confused or editing was (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369372)

Good points! But I think I remember the general consensus on /. when a normal human gets accused of pirating is that IP addresses don't prove anything. Hopefully someone can catch them in the act and give this story the proof it deserves.

Re:This story is somewhat confused or editing was (3, Interesting)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369320)

It is possible that an employee of a studio is downloading via torrents without permission.

I'm flabbergasted that this is actually possible, unless the employee in question is privileged in particular ways, such as by being a network administrator.

After all, how many people do you know use their work networks to download pirated content.

None. Those who use torrents do so at home.

Reputable companies which are large enough to have an IT department will have strict enforcement of many network policies, especially those which are related to commercial risk. Where I work, everything other than ports 80 and 443 must be opened on a per-node and per destination basis. If you need ftp or ssh, you have to state the specific need and how it relates to the business. Also, even ports 80 and 443 are heavily filtered so that social media sites (youtube, facebook, etc.), name redirection sites (dyndns and its ilk), file lockers (megaupload, etc.), webmail (gmail, hotmail, etc.) and all sites hosting questionable activities are blocked. I suspect running a client for IRC or BitTorrent would get you nowhere. There are probably some ways around this, but looking for them would be stupid and might set off career-threatening alarm bells.

Re:This story is somewhat confused or editing was (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369402)

This is almost certainly the case.

It's not necessarily a low-level employee, though. A high-level person at Sony Pictures has been caught torrenting before. Their people investigated. Actions were taken.

Re:This story is somewhat confused or editing was (3, Insightful)

Rennt (582550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369408)

It is possible that an employee of a studio is downloading via torrents without permission

Well yes, naturally. The thing is these companies are the same ones telling courts that an IP address connected to a swarm constitutes positive identification and proof of guilt for whoever the IP address was assigned to at the time.

If someone from the legal/copyright department is doing so to verify that their content is on the internet, that's well within the scope of their jobs.

Again, true. And more evidence that an IP address does not equal proof of infringement.

They deserve to squirm on the hook for this one. Totally a newsworthy story.

Re:This story is somewhat confused or editing was (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369428)

It is possible that an employee of a studio is downloading via torrents without permission.

Indeed, one of the people with whom we pass around "The Hard Drive" is an IP lawyer for one of the big media companies.

What was the point of IP masking... ? (1)

HPXX (1189589) | more than 2 years ago | (#38368916)

It did nothing. Figuring out the last octet shouldn't be too difficult.

It's a TRAP! (5, Insightful)

The Jynx (806942) | more than 2 years ago | (#38368936)

FTA:

"In a response Buma/Stemra issued a press release stating that their IP-addresses were spoofed. A very unlikely scenario, but one that will be welcomed by BitTorrent pirates worldwide. In fact, they’d encourage Sony, Universal and Fox to say something similar. After all, if it’s so easy to spoof an IP-address, then accused file-sharers can use this same defense against copyright holders."

This is quite a smart move. Getting these big organisations to explain this away will only add credence to the valid reasons that the public should be able to use to protect themselves. It doesn't matter what your personal opinion is on the morals of the situation the plain fact is an IP is not a person and the clearer this is made to the judges the better. Of course there is a the chance that the IPs were added manually by the guys who set the project up, they already admitted that there is still test data in there (do a check for 192.168.*.*) so it's far from perfect.

Re:It's a TRAP! (3, Insightful)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369078)

This has always been my problem with these lawsuits. An IP address has never been equal to a person. NAT and wifi are two reasons that it could be anyone in the area or household. Then when you throw malware into the mix it could literally be anyone. As you've pointed out, spoofing could also be done to frame someone.

This is also the reason I won't run tor here. I don't think a judge or prosecutor would understand that anyone can be downloading through my IP address.

This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38368984)

Come on. Mega corporations in the entertainment business with tens of thousands of employees, mostly in their twenties and thirties have some employees who are illegally downloading from sites that haven't yet made the IT firewall blacklist. Wow! Stop the presses!

They probed some files (0)

advid.net (595837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38368998)

Those major could have asked some of their employees to test if there was some of their own movies being pirated, acting like pirates for a few moments...

Re:They probed some files (2)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369098)

Those major could have asked some of their employees to test if there was some of their own movies being pirated, acting like pirates for a few moments...

Yep. Fox was making sure that Sony movies were being pirated, by downloading them.

No doubt they were trying to help Sony's legal case by making their downloading problem look even worse.

what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369084)

As they are the rights holder, it should be legal to download it?

http://www.kilasan.info
http://www.staen.info
http://www.proformelliptic.com

They own the rights... (0)

sohmc (595388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369086)

If I write a book and I reserve all rights, I can copy my own book if I wanted to, right?

I'm not sure why this would have the headline as "Busted!" outside of the fact that they were seen downloading a movie that was already theirs.

Re:They own the rights... (0)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369322)

I'm not sure why this would have the headline as "Busted!" outside of the fact that they were seen downloading a movie that was already theirs.

If they were downloading these movies, then they were also uploading them.

Re:They own the rights... (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369558)

If they were downloading these movies, then they were also uploading them.

Not necessarily true. It is possible to download a torrent without seeding.

Re:They own the rights... (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369580)

So? They could upload their entire catalogue to an open website, it doesn't mean that you have *permission* to copy it, view it, burn it to a DVD - that's not how copyright licensing works.

I can request an install disk of a site-licensed piece of software from a company - it doesn't mean they have "given" me a license to use it on my entire site. The license and content are entirely separate and without the license, the content cannot be legally used. Similarly, I can read a book and even own a copy, it doesn't mean I have permission to broadcast it across Times Square.

Also, we don't know that they uploaded anything. And if they did, we don't know that it was more than the same block over and over again and not a usable copy of the work. And if they did give everyone on the swarm a complete copy, it still doesn't mean they are licensed to view it, especially if the nature of the protocol requires that to check on infringement of their own work.

It's their work. They can upload it to YouTube if they want and hide it in a private account. It does *NOT* mean that even YouTube itself would get rights to view or distribute it unless contracts that were agreed to said so. With YouTube you have an EULA concerning uploads. With torrents you don't. No licence agreement does not mean "public domain" or even "for your personal use only". It still means "no unauthorised use" by default under copyright law.

Military folks love porn! (5, Interesting)

gorzek (647352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369090)

I did a search on some IP addresses assigned to overseas US military facilities. Let's just say it turns out US soldiers like transsexuals and big girls. And possibly big transsexual girls.

Re:Military folks love porn! (2)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369382)

I did a search on some IP addresses assigned to overseas US military facilities. Let's just say it turns out US soldiers like transsexuals and big girls. And possibly big transsexual girls.

Give us the IPs or it didn't happen.

Re:Military folks love porn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369578)

Give us the names of the films so we can just how big the transsexual girls are.

Bull (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369122)

I call bullshit on the disclaimer."IP addresses can be shared among many people, and anyone can be behind a keyboard at any given time."

The MPAA and RIAA don't care about that, and they have gone after individuals non-stop dispite that posibility. The courts have just gone along with it as well, so...It IS our intention to get those intities into trouble. Turn about is fair play.

How do the pr0n sites make their $$$? Blackmail? (0)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369182)

"SEXY TIME social network Badoo has become the world's fourth-largest with over 132 million members worldwide and over 1 million in the UK. According to the Telegraph, Badoo is the 'Facebook for sex' but is also widely used as an ordinary social network. Apparently, a third of its British users admitted in a recent survey that they had "met someone for sex" through the web site. [...] Badoo is based in London and owned by a Russian entrepreneur called Andrey Andreev. It takes in about $100m a year in revenues."

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2132141/sex-social-network-fourth-largest [theinquirer.net]

How do the pr0n sites make their $$$? Blackmail?

Re:How do the pr0n sites make their $$$? Blackmail (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369530)

Haha, I checked it out and found that it fakes results when you hit the homepage. It showed some British-looking women for the IP of an area with no women like that (the closest IRL version of the "women in Low Earth Orbit!" experiment). Also it allows you to sign in with Facebook credentials. What could possibly go wrong?

Irony (4, Funny)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369222)

Quick pass PROTECTIP or SOPA and then we can catch these companies pirating content then shut them down for a felony pirating offense since Company=Person=IP address.

Re:Irony (3, Informative)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369518)

As someone else has stated, as long as the person at the company is downloading the items on the behalf of the company who is the copyright holder, neither PROTECTIP nor SOPA will apply because the company and by extension the person have the legal right to make copies while people who are not authorized to make copies do not have a legal right to make copies.
 
And, if an employee is downloading without permission and thus making unauthorized copies of a work, said employee is almost guaranteed to be violating corporate use policies and can be fired for such use.
 
Really, it is that simple.

They have the right (2)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369374)

If they're from the studios, they own the copyright to the properties so they have the legal right to download them. Sure, people make the argument that if they're on a BT tracker they're "distributing" the file so they're giving everyone else the legal right to download it, but that's not how IP law works. Besides, they'll say they were only downloading them to support their enforcement actions against other downloaders.

Someone has never worked in corporate IT (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369476)

An IP address is not a person, IP addresses can be shared among many people, and anyone can be behind a keyboard at any given time.

Well, actually, in a corporate environment, that is almost always false and in every single corporate behavior policy involving computer and network access I have ever seen it has stated that one is responsible for anything done under one's ID and from one's computer if one is logged into one's computer.
 
Also, I wonder if the IP addresses are for an open guest internet connection, something several companies I have worked for have had.

Classic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38369604)

haha, Now that's funny!

http://www.LiveQuranRadio.com
http://www.AllahsWord.com

LOL spoofed IP (2)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38369634)

In a response Buma/Stemra issued a press release stating that their IP-addresses were spoofed.

A spoofed IP address does not receive return packets unless you hijack the address or PAT the specific traffic on the router/firewall responsible for the address. I doubt Buma/Stemra had an outage long enough for someone to snag some files. If someone malicious owns their router/firewall there would be more mischief than this.

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