Alleged illegal downloads
Nearly 50,000 users of BitTorrent’s peer-to-peer downloading software have been targeted in a sting over the past few months, accused of illegally downloading one of two movies.
Voltage Pictures, the studio behind 2009’s The Hurt Locker, is suing almost 25,000 BitTorrent users who allegedly illegally downloaded the flick. That came just weeks after 23,000 were sued for downloading The Expendables, produced by Nu Image.
Both of the lawsuits were filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., by the U.S. Copyright Group, an outfit formed by Washington-based law firm Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver. The group filed its Expendables lawsuit in February, then followed with its Hurt Locker lawsuit in April.
“They’re copyright trolls,” says Corynne McSherry, intellectual property director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights organization. “They take a dragnet approach to litigation.”
In October 2010, following a lawsuit filed by the music industry, US Judge Kimba Wood ruled that record companies “have suffered – and will continue to suffer – irreparable harm from LimeWire’s inducement of widespread infringement of their works”, noting that the potential damages were “staggering”.
Users of LimeWire are greeted by this notice at the program’s site
After a four-year legal battle between LimeWire and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a hearing to determine damages faced by LimeWire’s New York-based parent company, Lime Group, will be decided in January 2011.
“As a result of our current legal situation, we have no choice but to wind down LimeWire Store operations,” LimeWire said in a statement on Friday.
Brian Krebs reported on his blog that an Argentinian hacker named Ch Russo used security weaknesses in The Pirate Bay’s Web site to infiltrate and snatch the user names, e-mail and Internet addresses of more than 4 million users.
Russo maintains that at no time did he or his associates alter or delete information in The Pirate Bay database. But he acknowledges that they did briefly consider how much this access and information would be worth to anti-piracy companies employed by entertainment industry lobbying groups like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), each of which has assiduously sought to sink The Pirate Bay on grounds that the network facilitates copyright infringement.
Widespread Data Breaches Uncovered by FTC Probe
The Federal Trade Commission has notified almost 100 organizations that personal information, including sensitive data about customers and/or employees, has been shared from the organizationsâ€™ computer networks and is available on peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing networks to any users of those networks, who could use it to commit identity theft or fraud. The agency also has opened non-public investigations of other companies whose customer or employee information has been exposed on P2P networks. To help businesses manage the security risks presented by file-sharing software, the FTC is releasing new education materials that present the risks and recommend ways to manage them.
According to The Wall Street Journal the Recording Industry Association of America has decided to abandon its current tactic of suing thousands of individuals for allegedly stealing music via the Internet.
This turn of events will not affect current lawsuits already in play and the RIAA will continue to hash out preliminary agreements with major ISPs to stop piracy.
Music Industry to Abandon Mass Suits
Internet providers can pull the plug on botnets, even if it comes belatedly under pressure from the security community and newpaper articles. We have seen this with the recent take downs of Atrivo-Intercage, Est, McColo, where the bad stuff flowed from central servers.
Brian Krebs at The Washington Post, So Much Spam From One Place?
Vincent Weafer, director of development for Symantec Security Response, said the success of Storm, combined with so many criminal operations having been burned by the McColo takedown, strongly suggests botnets are going to continue adopting P2P technology.
That means decentralization.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) may get an earful.
Also at the Washington Post:
Answers Trickle Out as Spammer Networks Remain Compromised
A new twist in the works.
ArtistDirect’s Picast offers peer-assisted video delivery, and subsidiary MediaDefender, acquired by ArtistDirect in 2005, is designed to prevent alleged copyright infringement using peer-to-peer distribution.
Apprantly having used tactics such as flooding peer-to-peer networks with decoy files.
Arstechnica, Revision3 CEO: Blackout caused by MediaDefender attack
Wired: MediaDefender Defends Revision3 SYN Attack
Then there was Miivi.com, a video sharing site MediaDefender launched in February 2007.
File-sharing news site TorrentFreak alleged that Miivi.com was created to trap users uploading copyrighted content.
What is PiCast: http://picast.artistdirect.com/home.html
PiCast starts off with your existing Central Server or Content Delivery Network (CDN), so as to retain the stability, security, and control of a centralized infrastructure. However, once there are more than 2 simultaneous users, PiCast begins to coordinate a distributed ‘peer-cast’ environment, where each individual user is enabled as a peer, and begins to act as an additional source of the stream.
Ryan Lawler: MediaDefender Backs P2P Player PiCast
Certifiedbug, August 17, 2008. Spammers pose as MediaDefender
Arts+Labs is a collaboration between creators and innovators who regard the Internet as a vibrant town center where all consumers can safely choose from a vast array of digital products, entertainment and services. Because quality content drives the Internet, Arts+Labs and its founding members: AT&T, Viacom, NBC Universal, Cisco, Microsoft and the Songwriters Guild of America, also aims to ensure that artists, creators and innovators can safely share their works through new online distribution channels with confidence that their right to earn fair compensation for their creativity is respected.
â€œWe certainly do not condone online theft of copyrighted materials. At the same time, we similarly do not favor the unwarranted intrusion into the Internet that this group promises for the future.â€
Kenneth Doroshow, former executive at the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA ), will join The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) as General Counsel in September 2008.
The ESA continues to attract and recruit the brightest individuals. Ken has remarkable expertise in the protection of intellectual property and an excellent understanding of the increasingly connected, dynamic, and innovative entertainment environment we live in,â€ said Michael D. Gallagher, CEO of the ESA, which represents U.S. computer and video game publishers. â€œThe computer and video game industry will be well-protected with Kenâ€™s guidance and I know he will help facilitate our growth to even greater heights.
Spammers are using scare-tactics threatening recipients with interrupted Internet connectivity or legal action to entice users to open a malicious attachment. Of course you should not open it.
The spam pretends to be from MediaDefender, a controversial company offering services to prevent alleged copyright infringement using peer-to-peer (P2P) distribution.
As many people do use P2P to download illegal files, they may be aware of MediaDefender, and receiving such fake emails could cause an “OMGZ Busted” reaction causing them to click and get infected.
Revision3, an Internet television network, requested assistance from the FBI in May 2008 to investigate a denial of service attack. Revision3 blamed MediaDefender for the Ddos.