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New Website Exposes BitTorrent Downloaders, Also Exposes Studios For Pirating Movies

Posted by: , 17:09 UTC, Sat December 17, 2011

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A new website exposes the list of downloads made by BitTorrent downloaders, but also helps to expose infringing activities at movie studios and copyright agencies

A new website called YouHaveDownloaded plans to expose BitTorrent downloaders, by listing the movies, music (and porn) they've downloaded based on their IP address.

By monitoring public trackers and via DHT (distributed hash table), YouHaveDownloaded collects IP addresses in the same way anti-piracy agencies do it, and it then publishes these results on their website, also allowing others to search for what you have downloaded. 

So far, YouHaveDownloaded has collected over 54 million IP addresses, for 120,000 Torrents.

As expected, the website has come under criticism for privacy violations, and has stirred further controversy, although perhaps from an unexpected quarter.

TorrentFreak has done some searching of their own and found that IP addresses belong to movie studios have also been used to download pirated movies.

Staff at NBC-Universal used the company's Internet connection to download everything from the first season of the (excellent) Game Of Thrones in glorious 720p quality (a 14GB download), and even a DVD-rip of 'Cowboys and Aliens'.

Sony employees downloaded the 2011 re-make of Conan The Barbarian, a film produced by the Nu Image Films, the people behind the infamous 'The Expendables' lawsuit. 

And someone at Fox downloaded a BD-rip version of a competing studio's film, Super 8.

And it's not just movie studios, tech companies such as Google are not immune, and even a Dutch royalty collection agency, Buma/Stemra, the company at the heart of a recent corruption scandal.

Buma/Stemra issued a denial of these "charges", saying their IP address must have been spoofed. An unlikely scenario, but still one that cannot be ruled out, but one that anti-piracy agencies and law makers seem to ignore whenever it comes to prosecuting web pirates.

And there's also the issue of shared IP addresses, as large companies usually have only one outfacing IP address, which is shared by all employees. And as such, IP address "evidence" cannot be used to identify an individual, only the owner of the connection. While movie studios, music labels and anti-piracy agencies have been happy to prosecute based on only the IP address, by saying that the owner is solely responsible for his/her own Internet connection, or that the ISP is responsible for the actions of its subscribers, the same companies will probably argue against these set of believes, or face being found equally liable for the downloads of their employees.


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