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  • (01. January 2010., 10:27:49)












Author Topic: MediaDefender denies entrapment accusations with fake torrent site  (Read 1514 times)

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Amker

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Antipiracy agency MediaDefender flatly denies recent claims that it set up an entrapment scheme in order to catch pirates at downloading illegal movies and software.
Earlier this week, the Motion Picture Association of America and antipiracy agency MediaDefender were allegedly caught red-handed when Internet sleuths traced a "fake" BitTorrent site back to the two groups. But MediaDefender told Ars Technica that the story has been blown far out of proportion and started by torrent groups like The Pirate Bay and TorrentFreak in order to slam MediaDefender's organization and software. 

The soap opera that the entire brouhaha revolves around started like this. A web site called MiiVi allegedly offered full-length motion pictures for download and offered to install special client software on the user's computer to help speed up the downloads. However, the software did a little more than that: it also performed searches of the user's computer for other illegal software and reported its findings back to MediaDefender. Acting on a tip from The Pirate Bay, the online publication ZeroPaid began an "investigation" and found that MediaDefender didn't make much of an effort to hide who was behind MiiVi. The whois records for MiiVi were clearly registered to MediaDefender with the company's address in California and administrative contact information within the company.

The initial article by ZeroPaid was picked up among members of the tech web immediately, which must have caused MediaDefender to realize that torrenters were a little brighter than they had previously thought. Shortly thereafter, the name in the whois record was changed, although MediaDefender's address remained intact. As of today, all of the whois contact information has been removed and it instead reflects anonymous Domains by Proxy information set up by GoDaddy. Since the MiiVi site's public exposure, it has since been taken down and replaced with a parked GoDaddy page.

MediaDefender's Randy Saaf told Ars Technica that while the company does own the domain to MiiVi, the story itself was completely made up. "MediaDefender was working on an internal project that involved video and didn't realize that people would be trying to go to it and so we didn't password-protect the site," Saaf said. "It was just an oversight from that perspective. This was not an entrapment site, and we were not working with the MPAA on it. In fact, the MPAA didn't even know about it."

If this is true, why did MediaDefender immediately remove all contact information from the whois registry for the domain? Saaf said that after everything hit the fan, the company decided to take everything on the site down because it was afraid of a hacker attack or "people sending us spam." Yes, spam.

The MPAA's Elizabeth Kaltman also chimed in to say that they had no involvement with MiiVi: "The Media Defender story is false. We have no relationship with that company at all," she told Ars.

We may never know MediaDefender's true motive behind MiiVi, but Saaf insists that it was nothing more than an internal site for research and development purposes only. If true, however, does this mean that MediaDefender could be looking into such a scheme in the future? Our Magic 8-Ball says "Reply hazy. Ask again later."
ars tehnica
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