I could go on for pages and pages of complaints against Big Media and its fascist take on intellectual property rights and fair use. But this is a bit more specific: I stumbled upon a very interesting blog post about BayTSP, a company that monitors download swarms for bittorrent downloads ostensibly containing data copyrighted by their client. They then hand over a list of IP addresses to their client, who flexes its legal muscle to get a DCMA notice sent to the ISP associated with each IP address.
Here’s an excerpt from the blog post:
For my investigation, I wrote a very simple BitTorrent client. My client sent a request to the tracker, and generally acted like a normal Bittorrent client up to sharing files. The client refused to accept downloads of, or upload copyrighted content. It obeyed the law.
I placed this client on a number of torrent files that I suspected were monitored by BayTSP (For my own protection I don’t want to identify the torrents used for this research. I used the fact that NBC is a client of BayTSP to find trackers. If you want to check if BayTSP is monitoring a torrent, look for IPs coming from ranges in test.blocklist.org). Because the university’s information security office is very diligent about processing DMCA notices, I would be able to tell if the BayTSP folks sent notices based on this. With just this, completely legal, BitTorrent client, I was able to get notices from BayTSP.
Having gotten two completely baseless DCMA notices in the last few years1, I’m even more angered now than I was before. Obviously, the **AA’s interpretation of the law is distinctly at odds with those of a sane person, and it misses the clue train once again: rather than leverage Bittorrent to its advantage, it seeks to ostracize BT users by reinforcing the all-too-common misconception that bittorrent = illegal p2p.
I use Comcast, which, despite some of its less-than-stellar qualities, doesn’t seem to care very much about this rubberstamped DCMA forms they get from Dan Glickman’s corpulent, Å“dematous empire.
- One of which probably came from LokiTorrent, a site that mysteriously folded under legal pressure and gave up its server logs. The media companies then used a very, very basic keyword search to check for infringing materials. I, for instance, had download the rather large demo of Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone and received a DCMA notice claiming I had downloaded The Forgotten.[↩]