The entertainment industry's tried all sorts of things to fight file-sharing online, ranging from flooding P2P networks with fake files (though that didn't really work out) to apparently seedung them with spyware. One of its favorite tricks, though, is to set up honeypots of fake content or torrents, then capturing IP addresses from visitors and using them as the flimsy basis for their infamous lawsuits. The MPAA -- or rather MediaDefender, a company working for it -- has done this again recently, but going a little further by not just trying to trick people into downloading copyrighted movies, but also by offering visitors a custom downloading "client" that's essentially spyware that scans their machines for copyrighted files (via Broadband Reports) they've downloaded. Of course, "dirty tricks" is a phrase that seems to find itself near the letters "RIAA" and "MPAA" fairly often. Just a few weeks after a lawsuit alleging the tactics used by MediaSentry, another company hired by the entertainment industry, to search people's computers are illegal, another such suit has been filed. A woman in Texas has sued the RIAA, saying it employed unlicensed investigators and knowingly broke Texas laws in doing so. Judges have smacked down the RIAA's tactics before, but that appears to have had little effect on it. At what point do they figure out they don't get to determine what's legal for them to do in the name of investigation? Probably about the same time they figure out that instead of wasting their resources by suing their customers, they should change their business model instead.
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