The Unauthorized Content Distrubtion System

from the amazingly-efficient dept

Everyone knows that just about any digital product you would want is probably available somewhere online. What many people probably don’t know, however, is how those products get there. Wired Magazine is running a fascinating article looking at the real distribution process for unauthorized content. It is not about someone buying a CD and ripping songs to their Kazaa-enabled PC. Instead, there’s a complex, but amazingly efficient distribution system that operates on a variety levels above the popular file sharing networks, and the content all filters down. If you’re familiar with typical warez groups, it appears these are like supersized versions of those — where everyone involved is doing it to get access to more stuff, but also just for the fun of it. While what’s happening in these networks is obviously very much illegal, what’s most fascinating is just how incredibly efficient a distribution system it really is. If the entertainment industry was being smart about things, they would stop reacting so badly, and start looking for ways to actually leverage this distribution system. Of course, that would require them to adjust their business models, and, as has become pretty damn clear, the industry doesn’t believe in ever changing business models.

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Comments on “The Unauthorized Content Distrubtion System”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

> Guess he’ll be getting a knock on the door from
> the FBI soon. Good job Wired!

The article also mentioned that he works for the music/film industry as a fire jumper (probably one of the few people who is allowed by both sides to stratle the line).

…so, no, he won’t be getting a knock on his door from the FBI.

In general, the FBI is an industry lapdog. They don’t jump until content producers tell them how high (and usually, they want that number to be over US$1million, hence all the civil suites). Their case load is high and real enough that they don’t have the time to run around tilting at windmills, worrying about hypotheticals.

Now, when you go engauging reporters in anything beyond (im)polite conversation, you run the risk of being monitored by an entirely different set of “watchers”. Intelligence gathering entities (and, it’s probably important to note that this can be anything from your basic PI to a foreign intelligence service (hell, it could even be a domestic service these days)) have been known to peemptively track and monitor reports or even entire reporting organizations.

…run down the blog line implications for Open Source intelligence gathering and you’ll understand why has had its’ budget recently increased and why chat rooms monitoring, social network research and automated steganographic detection/cracking is the latest addition the grant coffers at major institutions around the US (check your logs of hits from unlit address space and bots identifying themselves as “Mozilla” yet completely ignoring your robots.txt and goes as far as trying to break into your server:

Have a nice, paranoid day and remember, even Anonymous Cowards aren’t.

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