Hollywood Studio IP Addresses Sharing Hollywood Movies Via BitTorrent

from the well-look-at-that... dept

The folks over at TorrentFreak teamed up with BitTorrent monitoring firm Scaneye to look and see if files being shared via BitTorrent happened to be coming from some IP addresses held by the big Hollywood studios… and they found what appears to be tons of Hollywood flicks shared from Hollywood studio IP addresses. Of course, plenty of caveats apply: it’s possible that these are super ham-fisted honeypots for copyright trolling, in which they’re recording the IP addresses of downloaders. It’s possible that the system is wrong. It’s possible that the IP address information is wrong. But… it’s also possible that some employees at these studios are (whether on purpose or not) using BitTorrent and sharing films — sometimes films from other studios. For example, they found a Paramount Pictures IP address sharing Happy Feet, which is a Warner Bros. film.

In the end, there could be any number of reasons they were able to find these results, but given that when the shoe is on the other foot, the studios and other copyright holders seem to insist that a single IP address is proof positive of liability, doesn’t it seem reasonable to question the studios about this bit of evidence as well?

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Companies: paramount, warner bros.

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Comments on “Hollywood Studio IP Addresses Sharing Hollywood Movies Via BitTorrent”

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114 Comments
Franklin G Ryzzo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Not sure if any amount od bribery is going to work in this case, especially since the followup article on torrentfreak shows IP addresses from the DOJ, Homeland Security, and the US House of Representatives, among others: https://torrentfreak.com/exposed-bittorrent-pirates-at-the-doj-parliaments-record-labels-and-more-121226/

Revel in the delicious irony!

Jesse (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If the proper copyright holder gives you a copy of a movie, is it illegal to download it? They have the distribution rights…don’t they?

If they don’t have the distribution rights, then they are breaking the law, just as much if not more than many sites taken down by ICE.

If I put all my stuff on my front lawn and with a sign that says, “Help Yourself,” do I get to charge you with stealing after the fact?

I don’t get how downloading off a honeypot is illegal.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“[Do you really sit around all day and think about how much you hate the MPAA? Seems like it.]”

Coming from the guy who spent DAYS going “WHY WON’T YOU DEBATE ME?!?! RAWR!!!” this has to be the most hilarious and hypocritical thing ever.

[tips hat to AJ]

Congratulations for showing your hypocrisy knows no bounds. Good on you!

Shadow Dragon (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

That wasn’t the answer to question to what I asked as predicted you dodge it and turn about Mike when I want to know of you’re truly represent your position then why your argument are so predictable? As I suspect with any other troll like you.

Here’s your troll report card.
Anonyance;F
Deabate Skills;f
Entertaining; F
Overall:F

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“It’s cute though how you’re obsessed with me. Thanks for the compliment.”

[clears throat]

Ahem, let me repeat myself, “Coming from the guy who spent DAYS going “WHY WON’T YOU DEBATE ME?!?! RAWR!!!” this has to be the most hilarious and hypocritical thing ever.”

You really suck with your dismissive responses by the way. I mean if you’re going to say something make sure it doesn’t apply more to you than the person you’re saying it to. Derailing article after article for days on end saying “WHY WON’T YOU DEBATE ME?!?! RAWR!!!” is BEYOND obsessive. Your “I will reveal him for the charlatan he is!!!” vendetta against Mike shows YOU are beyond obsessed with him.

But again, your hypocrisy knows no bounds. Good on you!

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

The way P2P works is people share pieces of the file. If this evidence is true, then the studios are part of the torrent swarm: meaning, they are actively either solely downloading (which is still infringement, especially as the evidence above notes studios are downloading other studios works, so that alone destroys your pathetic attempt at an argument) or they are downloading and uploading, meaning they are actively sharing the works with other people, meaning an implied licence to share those works. To put it in physical terms, it’s like they have a stand in the middle of the street with a big sign saying “FREE DVDS!” and allowing people to copy the discs freely. To then try and target, or even think of targeting, those who partake of what they are offering is completely and one hundred percent, bogus.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

If they expect google to police the internet you would hope they could at least police their own network? I mean piracy is killing them all shouldn’t they be concerned about their employees killing the other movie companies? Or maybe this is their way of taking down the competition!? If WB can pirate enough movies from Sony they will bankrupt them right?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Wow, what a hypocrite. If an individual or small business is accused of anything like this, you’re the first one to bleat about how it’s the law, it’s the letter and not spirit of the law that matters and that people breaking the law should be punished even if it’s counterproductive and excessive.

Yet, no problem here, it’s a large corporation doing wrong, we should just shrug it off because it’s not a real crime and people are only human after all?

Wow.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“or it could be them monitoring the internet for violations of their rights.”

Them being the movie studios I assume…did you not read the fucking article? It was “TorrentFreak teamed up with BitTorrent monitoring firm Scaneye”. Nowhere in this article did it say that the studios were monitoring for violations of their rights.
Even if they were…why would they monitor themselves? This evidence allegedly (dunno why I give them the grace of saying allegedly, since they’ve yet to return the favour) says the studios are torrenting their own movies, and that of their competitors.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Explain to us again, how this story DOESN’T matter? We’ve got the movie studios and music labels on a rampage, threatening lawsuits against tens of thousands of people based solely on IP addresses…and here we have evidence alleging the movie studios are guilty of the same.
Look up the word hypocrisy in the dictionary, maybe that will clear things up for you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Actually, and more to the point, it seems more indicative of their new business plan: to lawyer in millions and millions of dollars without ever producing anything worth even watching. Yeah, they get lucky and spew out something halfways decent from time to time, but that doesn’t make the same big bucks as suing everyone.

Tex Arcana (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

You and out_of_the_blue: industry shills. Probably the same “person”, probably some junior lawyer looking for some asslicking opportunities to move up; and therefore trying to collect “evidence” against us “pirates” for our “illegal downloading”. :rolleyes:

Well, if yer such a hotshot “legal eagle”, bring your ?ber h4x0r1n6 skilz to the table and out us for what we are: a bunch of “freeloading pirate criminals that should be locked up and beaten daily for daring to think we actually have RIGHTS!!”

Bring it, bitch. We’re waiting… And we will make you scream like the little bitch you are when you do.

Fucking moron. Die in a fire.

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

You guys are too much. Maybe it’s a couple of employees being naughty. I bet some look at porn too. Next you’ll tell that employees there drive over the speed limit. Wow!! You guys (Mike most especially) are so terribly desperate to discredit the MPAA that it’s hilarious. TD is a barrel of laughs every time.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Maybe it’s a couple of employees being naughty. I bet some look at porn too. Next you’ll tell that employees there drive over the speed limit.

It probably is some employees doing what they shouldn’t on company equipment, BUT, it is a very strong argument against automatically laying blame on an account holder of an IP address instead of the actual responsible person for infringement, isn’t it?

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

> Maybe it’s a couple of employees being naughty.

And if it is, they should be treated exactly the same as Big Content treats any other company whose employees are naughty. Massive fines and loss of internet connection after three strikes.

Or do you not believe in applying the law fairly and equally to all?

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Actually…YES!!! With multiple exclamation marks. It was the movie studios and music labels who started the trend toward threatening lawsuits against random people with nothing more than an IP address. This isn’t the first time this story has come to light. I remember a similar story, here
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111221/03240317155/riaas-response-to-infringement-via-its-ip-address-is-to-note-someone-else-did-it.shtml

There they just waved their hand and said “Oh it must have been somebody else” which is an option they have NEVER offered to the people at the wrong end of a threatened lawsuit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

The point is that these people’s trade organisations are the ones that pushed rather hard for a rule that stated ISPs must disconnect people on three accusations of infringement.

Therefore, going by the above image alone, there are more than three accusations of infringement in that image: thus all the companies involved must be removed from the internet, regardless of their intent.

After all, they did write the law…

Tex Arcana (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Please note that this all hinges upon “accusations”, and not firm and confirmed PROOF of such “infringement”.

It’s like the police busting into my home and arresting me, convicting me, and throwing me in jail just because they thought I’d break the speed limit by 1 mph… A year from now.

“guilty until proven innocent” is still fucking wrong under our legal system, no matter who bribes whom to try and make it otherwise.

Tex Arcana (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Illegal sting operations are just that: illegal. And they apply to everyone.

Well, unless you’re the MAFIAA or a politician or lobbyist or corporate CEO or out_of_the_blue: then, you’re immune to the mundane laws of the rabble, the great unwashed masses, who MUST be punished for your sins!!

Fuck it: stockpile your weapons, and be ready to shoot the motherfuckers when they come to take you. It’s the only way.

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I think of myself as pushing him to be a better person. I do realize how futile that goal is, though. Mike’s never going to be an open, human, and awesome person. He’s just going to be a propagandist and a hater. It’s a shame. I think he’s really smart and could add so much positivity to the debate.
All he brings is bitterness and dishonesty. I don’t hate him. But I don’t respect him either. I think he’s resigned himself to being the type of person I just can’t respect. That’s a real shame.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Hey, at least he’s got enough of a shred of honesty to log in with a username, allowing people to not only see how much he’s posting, but access a history of what he’s said and distinguish it from the statements of others.

If the more obnoxious ACs and OOTB did the same, the numbers and obsessed ranting would be an epic read, to say the least.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

> Hey, at least he’s got enough of a shred
> of honesty to log in with a username,
> allowing people to not only see how much
> he’s posting, but access a history of what
> he’s said and distinguish it from the
> statements of others.

Except he doesn’t always. He posts anonymously almost as often as he uses his screen ID.

Anonymous Coward says:

If these movie studios now come out and say that the IP address does not prove it was their studio that committed the infringement or that the IP address has been faked then this will blow a very big hole in the arguments of those arguing with stating that an IP address proves who the infringer is. How can the copyright trolls and the MPAA etc. now sue infringers when their arguements that an IP address has now shown to be false.

Trevor (profile) says:

Strategy

Am I the only one who thinks maybe some employees at certain movie studios are “sharing” movies from competing studios to undermine their sales? If they believe piracy is such a problem, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think that by adding copies of competitors’ movies to torrent sites, they think it is hurting that other company’s sales…

I mean, it IS business…

out_of_the_blue says:

IF "some employees at these studios are",

“(whether on purpose or not) using BitTorrent and sharing films” then they’re criminals TOO (unless actually authorized as for a honey-pot). See how simple this is, Mike?

You haven’t made ANY point here except to show how you strain to somehow tarnish Hollywood. — AS IF you’re up to that, sonny. They’re experts at self-tarnishing, and revel in it.

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: IF "some employees at these studios are",

@ Ed C., Dec 26th, 2012 @ 11:21am

Re: IF “some employees at these studios are”,
You’re right blue, they are criminals. About time you admitted it.

/sarc
———-

I admit I’m right all the time! What’s your point?

Oh, okay, I’ve dumbed down and get your mistake: Mike wrote “some employees” — while you obviously read that as “studios” and just assume that the obvious reasons Mike also lists can’t be the actuality.

Sometimes it feels like I’m teasing not just ankle-biters, but feeble-minded ones here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: IF "some employees at these studios are",

Technically that is not true they can be criminally liable if the infringement is for profit, willful or both.

Which in the case of studios is easy to prove they after all are in the business of selling movies, so any distribution on their part can be viewed as a for profit even if it is to undermine, discredit or harm in any way the competition.

Quote:

(A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;

(B) by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000; or

Copyright Law of the United States of America
and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code Chapter 5: Copyright Infringement and Remedies ? 506. Criminal offenses

If I recall correctly copyright law was very recently amended to allow for criminal prosecution of simple acts in the US which make those studios criminally liable more than most.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: IF "some employees at these studios are",

“unless actually authorized as for a honey-pot”

Uh, why would Sony be operating a honey pot with stuff from 20th century fox?

Your logic would be sound if they were sharing their own films and series.

They are not. They are ripping each other off. According to their own logic, they, the studios – because corporations are people too – are pirates, no matter how you slice it. That is, unless someone wants to admit that they were wrong…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: IF "some employees at these studios are",

“Uh, why would Sony be operating a honey pot with stuff from 20th century fox?”

Correction:

I was confusing Top Chef (which is NOT from Fox, AFAIK) with Master Chef (which IS from Fox, AFAIK)…but my point still stands: Those studios are sharing stuff that isn’t theirs.

Zakida Paul says:

Re: IF "some employees at these studios are",

Why do you always critcise Mike for being pro corporation and then on articles like this you come over all pro corporation yourself?

On the Instagram article you came down on Mike for being pro corporation and yet on the Hollywood article you were defending the corporate whores that run Hollywood. Why so inconsistent and even hypocritical?

Machin Shin (profile) says:

Re: IF "some employees at these studios are",

“unless actually authorized as for a honey-pot”

So let me get this straight. I will translate to physical objects sense you guys love to say it is “stealing”.

What you saying is that sense there is a candy theft issue it is OK for someone to put out a large candy bowl saying “Free candy” and then slap the shit out of anyone who dares touch a piece?

Mike Brown (profile) says:

Keep reading

You only had to read one more sentence to find the point you’re claiming doesn’t exist:
“the studios and other copyright holders seem to insist that a single IP address is proof positive of liability, doesn’t it seem reasonable to question the studios about this bit of evidence as well?”

These guys are putting so much effort into going after file sharers, you’d think at the very least they’d get their own houses in order first.

Anonymous Coward says:

What is the difference?

What is the difference between ‘criminal copyright infringement’ and ‘providing a honeypot’???

If the studios are putting the movies out there (whether they are a ‘honey pot’ or not) and ‘making them available’ then they are guilty of criminal copyright infringement, just like the average joe would be if this was their IP address being identified.

If the studios are legally distributing the movie, then how can they claim that the users downloading that movie are guilty? I thought the liability was based solely on the fact that putting files in a ‘shared folder’ was the same as ‘making them available’ (ie. they get around the fact that nobody downloaded 100% of the movie from any one individual by claiming that merely ‘making available’ is enough to prove guilt and liability…. so they are guilty and liable for entrapment (if this is a honeypot setup) or merely ‘facilitating copyright infringement of files authorized for distribution…’

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: What is the difference?

If the studios are putting the movies out there (whether they are a ‘honey pot’ or not) and ‘making them available’ then they are guilty of criminal copyright infringement…

I wouldn’t think so. If the studios are putting their own the movies up on the bittorrent swarm (for whatever reason) then that is completely within their rights to do so as long as they are the rights holder.

I would think the problem would be in trying to prosecute anyone downloading movies made available by one of their honeypot schemes. Wouldn’t the act of making the movies available to the public in such a manner constitute authorization in and of itself?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: What is the difference?

“I would think the problem would be in trying to prosecute anyone downloading movies made available by one of their honeypot schemes. Wouldn’t the act of making the movies available to the public in such a manner constitute authorization in and of itself?”

Maybe these studios are using the Penda Law method of then suing everyone for hacking into their computer for downloading the movie in question even though they themselves are making it available via a Bittorrent swarm.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What is the difference?

The only difference is intent, for the purposes of the law.
Of course there are serious debate about what is or what is not a sign of intent, since intent can’t be measured directly at the moment of a crime(we don’t have portable MRI to scan all places all the time yet) it usually measured or recognized by indirect means, like actions taken, for the horror of everybody some want to expand the scope and definitions to include more actions like “just downloading”, and the more they go into the ether the more surreal things become.

Anonymous Coward says:

you know the rules. dont do what i do, do what i tell you!! and as for proof positive of an IP address? it only applies when it’s the double-standards entertainment industries using against ordinary people. you know the ones, those that dont have the finances to put up any sort of defense. why else do you think they have got the law changed to ‘guilty unless able to prove innocence and that it still costs people to even go to court and try to defend themselves?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Ah, but you see, that would be why they’d be putting up stuff from other companies/studios.

Since they don’t ‘technically’ have the rights to it, and one company isn’t likely to go after another for something like that, it would simply be a matter of putting up something, noting the IP addresses of those that download, and then sending the list to the people who do actually have the rights to the item in question, while they do the same in return.

Of course this is assuming some grand scheme, which, while possible, is much less likely than the simple idea that individuals from the various companies are downloading stuff, both because they can, and under the assumption that they are protected as members of the company.

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