ONTD Political

Hollywood studio IP addresses caught pirating rivals’ films

6:31 pm - 12/26/2012
Internet protocol (IP) addresses associated with several major Hollywood studios were recently logged using bittorrent networks to share films created by rival studios, according to a report on peer-to-peer blog TorrentFreak.

Working with the bittorrent tracking service ScanEye, TorrentFreak identified IP addresses registered to Paramount, Disney, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures sharing films, television shows and games. A “WhoIs” search confirms one of the addresses TorrentFreak published does indeed belong to Paramount.

The same studios are the principle driving force behind the forthcoming “six strikes” anti-piracy scheme that will log IP addresses engaged in media piracy and deliver warnings to users.

While it’s impossible to say exactly why these IP addresses were participating in bittorrent networks — and there are a variety of uses for peer-to-peer exchanges that do not involve illegal activities — it’s most likely that individual employees were sharing media from their work computers.

Though surprising, this isn’t the first time movie studio addresses have been caught engaging in piracy. A now-shuttered Russian website called “You Have Downloaded,” which functioned similarly to ScanEye, said in 2011 that it had also identified IP addresses belonging to the same studios engaging in online piracy. The site also picked up piracy at the Department of Homeland Security, the French president’s office and even at the Recording Industry Association of America.

IP addresses are often used by law firms that file suit on behalf of movie and music studios against individuals accused of pirating copyrighted materials online. The “Six Strikes” program will also focus on IP addresses, using them as the basis for injecting warning messages about illegal online activity.

Despite the entertainment industry’s reliance on IP addresses for copyright enforcement, a judge in New York ruled last May that the numbers are no longer enough to specifically identify an individual user due to the prevalence of wireless Internet that allows multiple users and devices to share the same IP address.


seishin 27th-Dec-2012 02:29 am (UTC)
amber_protocol 27th-Dec-2012 02:33 am (UTC)
I was going to go with a Mr Burns "Excellent" gif, but this is so much more apt.
layweed 27th-Dec-2012 02:36 am (UTC)
dixiedolphin 27th-Dec-2012 02:46 am (UTC)
Yeah, usually this is some employee who installs bittorrent on their laptop at home and forgets to turn it off when they come into the office--rather than some sort of concerted, company-condoned activity.

The office I do IT for (a branch of one of those mentioned above) has a firm ZERO tolerance policy about torrents. We actively scan our network and at the first sign of torrent traffic, we shut their computer down and report it to H.R. People have been fired over it more than once. But we're just one small branch of a much larger company. IT may not be as vigilant in other business units, supported by different groups.

Especially in the entertainment industry, there's a HUGE push to not allow this. It still slips through, but there's a sort of pact between all the major studios to actively root out this sort of thing--hence the immediate firing if caught.

Honestly, I have no sympathy. Do that shit on your own time, on your own network. But the second you use company resources, jeopardizing the entire company--you're outta there.
lantean_breeze 27th-Dec-2012 03:00 am (UTC)
"Yeah, usually this is some employee who installs bittorrent on their laptop at home and forgets to turn it off when they come into the office--rather than some sort of concerted, company-condoned activity."

I don't think this is likely at all. Maybe for a small company this could be the case, but these large corporations have firewalls that protect against this very thing--accessing illegal, "unproductive," and unfavorable sites. Since these are the main players in the "don't pirate" campaign, torrent sites would be, imo, the first thing they would block. So, even if the employee used their personal laptop to access the company's wireless network (which would be odd, imo, because at work you usually use a company issued laptop (where you'd be under contract to NOT add anything to it unauthorized like torrent software) or a company desktop that would absolutely NOT allow access to torrent sites and software, but back to my point with this run-on sentence, even if somehow an employee could use the company's wireless network for their own personal computer, say, like during break time, they'd be blocked from accessing anything that the firewall blocked, i.e. torrent sites.

It's not some employees at these companies, especially the GOVERNMENT, that are using resources unauthorized for pirating. These companies are ALLOWING it. For what reason, I do not know, but they have lost all credibility when they say "don't pirate" in my mind.

Edit: Now that I just thought of it, it is possible they could be doing research of some sort on pirating which might require taking part in that activity. That's the only half way reasonable justification I could see them having for this.

Edited at 2012-12-27 03:23 am (UTC)
otana 27th-Dec-2012 03:06 am (UTC)
I have to wonder. Paramount has guest wifi (I don't remember if Sony does) and when you sign in they give you the daily password on your pass so theoretically it could be someone working there for the day? That said I can't imagine there wouldn't be restrictions and firewalls and such and maybe it's a different IP.

Hilarious either way!
seishin 27th-Dec-2012 03:24 am (UTC)
I'd be *shocked* if those guest-passes didnt have firewalls on top of firewalls and other restrictions.
lantean_breeze 27th-Dec-2012 03:25 am (UTC)
Exactly. Even places like Whole Foods have a firewall for their guest wireless services. They can't do better than a grocery store??? LOL!
tiddlywinks103 27th-Dec-2012 04:11 am (UTC)
baka_tenshi 27th-Dec-2012 05:33 am (UTC)
star_maple 27th-Dec-2012 09:44 am (UTC)
LOL. Everyone I know who really actively get tons of stuff through torrents works in the entertainment industry. Those anti-piracy ads always crack me up because the worst offenders are the guys putting out the commercials.

Whether it's research (downloading a scene as an example to show a cinematographer, or to look at the work of an actress before hiring her, or looking at how similar scenes have been handled in the past) or for entertainment (it's hard to catch your favorite show or go see a movie when you're working all hours) it's happening all the time. This article doesn't surprise me at all.
lantean_breeze 28th-Dec-2012 02:51 am (UTC)
I believe this.
bmh4d0k3n 27th-Dec-2012 04:26 pm (UTC)
Just here to comment on your flawless userpic.
moonshaz 28th-Dec-2012 03:34 am (UTC)
paksenarrion2 28th-Dec-2012 04:24 am (UTC)
This doesn't surprise me in the least. I've got a couple of friends that work in the industry (one in sound and one as a PA) and they both say it goes on all the time.

I can't imagine trying to do it at my job. We get crap for trying to watch streaming TV so I imagine trying to use a torrent site would really slow down the network enough to get someone fired. They are pretty lax about using sites like FB and email programs as long as the use isn't excessive.
This page was loaded May 25th 2018, 12:52 am GMT.