Considering all of the concerns major music and movie studios have over piracy and file sharing, one would think the studios could at least manage to keep their own employees from stealing content. That is apparently not the case, however. TorrentFreak has a new tool that reveals what a specific IP address has downloaded from BitTorrent, and used it to snoop around a few popular studios. The site found that employees at Fox, Sony and NBC Universal were downloading illegal content from BitTorrent. A Sony employee, for example, downloaded Conan the Barbarian, an album from The Black Keys, and a Beavis and Butthead video. An NBC Universal Employee downloaded HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones, Cowboys and Aliens and a trance album. Fox typically contacts the FBI when a movie has been leaked, but TorrentFreak found an employee downloading a 1080p HD version of the movie Super 8. “By highlighting the above our intention is not to get anyone into trouble, and for that reason we masked out the end of the IP addresses to avoid a witch hunt,” TorrentFreak said. “An IP address is not a person, IP addresses can be shared among many people, and anyone can be behind a keyboard at any given time.” A Google employee was also caught downloading Windows 7, and the Church of God was busted for downloading two popular TV shows. More →
Amazon announced on Thursday that it has inked an agreement with NBCUniversal to provide its subscription customers with access to 1,000 Universal Pictures movies. The deal is in addition to the online retailer’s recent agreement with CBS to offer shows such as Star Trek and Cheers to its customers. The new content includes films such as Being John Malkovich, Jetsons, Flipper, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Billy Elliott. Amazon is largely expected to release at least one tablet in the coming months, which will provide its customers with near instant access to its Amazon Unbox, Amazon Mp3, Kindle, Cloud Music and Cloud Drive services. Comcast owns 51% of NBCUniversal while General Electric owns the remaining 49%. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Read on for the full press release. More →
Just because we might associate the company with loveable characters like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck doesn’t mean the characters who are running the show at Warner Bros. Entertain UK have similar personalities. After all, they’re the ones that came up with the brilliant idea of hiring a student intern, paying him or her £17,500 ($26,212 USD) over the course of a year and having them engage in a bit of digital espionage. The intern, who is to be “IT literate” and currently enrolled as a student pursuing a degree in computer science, will be charged with infiltrating torrent sites and creating bots which sniff out media which Warner Bros. and NBC Universal hold the copyrights to. Here’s a snippet from the job description:
During the 12 month internship, duties will include: monitoring local Internet forums and IRC for pirated WB and NBCU content and in order to gather information on pirate sites, pirate groups and other pirate activities; finding new and maintaining existing accounts on private sites; scanning for links to hosted pirated WB and NBCU content and using tools to issue takedown requests; maintaining and developing bots for Internet link scanning system (training provided); preparing sending of infringement notices and logging feedback; performing trap purchases of pirated product and logging results; inputting pirate hard goods data and other intelligence into the forensics database; selecting local keywords and submitting local filenames for monitoring and countermeasure campaigns and periodically producing research documents on piracy related technological developments. Various training will be provided.
Yikes. More →