Ever downloaded a pirate video? The publisher knows that you did it. Apparently.

An interesting article in New Scientist here.

Anyone who has downloaded pirated music, video or ebooks using a BitTorrent client has probably had their IP address logged by copyright-enforcement authorities within 3 hours of doing so. So say computer scientists who placed a fake pirate server online – and very quickly found monitoring systems checking out who was taking what from the servers.

The news comes from this week’s SecureComm conference in Padua, Italy, where computer security researcher Tom Chothia and his colleagues at the University of Birmingham, UK, revealed they have discovered “massive monitoring” of BitTorrent download sites, such as the PirateBay, has been taking place for at least three years.

Quite right too.   One can imagine the conversation in a Pall Mall club:

What business have the plebs in reading or watching, unless they pay someone for it?  Another glass of something, minister?

I imagine that these companies — they like to call themselves “creative industries”, presumably in reference to their attitude to the law — are keen to get a law passed that will allow them to demand money under  threat from all those people.

2 Responses to “Ever downloaded a pirate video? The publisher knows that you did it. Apparently.”


  1. rey

    Read an article about this a while back. It seemed to suggest that the people doing the monitoring are already selling their logs to the Hollywood studios so they can then attempt to use that to sue the worst offenders.

  2. Roger Pearse

    All about money, this sort of thing.