Gnawing The Hand That Feeds You
TorrentFreak looked at the IP addresses (a computer's signature) of users of BitTorrent, one of the most common platforms for illegally sharing files online. Certain IP addresses were registered to the major studios, and TorrentFreak discovered that many of those computers had been merrily downloading movies and games with copyrights owned by their competitors. That's like a campaigner for the Women's Legion of True Temperance bootlegging 120-proof rum.
Hollywood Re-Arms Its Crusade
These employees can be seen as especially traitorous, since Hollywood has doubled down on its campaign to oust and punish pirates. Last year, Voltage Pictures sued 24,583 BitTorrent users for downloading Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker, the largest BitTorrent lawsuit in history. (In most cases like this, the often teenage offenders settle for a couple thousand dollars.)
coordinated protests by the princes of the internet, including Google, Wikipedia, and Reddit, killed the legislation. That same week, police swarmed the New Zealand mansion of Kim DotCom, indicting him for various crimes related to online piracy, and destroying his file-sharing website Megaupload.
Everybody Does It
In 2013, The Motion Picture Association of America is taking a new strategy, in cahoots with the Recording Industry Association of America and five major internet providers. Under the plan, dubbed "six strikes," internet providers warn users if someone is infringing copyright on their internet connection, and then pulverize the internet connection of repeat offenders.
But it's little surprise that employees of the Big Six are rebelling against their masters. BitTorrent has 100 million active monthly users -- around the same as Yahoo and Facebook combined, the website reported last year.
That's a lot of people, and they're everywhere. According to the website YouHaveDownloaded, which tracks the IP addresses behind BitTorrent downloads, folks at the Recording Industry Association of America, the palace of former French president Nicholas Sarkozy, and the Department of Homeland Security have whiled away some of their workdays downloading copyrighted content for free.
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