Revulytics Blog

Anti-piracy Firm Misses The Mark

June 6, 2008

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Cnet's News.com covered the story of anti-piracy firm MediaDefender mistakenly targeting a legit user of BitTorrent (Revision3) with a Denial of Service attack. Revision3 is "an actual TV network for the web, creating and producing its own original, broadcast quality shows" like Diggnation, The GigaOm Show, and Tekzilla.

Disrupting the distribution network to control piracy is meant to reduce the ebb and flow of pirated works to end users. On the surface this seems like a valid approach and may have some effect for music. But as this example shows, it assumes that every user of BitTorrent is a target.

We've also seen different anti-piracy firms get into trouble with the European Union by harvesting IP addresses on P2P activity. Again, the failure of these approaches is that they must treat every download of pirated assets as an infringement whether it’s used or not.

Outside of the privacy and errant target issues, the resiliency of these networks makes trying to disrupt the services impossible. I believe that preventative anti-piracy techniques need to target the piracy groups or the end users actually using the software. By focusing on the actual use of pirated software the software vendor is much closer to recovering license revenue then the broad brush (and potentially illegal) approach of disrupting P2P services.

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Michael Goff

Post written by Michael Goff

Marketing Director at Revulytics
Michael is Marketing Director at Revulytics where he is responsible for corporate marketing, content, and social media. He has helped to educate the industry on the benefits of software usage analytics for compliance and product management through the company's blog and contributed articles in trade publications. Michael was previously a marketing programs manager at The MathWorks and principal at Goff Communications. Michael earned a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. from Colgate University.