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Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Mediadefender Emails Hacked

Mediadefender, a company that attempts to thwart piracy using curious techniques (for example, flooding P2P networks with spoof files) are the subject of a whole lot of criticism after thousands of company emails have allegedly been revealed to the world courtesy of Hackers, calling themselves 'Mediadefender-defenders' (see SMH article here).

Mediadefender had previously been accused of running a site called MiiVi offering downloads of copyright protected materials. Some have theorised that the site was used to entrap users. Ryan Paul at Ars Technica writes:
"The MediaDefender e-mails leaked this weekend confirm beyond doubt that the company intentionally attempted to draw traffic to MiiVi while obscuring its own affiliation with the site. The e-mails also show that MediaDefender immediately began to recreate the site under a different name and corporate identity soon after the original plan was exposed."
The emails apparently also reveal discussions with the New York Attorney-General's office and possible provision data to this agency. The emails also allegedly contain a draft contract with Universal Music Group, which details the company's pricing structure and 'services'.

Later Paul writes:
"Although many of MediaDefender's innermost secrets have been laid bare by this leak, there are many aspects of the company that remain shrouded in mystery. The ultimate purpose of the MiiVi site, for instance, is still an enigma. In some ways, the information in these e-mails raises more questions about MiiVi than it answers. It is likely that many additional details about MediaDefender's operations will be disclosed to the public as new secrets are uncovered in the e-mails. The rate at which these e-mails propagate across the Internet may also stand as a testament to the difficulty of trying to stand between consumers and their torrents."
Torrentfreak interestingly points out:
"For a business model that gets its life-blood from piracy, in a twisted way this leak is likely to help generate even more business and develop the market. Funny old world."
And all in time for 'International Talk Like a Pirate Day' tomorrow.

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