BitTorrent downloads linked to RIAA and DHS

By Lee Kaelin on December 22, 2011, 10:30 AM

The recent launch of www.youhavedownloaded.com has been attracting an ever-increasing audience as internet users scramble to see what publicly available data is stored against IP addresses they use. For those guilty of piracy the site offers a disturbing insight into the data held against their IPs, but it is now becoming known that many of those in favor of SOPA are not quite so squeaky clean either.

In an ironic turn of events, IP addresses assigned to the RIAA have been linked to content that has been illegally downloaded according to TorrentFreak. The site found that six of the anti-piracy organization's IP addresses had downloaded various files, including the first five seasons of the hit TV series Dexter, and music from artists Jay-Z and Kanye West, among other things.

"Those partial IP addresses are similar to block addresses assigned to RIAA. However, those addresses are used by a third party vendor to serve up our public Web site," a RIAA spokesperson told Cnet. They argued that the information was inaccurate and none of its staff had used those IPs to connect to the internet.

Even more bizarre is the fact they are using the "someone else did it" excuse despite their own lawyers refusing to accept that claim in the cases of tens of thousands of people previously prosecuted for piracy. Added to which, it is questionable whether an organization can reserve blocks of IP addresses then just hand them out to third parties. There could of course be genuine reasons for seeking pirated files, but it is also possible that employees have been downloading them as well.

The Department of Homeland Security, known for seizing domains relating to illegal downloading was also mentioned in the report, with over 900 unique IP addresses that when searched flagged up pirated content. The two organizations join Fox, Sony and Universal, as well as the office of the French President Nicholas Sarkozy. Despite a request for comment in light of the recent revelations the DHS has remained silent.

The one thing they all have in common is the desire to make piracy regulations tougher, with most supporting SOPA. The French President is particularly renowned for his tough stance on those that pirate copyrighted material online. It will be interesting to see if they launch investigations and treat those found to be downloading with the same level of aggression as the general public often is, or whether it will be brushed under the carpet in an endless maze of lawyer excuses as they push ever harder to implement SOPA into U.S. legislation.




User Comments: 16

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Guest said:

well of course they have, how else do you think they identify pirated content? magic? They need proof. Think they can just look at the name and go "Yup, that's pirated". LOL

Tomorrow_Rains said:

Eh

Regardless, in-order to do so the RIAA and DHS require court orders in-order to obtain that kind of information or they themselves can be sued for copyright infringement. I smell a class action lawsuit.

Guest said:

I don't really get youhavedownloaded.com. According to them, I don't exist in their database. I'm not exactly a rampant pirate, but I've downloaded my fair share of movies, shows, music and games through bittorrent... And yet, nothing. Truth be told, I feel a bit underappreciated

Then again, maybe they only track users from certain countries.

Guest said:

I am a pretty rampant downloader, and while I don't knowingly infringe copyright I use Blocklist Manager just in case any content providers have a different assessment :-)

http://download.cnet.com/Blocklist-Manager/3000-18512_4-5522
.html).

I'm not on youhavedownloaded.com either, and I've never downloaded a single virus from torrent files (more than I can say about 'legit' sources).

andy06shake said:

I will pirate till they come get my rig. Dont care a dam what they say i have downloaded, F**k RIAA very hard from behind!!! Id be more worried about my Mrs discovering my porn history, lol. People that can pay should pay! Everyone else= Torrents!!!

mccartercar said:

Guest said:

I don't really get youhavedownloaded.com. According to them, I don't exist in their database. I'm not exactly a rampant pirate, but I've downloaded my fair share of movies, shows, music and games through bittorrent... And yet, nothing. Truth be told, I feel a bit underappreciated

Then again, maybe they only track users from certain countries.

You have a dynamic Ip address most likely you are a dsl user and not a cable user who most of the time have more fixed or static ip addresses.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Heh, they've been caught numerous times now infringing and always use the same excuse of 'someone else' or flat out deny & ignore.

andy06shake said:

Ive had a few letters demanding £5000 a piece. Its justs debt companys/lawyers chancing there arse. I wonder how many little middle class wombles have been intimidated enough to pay up? Since i dont have 5000p right now, never mind £5000 i would love to see them get a penny from me.

Leeky Leeky said:

Regardless, in-order to do so the RIAA and DHS require court orders in-order to obtain that kind of information or they themselves can be sued for copyright infringement. I smell a class action lawsuit.

That is how I understand it. A company can't just break the law the same as the accused has in order to prove they have. That would make them as bad as the person standing accused of pirating.

But that said, the law is a finicky thing at best, and I'm constantly amazed at just how many loopholes lawyers take advantage of to get a conviction.

Guest said:

Too all of you who openly say you pirate which is stealing (to take the property of another wrongfully and especially as a habitual or regular practice) just remember another law that is immutable, the law of karma. Have a happy life...

TJGeezer said:

Guest said:

well of course they have, how else do you think they identify pirated content? magic? They need proof. Think they can just look at the name and go "Yup, that's pirated". LOL

Uh huh. That's why they're denying they did it and pointing fingers at unnamed third parties. When RIAA reps tell the press "We didn't do it, we weren't even there, and we'll never do it again," how can anyone doubt them?

Geez.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

this site is broken, i don't see how it can say i've been to some torrent sites downloading some stuffs i've never heard of !!!

humm, do i take for granted what's being said or do i start an investigation on improper use of my wifi !!?

or maybe i'm just the unlucky guy who got that IP bailed to me after some pirate did some well pirate deed with it !!! ...

cheers!

Leeky Leeky said:

All depends on whether you have a dynamically assigned IP address from your ISP or a static IP address. If its Dynamically assigned then others will have likely had it before you, hence why it shows content you don't know about.

But don't be lured into a false sense of security. Time and date stamps can be matched to your ISPs records if required, and it WILL show if you've illegally downloaded anything.

andy06shake said:

"Too all of you who openly say you pirate which is stealing (to take the property of another wrongfully and especially as a habitual or regular practice) just remember another law that is immutable, the law of karma. Have a happy life..."

Take what you do not have, but have what you cannot take, never hurt anyone weeker than yourself! 3 simple rules of a noble thief. Karma compels and promotes these actions, and has allways served me well!

Guest said:

If you have dsl you most likely have a dynamic ip which means it changes. Your current ip will either show nothing at all on that site or everything people have downloaded who happened to use the same ip you've been assigned to. Just unplug your dsl modem for about 20 seconds and you have a new ip. If you have a cable modem, you can still most likely change your ip, just not near as fast. To change your ip with a cable modem just leave it unplugged for about 8 hours... if you have cable and your ip can change, 8 hours should do it. the only way to get caught from there is your mac address and/or your isp. to change ur mac address simply download k-mac (from a trusted source). As for your isp, your screwed. The only way to avoid ur isp is to go to some public wifi hotspot and download ur booty from there... just be sure you mac is changed when u do.

Guest said:

Also, when you change ur mac while your at home (connected to the internet thru ur isp) don't change the mac to something like 00-00-00. That will red flag you as much as downloading anything illegal would. Just change a 'B' character to a 'C' or something along those lines. If your at a public wifi hotspot, the mac won't matter just as long as it's not your own.

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