London and Paris offices affected, as well as New York. And some curious downloading going on in the European Parliament.
Universal Music, which lobbies for enforcement measures against peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing, has been caught with its proverbial pants down. Statistics on Bit Torrent usage, made available by the anti-piracy surveillance company, ScanEye, and uncovered by TorrentFreak, reveal the possibility of P2P downloading within the offices of copyright industry companies. For example, the data links certain downloaded files of copyrighted television programmes to the London and Paris offices of Universal Music.
ScanEye sells its services to the copyright industry for the purpose of identifying file-sharers who can be either taken to court, or punished via 3-strikes measures. ScanEye picks up the IP addresses of file-sharers actively using BitTorrent to download files, and performs what is known as an IP address ‘translation’, to find out who the IP address belongs to.
IP address ‘translation’ will usually reveal the ISP, to whom the rights-holders must go in order to get the identity of the individual subscriber. What is less well known, is that it can uncover a corporate user, leading it straight to the company or organisation where the file-sharer is based.
The ScanEye P2P surveillance data shows clearly and irrevocably how a large number of copyrighted files have been downloaded using corporate IP addresses. The matter was highlighed by TorrentFreak, which has exposed file-sharing linked to the United States offices of Universal as well as Warner Music and Sony Music Entertainment, and some of the Hollywood Studios.
Iptegrity carried out its own review of the ScanEye P2P surveillance data. The data has monitored downloads of copyrighted material that can be linked to the London and the Paris offices of Universal. In both cases, a television programme was downloaded – an episode of Channel Four’s comedy series 8 Out of 10 Cats, and an episode of the the ‘Drug Kings of New York’ series shown on the National Geographic Channel. Both of these would be outside the scope of Universal Music's own repertoire.
Of course, the howling mob will have a good laugh at Universal’s expense. But if Universal, and the other music companies, cannot control their own staff, how do they hope to make 3-strikes laws work?
If the copyright industries have any sense, they will realise this is a loud, clanging wake-up call to change their business model.
Moreover, it will demonstrate to policy-makers exactly how copyright enforcement measures work in real life.
The ScanEye P2P surveillance data also exposes BitTorrent activity within the German Bundestag, and in European Parliament itself, where someone downloaded Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons – a pop group dating back to the 1960s, who give annual concerts for pensioners in British seaside towns. Hence, it rules out the younger MEPs, and suggests that the downloader is likely to be over 60.
Can you imagine the conversation when the industry lobbyists turn up at his or her office?
Industry lobbyist: ‘We’d just like to remind you that downloading of copyrighted music is illegal’.
MEP: ‘I’d just like to remind you about that amendment you asked me to table to the Collective Rights Management directive’.
For more on the lobbying of the music industry in the European Parliament, see my book The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the ‘Telecoms Package’ It discusses entertainment industry lobbying on the EU Telecoms Package.
This is an original article from Iptegrity.com. If you refer to it or to its content, you should cite my name as the author, and provide a link back to iptegrity.com. Media and Academics – please cite as Monica Horten, Universal Music caught in its own trap, in www.iptegrity.com, 27 December 2012 . Commercial users - please contact me.