MPAA’s Media Defender sets up ‘fake’ site to catch pirates

( Don’t get caught up in the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) latest sting. Media Defender, a company which does the dirty work for the MPAA, has been caught setting up ‘dummy’ websites in an attempt to catch those who download copyrighted videos – entrapment comes to mind. The site,, complete with a user registration, forum, and “family filter”, offers complete downloads of movies and “fast and easy video downloading all in one great site.” But that’s not all; MiiVi also offers client software to speed up the downloading process. The only catch is, after it’s installed, it searches your computer for other copyrighted files and reports back.

ZeroPaid, acting on a tip from The Pirate Bay, found MiiVi to be registered to Media Defender using a whois search. Shortly after, the registrar information was changed, but the address still reflects Media Defender’s address at 2461 Santa Monica Blvd., D-520 Santa Monica, CA 90404.

Not 10 hours after the site was found to be registered to Media Defender, the site went dead. There’s no telling how long it was up; however, the domain was registered on February 8, 2007.

Perhaps Media Defender won’t use its own name on the registrar the next time around, but it just goes to show the lengths at which the MPAA is willing to go, to fight piracy.


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3 Responses

  1. implementor says:

    Isn’t that illegal? It seems as if the MPAA and RIAA have been committing felonies left and right in their pursuit of downloaders, and they don’t get prosecuted for them – makes you wonder.

  2. Mystech says:

    I’m pretty sure this is illegal under the various spy/malware provision in this country, but a strong lobby combined with overwhelmingly expensive legal costs for private individuals, allows organizations like the MPAA & RIAA to operate with a great deal of impunity. Although some private law suits and counter suits have succeeded (mostly against RIAA/MPAA middle-man law firms), basically it takes the likes of an EFF or ACLU to present any significant bulwark against them.

    I’m really hoping all of this amounts to the proverbial rope that finally lets them hang themselves for good.

  3. Mystech says:

    The company in question, MediaDefender, is denying any relation to the RIAA/MPAA and claiming the entire allegations are fabricated. I wouldn’t rush out and use it just yet though; better safe than sorry in a world where blanket denial regardless is the first step in mounting a possible legal defense. 🙂

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