RIAA’s Hand Gets Caught in the Torrent Cookie Jar

It must be tough to push hard for bills like the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP when your employees or members are downloading illegal files. According to a report on TorrentFreak, someone from both Homeland Security and the RIAA (the trade group that represents the music industry) have been downloading popular music. The IP addresses associated with these groups were unearthed on YouHaveDownloaded.com, a site that databases the IP's and downloads of Torrent users. Since this data base is searchable, all you need to know is the IP range of a target to figure out – in general – who is downloading from what IP address.

Last week TorrentFreak revealed that there are BitTorrent pirates at Sony, Universal, Fox, and someone in the palace of French President Nicholas Sarkozy, and today we learn that RIAA and the Department of Homeland Security are part of the list too. TorrentFreak found that 6 unique addresses from where copyrighted material was shared. Aside from recent albums from Jay-Z and Kanye West, RIAA staff also pirated the first five seasons of Dexter, an episode of Law and Order SVU, and a pirated audio converter and MP3 tagger. Tisk, tisk.

While Homeland Security plays a part in seizing domains of sites that allegedly traffic in ill-gotten or fake goods, it also takes some time out for some illegal file downloads. TorrentFreak found more than 900 unique IP-addresses at the Government organization through which copyrighted files were downloaded.

Pretty astonishing stuff. I wonder if either organization will have anything to say about this.

Thanks to Andrew D. Nystrom for the tip via Twitter.

Image provided by Shutterstock. All rights reserved.

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