Despite seeking to limit the infringement of copyright over BitTorrent, Sony, Fox and Universal, all members of the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), have been caught out using BitTorrent themselves, according to blog TorrentFreak.
YouHaveDownloaded.com is a site that cross-checks an IP address with a database of records of addresses that have downloaded torrents. According to the site, it captures roughly 4 to 6 per cent of all global torrent downloads, or 20 per cent of public torrents. It has over 53 million individual internet protocol (IP) addresses in its database and close to 2 million files.
The site was set up to make people more aware of how public downloading through BitTorrent can be.
Yesterday, BitTorrent blog TorrentFreak revealed what it claims to be torrents downloaded from IP addresses within the IP address range of Sony Pictures, Universal and Fox.
An IP address in the US Sony Pictures address range was reported to have downloaded music and the Conan the Barbarian film, while a US Universal IP address was allegedly caught downloading Cowboys and Aliens and the first season of the HBO show Game of Thrones. A US Fox IP address was allegedly caught downloading the J.J. Abrams film Super 8.
All three entertainment companies are members of AFACT, which has led the charge against copyright infringement in Australia and is currently awaiting the outcome of a High Court case it brought against internet service provider iiNet alleging it authorised the infringement of its users.
AFACT declined to comment on the allegations.
In its high profile case against iiNet, it was revealed that AFACT had employed the services of external company DtecNet, which tracks IP addresses associated with torrent downloads of copy-protected content. As this requires DtecNet to join onto a torrent download themselves, questions were raised whether DtecNet was infringing on copyright themselves; however, as DtecNet had permission from the copyright holders, it was viewed as permissible.