Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tracking (and evading) the trackers

A very interesting research paper to read up on.  I'm most curious how they baited the RIAA/MPAA into thinking that printers had been downloading files over bittorrent.

Tracking the Trackers
As people increasingly rely on the Internet to deliver downloadable music, movies, and television, content producers are faced with the problem of increasing Internet piracy. To protect their content, copyright holders police the Internet, searching for unauthorized distribution of their work on websites like YouTube or peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent. When infringement is (allegedly) discovered, formal complaints are issued to network operators that may result in websites being taken down or home Internet connections being disabled.

Although the implications of being accused of copyright infringement are significant, very little is known about the methods used by enforcement agencies to detect it, particularly in P2P networks. We have conducted the first scientific, experimental study of monitoring and copyright enforcement on P2P networks and have made several discoveries which we find surprising.

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