TorrentFreak got their hands on leaked docs recently that explain how the MPAA/RIAA are identifying users on P2P networks and figuring out who to send Cease and Desist letters to. The algorithm reads as follows:
- The client connects to the P2P network, searches for sources of the infringing file, and collects the IP addresses that were gathered through the search.
- The client requests to download (a piece of) the file from the host that was found through the search.
- The filename, file size, IP-address, P2P protocol, P2P application, time, and the username are automatically inserted into a database, if the host permits the download.
- This is the “best” part. The application does a WHOIS search for the ISP information and automatically sends an infringement letter to the ISP if needed.
Folks in IT might acknowledge the inherent problem here of assuming “IP Address == Real Life Person“. Naturally MPAA/RIAA and their Washington lobby don’t give two shits, but the law might.
TorrentFreaks also reports that a few recent cases are showing that this isn’t enough evidence anymore (thank god).