Feeds

MPAA to serve lawsuits on BitTorrent servers

Targeting movie sharers, not enabling technology

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

The Motion Picture Ass. of America (MPAA) will today launch a legal attack on BitTorrent users in a bid to prevent ripped DVDs being shared across the network.

The lawsuit will target BitTorrent server operators, Reuters reports rather than downloaders, indicating this is less an assault on the technology and more on the people misusing it.

BitTorrent, developed in 2001 by Bram Cohen, speeds file transfers by segmenting the content and downloading parts from multiple users according to who offers the fattest pipes to your machine. As you receive a file, so other BitTorrent users are able to grab it from you in the same way. The idea is to ensure a more even sharing of bandwidth between participants.

It's not a classic P2P application in the sense that it's about improving download performance rather than sharing files per se. Files are found not through the application itself but through links on websites. These trigger the code to download the content, grabbing files where possible from peers rather than the initial server.

It is this latter component that the MPAA is targeting. Websites encouraging BitTorrent dissemination of movie material for which they do not have distribution rights will be on the receiving end of lawsuits, the organisation is expected to say. Cohen himself is not believed to be in the MPAA's sights, sources told Reuters.

The move marks the latest step an escalation of action the MPAA is taking against illegal file sharers. Last month, it initiated legal proceedings against more than 200 named and unnamed individuals sharing movies on P2P networks.

Precedent leaves the MPAA with little choice but to attack movie-sharers rather than BitTorrent itself. But if next July's anticipated Supreme Court ruling in the MPAA/RIAA vs Grokster/Streamcast goes in favour of the movie and music industries, the heat is going to be on any technology, no matter how benign the intentions of its developer, that nevertheless makes piracy possible. ®

Related stories

SuprNova.org ends, not with a bang but a whimper
The BitTorrent P2P file-sharing system - in-depth academic study
Dutch raid eDonkey sites, seize servers
Finnish police raid BitTorrent site, arrest 34
The Supremes prep for P2P battle royal
Asia-Pacific piracy still rampant
Kazaa trial opens with 'massive piracy' claim
RIAA sues filesharing US students
MPAA takes filesharers to court
MPAA wants parents, teachers to rat on their kids
First deadline passes for Supreme Court Grokster case
Grokster touts 'legal, licensed' p2p music share system
Stealing movies: Why the MPAA can afford to relax
P2Pers ask Supreme Court to reject RIAA ban request
Movie biz to sue P2P film-sharers

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
Alibaba swings a large one with STONKING IPO legal bills
Chinese e-commerce beast searches for $21bn from investors
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
EMC has nothing to say on VMware sale plan
Rumour and counter-rumour swirl around Wall Street
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.