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Hollywood studios, Department of Justice caught pirating movies

Illegal Downloading

Detailed by Torrentfreak earlier this week, the site worked with Scaneye to monitor BitTorrent files being shared within movie studios as well as various government agencies domestic and abroad. Scaneye keeps track of all multimedia content being shared from a specific IP address and can identify the physical location of the file sharer as well as the organization sharing each file. According to the records, employees at Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Walt Disney were spotted downloading illegal copies of movies, television shows and video games over BitTorrent.

Popular movies that were downloaded by Hollywood studio employees included The Hunger Games, Happy Feet 2, The Expendables 2, Ice Age: Continental Drift,  Step Up Revolution, Jeff, Who Lives at Home and Fast and Furious 6.

Regarding television shows, programs like Sons of Anarchy, NCIS, Top Chef, Rizzoli & Isles, 90210, Survivor, Person of Interest and Downton Abbey were included on the list. Beyond that content, an employee at 20th Century Fox attempted to download an illegal copy of Ubisoft’s Hollywood Squares for the PC.

Besides major Hollywood Studios, Scaneye records also noted illegal downloads occurring at major record labels such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group as well as government agencies including the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and Army Air Force Exchange Services. In addition, the records indicate that a few BitTorrent downloads occurred within the U.S. House of Representatives.

Illegally downloaded movies on those records included The Bourne Legacy, Finding Nemo 3D, House at the End of the Street and The Possession. The list of television shows included Army Wives, Gossip Girl, The Cleveland Show, Suits, The Voice, The Talking Dead and HBO’s Game of Thrones. In addition, an employee at Sony Music Entertainment attempted to illegally download Activision’s Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions for the Xbox 360.

Comprised of the major Hollywood studios, the MPAA was instrumental in setting up the six strike rule within the Copyright Alert system. Expected to roll out to all major Internet Service providers by the end of the year, the six strike system sends the account owner a warning the first couple times they are caught downloading an illegal file.

If the behavior continues, the ISP may start throttling data speeds or blocking specific sites that host illegal content. The user may have to watch an educational video to regain full access to their account. In the most severe cases, the ISP could cut off the user completely. 

According to the Scaneye records, the movie studios and government agencies included on these lists have clearly racked up enough infractions to warrant mandatory educational videos for employees as well as data speed throttling. However, the owner of the content must initiate a copyright infringement action against the subscriber. For instance, Lionsgate could send a copyright infringement action to Paramount Pictures for illegally downloading the ripped DVD copy of The Hunger Games. For illegally downloaded movies already owned by the studio, it’s unlikely that a copyright infringement action would be sent to the studio unless the process is automated.