MediaSentry loses RIAA contract

Monday 5 January 2009: RIAA’s spokersperson Jonathan LAMY has officially confirmed that RIAA does not anymore use the services of MediaSentry. He informed that RIAA uses a Danish company DtecNet.

Many reasons may have driven this decision. It seems that the way the supposed infringing IP address were collected may not sustain the non repudiation of illegal sharing. This is an extremely tough issue. How do you legally prove (in an efficient way) that the peer really shared illegal content? MediaSentry was also using techniques to spoil (For an overview, see Fighting piracy in Security Newsletter #11). These techniques are somewhat controversial. This summer, a leakage of emails of MediaDefender, a competitor of MediaDefender, shaded some lights on the types of thwarting techniques. Furthermore, some mails described the results of competitive intelligence on MediaSentry. In other words, MediaDefender’s story generated very bad reputation for the sector. Is MediaSentry a collateral victim of MediaDefender’s leakage?

The toolbox of DectNet, at least as announced on their site, does only offer non controversial techniques: Cease and Desist Letter, Litigation Tools and Evidence, Prerelease Monitoring, and statistics. In other words, they do not announce any throttling or poisoning techniques, only monitoring tools. Far less controversial.

Does it mean a change in RIAA’s strategy? I doubt. It is probably a good communication movement. RIAA will continue to track illegal downloading, send Cease and Desist Letters, and sue infringers. RIAA will not sponsor any borderline activity (at least not openly :Wink: )

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