I still can’t get over the lengths that the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) will go to try and catch movie thieves red-handed. On their website they prominently display how many counterfeit DVDs have been seized by authorities. At the moment it’s 81 Million, and they say:
Each week, law enforcement around the world catch movie thieves red handed.”
What’s ironic about this is that this week they didn’t catch movie thieves red-handed, THEY were caught red-handed.
I’m still laughing over this, but here’s the story. The MPAA hired a well known company called MediaDefender to help them stop piracy. MediaDefender is the “leading provider of anti-piracy solutions in the emerging Internet-Piracy Prevention industry.” To help stop the piracy, they set-up a fake video download site called MiiVi.
MiiVi was pretty attractive to users because they offered whole downloads of the movies, and they also advertised that they had a “miraculous new program that offers fast and easy downloading all in one great site.” When the user downloaded the program, they also downloaded spyware that reported back on any stolen videos found on the users computer.
Potentially, this new site could have proven to be quite the way to catch piraters, except they used their own name AND address to register the domain! Yep, caught red-handed installing spyware on unsuspecting users. MiiVi is currently down, and shortly after word broke that it was registered to MediaDefender using a whois search, the registration was changed. The image below shows the file at Whois prior to the change:
You can bet this won’t be the MPAA’s last attempt at setting up a fake downloading site. Maybe next time they’ll think it through a little further and make their attempts to catch piraters a little more transparent!