Published Jun 10, 2008In an attempt to point out some of the flaws in the methods that record companies are using to collect information, researchers at the University of Washington were to able provoke the MPAA into sending cease-and-desist letters to three on campus laser-printers.
While the MPAA and RIAA press lawmakers and academic institutions to use their tracker "evidence" to punish people they deem responsible for downloading copyrighted material, the researchers found that neither group makes an effort to track what people are actually downloading.
As an experiment the team set up software that connected to various bit torrent networks, but did not download any files. Despite this, they received over 400 requests from the MPAA & RIAA accusing them of piracy. Taking it one step further, they were able to easily manipulate IP addresses to trigger letters to the three laser printers.
This is a scary thought, considering people in the U.S. are being sued for thousands based on this type of evidence, and Canada is close to implementing a $500 fine based on the same.
One of the movies the computers were accused of stealing, by the way, was Iron Man.