Challenges in Monitoring Infringement on P2P Networks

Michael Piatek, Tadayoshi Kohno, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Challenges and Directions for Monitoring P2P File Sharing Networks or Why My Printer Received a DMCA Takedown Notice: “The focus of this paper is to examine the tension between P2P users and enforcement agencies and the challenges raised by an escalating arms race between them. We ground this work in an experimental analysis of the methods by which copyright holders currently monitor the BitTorrent file sharing network. Our work is based on measurements of tens of thousands of BitTorrent objects. A unique feature of our approach is that we intentionally try to receive DMCA takedown notices, and we use these notices to drive our analysis.”
Freedom to Tinker: Study Shows DMCA Takedowns Based on Inconclusive Evidence: “The existence of erroneous takedowns is not news — anybody who has seen the current system operating knows that some notices are just wrong, for example referring to unused IP addresses. Somewhat more interesting is the result that it is pretty easy to ‘frame’ somebody so they get takedown notices despite doing nothing wrong. Given this, it would be a mistake to infer a pattern of infringement based solely on the existence of takedown notices. More evidence should be required before imposing punishment.”
Catherine Rampell, Chronicle of Higher Education: How It Does It: The RIAA Explains How It Catches Alleged Music Pirates: “Here’s how the process works: The RIAA maintains a list of songs whose distribution rights are owned by the RIAA’s member organizations. It has given that list to Media Sentry, a company it hired to search for online pirates. That company runs copies of the LimeWire program and performs searches for those copyrighted song titles, one by one, to see if any are being offered by people whose computers are connected to the LimeWire network. For popular songs, the search can turn up dozens, if not hundreds, of hits. A search on Madonna’s latest release, ‘4 Minutes,’ turned up more than a hundred users trading various copies of the song.”