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'I poisoned P2P networks for the RIAA'
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2003-01-23
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For two years Matt Warne worked for the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), the international RIAA body whose avowed priority mission is to "fight music piracy."

Warne worked with the RIAA and the biggest labels in, implementing technologies to document and thwart file sharing, says Andrew Orlowski in Britain's The Register.

And in a story delicately slugged "I poisoned P2P networks for the RIAA" - whistle blower, Orlowski states: "The IPFI coordinated efforts to glean detailed information about who was sharing what, and where. The organization, backed by the labels, was responsible for providing detailed evidence to the legal teams fighting Napster, Aimster and mined information about the burgeoning peer to peer networks, such as Gnutella. IPFI is responsible for trawling the world's web, ftp and irc channels and runs the automated system that sends warning letters to ISPs and webmasters.

"We had to act quickly. EMI would ring up, ask 'What's this FreeNet?' and want to know how many of their artists were on the network."

The RIAA were very precise about what they wanted, Orlowski quotes Warne as saying. "When Napster said it couldn't say what was on its network, the IPFI were able to provide file names. When users scrambled the names (using the pig encoder) and Napster said these were too hard to decipher, the IPFI was able to provide the real names."

The technologies he worked on stayed on the right side of the law - just about - but Warne's most interesting claim to fame is, apparently, that he suggested the networks 'poison' emerging p2p networks with trash. Does that ring a bell?

"I was one of the people who suggested the 'rogue file' scheme on the file sharing services," he told The Register.

"I suggested that they should put out files with legitimate titles - and put inside them silence or random noise - and saturate the file sharing networks with those files. That did start the poisoning."

Thus, Orlowski continues, the plan went into action and the IPFI created a computer system that appeared to be many unrelated nodes, a network with many members that in fact resided in one location.

"A former record label employee also confirmed this week that the industries do order multiple DSL feeds to one location to simulate a P2P network," his story continues. "For the IPFI however, the poisoned network grew too expensive to justify."

Before he left, says Warne, the IPFI's original poisoned system was closed down. The body wanted to concentrate its attentions on large scale copying outfits.

Warne left the music industry in disgust, adds Orlowski, "because the record industry is stuck in the past."

SOURCE: p2pnet.net


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