RIAA ditches evidence-gathering firm after changing strategies

By on

63640998_a9090d725f_o The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has dumped the company that it used to gather evidence against 35,000 people for illegally uploading music as part of its five-year-old strategy against piracy, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The company, MediaSentry, searched the internet for evidence against people that they claimed were sharing large amounts of music. However, several people and civil-right advocates have complained that the tactics were “excessive”.

The Chronicle of Higher Education managed to get a glimpse on how MediaSentry gathered evidence earlier in 2008; and was shown scripts that automatically hunt the names of copyrighted songs and the IP addresses of the file sharers. It also check the hashes, marks that identify a file, to make sure they match the song.

If that does not match, it then use software from Audible Magic to compare the sound waves to see if those match the copyrighted songs.

This is in line with a new policy which no longer sees the RIAA suing people for piracy; but instead ask the ISPs to “reduce the service” to the file sharers; however, a source has told CNET News that none of the ISPs have agreed to limit the bandwidth of any user.

MediaSentry, however, has decided to wind down the evidence-collecting business; and will instead focus on other areas, including measuring the popularity of various entertainment websites.

The RIAA will instead use DtecNet Software ApS, a Copenhagen-based company that does a similar thing to MediaSentry. The company has had previous experience with the RIAA and overseas counterparts, according to the paper.

But with that in mind, it doesn’t look like that the RIAA are not done with mass lawsuits after all.

Image from: chazlarson (Via Flickr)