back to article Media police assault takes down legit video website

BitTorrent watchdog MediaDefender is once again taking heat after it was accused of launching a pernicious attack that brought down a web-based distributor of legal video. Jim Louderback, chief executive of Revision3, said in this blog post that the FBI is investigating the assault, which at points flooded his site with more …


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  1. kain preacher


    They people at MediaDefender should be criminal charge . Company fined and hten disbanded

  2. charles blackburn



    Of course, some people may say Revision3 is little more than a site that offers second-rate videos, so where is the real harm in knocking it off line for a few days. Well, Louderback has anticipated that and offers this counter-argument:

    "What if MediaDefender discovers a tracker inside a hospital, fire department or 911 center? If it happened to us, it could happen to them too."

    Of course who cares if what they was doing was illegal... they're only 2nd rate videos... that's not the point ROFL.... Hopefully this time something will get done about it... not likely, but we can pray....

    as for having a tracker inside the pd, fd, et al... been there done that.... I used to run a private tracker somewhere in the south east of the USA at an isp till they locked down all the accounts :(

    mine's the one with the syn packet of paris in the pocket :)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I've been wondering...

    ...when the anti-torrent crew would start taking down legit torrent sites. A lot of the people in the racing sim community use torrents to distribute mods and videos - it's the only way to handle the bandwidth sometimes - and it's all manifestly legal. I suppose that doesn't matter, though - to the public, bittorrent means piracy. I wonder what would have happened if mediadefender had been around in the glory days of good ol' FTP...

  4. Nexox Enigma

    Injecting Torrents?

    What the hell are MediaDickholes doing injecting torrents into trackers? I'm not positive what that means, but it sounds like they were uploading media, and surely it must be some kind of illegal to offer uploads and then prosecute people that download?

    And where is ConsumerDefender, with it's band of hackers and streakers and vandals? Seems as though there'd be a constant DDOS on those MediaDefender IPs, and then they wouldn't be able to do much. Anyone own a botnet and want to set that up for us?

  5. Andy Worth


    .....this amounts to a something along the same lines of a hack or network flood, which is as far as I am aware, illegal. It is not for MediaDefender to be judge and jury over what is and is not a legitimate site, so any action they take against any site should be considered a criminal activity.

  6. stizzleswick
    Thumb Down

    Typical of operations like MediaDefender...

    ...first create an illegal offer (on a legit tracker, no less), so they can then cuff anybody who doesn't know it was illegal for copyright infringement. Wow. And once they're blocked from illegitimately accessing that tracker, top it off by nukeing the legit servers...

    <sarcasm> Well done, boys, you're a credit to your profession. </sarcasm>

  7. Dave Bell

    Something odd? Something criminal?

    Something feels a bit off about the claim that MediaDefender was adding stuff to the Revision3 site, and then started a DOS attack when they were stopped.

    Were they ever doing anything legal?

    But if they were slipping stuff onto Revision3, it certainly blurs the waters on whether Revision3 are legal.

    Who is next on their list? Ubuntu?

  8. Roach

    @charles blackburn

    Well for the Fire Department, that would likely mean illegal torrents, yes. But would you want to be told "The phone line is busy" if you try to call them to report a blaze in your neighbour's house (which thus might spread to your own as well), or if you have an accident at home and try to call the hospital for help so you don't bleed to death?

    And in the case of Revision3, what they were doing was patently legal, so there was no reason at all to attack them in the first place.

    *waiting for the time when laws are announced through BitTorrent instead of using highly overpriced paper publications*

  9. yeah, right.

    US law?

    Doesn't US laws against terrorism or other such activities make such actions illegal? Seems to me it does. When are these people going to be charged with the appropriate crimes? Or if it's not a crime, hey, free for all on DDOS attacks! Or is it only a crime if you don't happen to have bought-and-paid-for senators in Congress?

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Wonder how long it'll be...

    ...until MediaDefender starts DOSing the BBC site. After all, the iPlayer is already one of the most widespread and heavily used P2P networks now... :)

  11. Andy
    Black Helicopters

    Send 'em to Gitmo

    I am sure that paying someone to commit a terrorist act (albeit digital terrorism) is a bad thing even in the US. At last, a legitimate use for Guantanamo bay. Fill it with record company executives. It would certainly make the world a better place.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    At last

    Off they go to Gitmo. Buh-bye MediaDefender, have a good time in the sun...

  13. Mark

    From the horses' mouth:

    "some people may say Revision3 is little more than a site that offers second-rate videos, so where is the real harm"

    If it IS OK to do illegal stuff on half-arsed crap content, surely 90% of music/movie content is OK to nick 'cos that's half-arsed crap content too.

  14. Paul M

    Here's a thought

    Although it doesn't say what files MediaDefender (sic) were injecting, if we assume that they were on some sort of entrapment kick and were baiting the "pirates" with copyrighted material then...

    - either they don't own the copyright for that stuff and should be charged for making it available for sharing or

    - they had permission from the copyright holders to make it available for sharing and hence anyone downloading it was not acting illegally.

    Works for me!

  15. Trevor Watt

    Can the posters who are saying Revision3 was doing anything illegal....

    Can the posters who are saying Revision3 was doing anything illegal go back and read the item again.

  16. Joe K


    Tekzilla isn't 2nd-rate, its an enjoyable geek podcast that i am more than happy to get weekly from Revision3, for nowt.

    Not that it'd be an excuse if it was all crap, you can't go around attacking sites like this.

  17. Fluffykins Silver badge

    @Charles Blackburn, @Mark

    So, how does "web-based distributor of legal video" and "BitTorrent tracking server Revision3 uses to distribute videos it has the legal rights to make" tie up with your comments?

    Perhaps a re-read of the article is in order. Or maybe a first read.

  18. Jeff Deacon
    Black Helicopters


    Entrapment is the action of a "law enforcement officer" (A) who proposes to another (B) that B commit a crime, for which A then nicks B.

    Once upon a time, entrapment was illegal, and cases were thrown out of court for it. These days, both sides of the Atlantic, it seems no more of a problem than say:

    * Guilty until proven innocent (any law which says: It shall be for the defendant to prove ...)

    * Guilt by association (which is how the ANPR system operates)

    * Charging the victim of a crime rather than the perpetrator (umpteen recent cases)

    and the list goes on!

    Why should we pick on MediaDefender for doing anything wrong, when they just "go with the flow" of state sponsored lawlessness?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @David Wiernicki

    I don't think "the public" thinks "BitTorrent means piracy". I don't think it is "the public" who are funding MediaDefender (well, not directly, stop buying CDs people?), it is the media moguls who are so fat and unwieldy they can no longer compete in the modern world. Awww, diddums. So they resort to petty thuggery. And what do we do to petty thugs? Hire non-petty thugs to take them out. NOT that I am in any way inciting any kind of criminal behaviour. Oh no.

  20. Steven Raith


    I think the emphasis on Marks comment was meant to be that if it's 'morally' OK to illegally damage the trade of a legal distributor of low quality [artistically or otherwise] media, then 90% of the 'net is [morally] fair game* for a bit of DDoSing because 90% of it is banal crap**.

    If you catch my drift.

    Steven R

    *In the same way that pirating WinXP is seen as not exactly crime of the century, etc.

    **With the exception of ElReg and it's fine Moderatrix. Ahem.

  21. steve

    IP Spoofing anyone?

    sure MediaDefender sucks, but maybe just maybe they're being setup to take the heat by some trivial IP spoofing.

  22. Paul


    "sure MediaDefender sucks, but maybe just maybe they're being setup to take the heat by some trivial IP spoofing."

    No, I think it was Media"Defender" alright, this is just the sort of thuggish behavior companies like that will stoop to. They associate with the sort of people (RIAA) who would impersonate a grandparent in an attempt to squeeze evidence from a 12-year old girl, for God's sake. If they were innocent, why the wall of silence when ElReg tried to get comment from them?

    My guess is that they're too stupid to hide their IP addresses, too stupid to realize the IP addresses would be tracked and so arrogant that they think it wouldn't matter even if they were, law on their side, etc etc. Here's to them getting a seriously nasty surprise from the legal system for this one.

  23. Mark

    Re: IP Spoofing anyone?

    If that's all you need to say to get out of being implicated in eCrime, expect a scene reminiscent of "I'm Spartacus" for all the RIAA defendants...

  24. Mark

    Re: At last

    We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun

    But the wine and the song like the seasons have all gone

    We had joy we had fun then we had it up the bum

    But the RIAA with the song like the seasons have all gone

  25. Tom
    Gates Horns

    This could get very interestink!

    Revision3 has a legal business which has been materially damaged by MediaDefender. This opens up the possibility of a civil suit against the company. This is sort of interesting because civil suits have a lower level of proof requirement than criminal cases. Whether or not they have money worth going after is a different issue.

    But where it gets more interesting is the very question raised in some of the comments here: Is MediaDefender a front group for other media sales organizations under what would be legally admissible evidence? If so, Revision3 might be able to go after not only MediaDefenders, but also those organizations which support it. And those would be deep pockets indeed.

  26. Eduard Coli
    Gates Halo

    MediaDefender should pay

    Then again the rich do not go to prison...

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trivial IP Spoofing yes it could well be

    This type of behavior is generally considered illegal, to find out if MediaDefender did this, then you check at their ISP end.

    And I would have thought people in MediaDefender would realise this.

    If they are acting as their own ISP. then the next router along would also be able to move blame away from or towards them.

    The attack was DoS attack using syn packets, so there is no need for a full connection, which is what most 'ecrimes' would use, this reduces the traceability but does not destroy it (they don't want any traffic routed back, so the originating IP is not required).

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh it turns out they are admitting it

    "Our systems were targeting a tracker not even knowing it was Revision3's tracker," Randy Saaf, Media Defender's CEO, said in an interview. "They were using the tracker as the tracker for their legitimate content. It had been open for years."

  29. Charlie

    I wonder

    I wonder if this will result in a class action brought on by the [who knows how many] users who were adversely affected by MediaDefender's vigilanti-ism.

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