Hollywood studios have been caught with their IP addresses appearing on lists of IP addresses that have illegally downloaded content via BitTorrent.
With some spite behind the story, the site TorrentFreak has conducted an experiment using the You Have Downloaded service. While this service does have some limitations (only some of the public BitTorrent trackers referenced, dynamic IP addresses are not managed...), this service allows you to trace IP addresses used to download content via BitTorrent, providing access to a record of all files that have been downloaded to the machine with that IP.
Since downloading is often illegal, TorrentFreak decided that they wanted to try and see what certain Hollywood studios were up to, or at least their employees. A search on You Have Downloaded targeting IP addresses belonging Sony Pictures, Fox and NBC Universal was conducted, with the results being interesting.
This search for information came up a winner, with someone at Sony Pictures apparently downloading the film.... "Conan the Barbarian" and a song from The Black Keys. NBC Universal downloaded the film "Cowboys and Aliens" and the series "Game of Thrones". While at Fox, the film "Super 8" was listed.
TorrentFreak states that they are not looking to get employees of these studios into trouble, but rather to demonstrate that an "IP address isn’t a person" and perhaps it could be "shared by numerous people ".
Also impacted by TorrentFreaks initiative is Dutch company Buma-Stemra who manages author’s copyright, declaring that any traces back to them are due to hacked IP addresses.
It should be noted that TorrentFreak has also seen illegal downloads from an IP address registered to Google’s New York offices, with a copy of the Windows 7 operating system downloaded.