We last reported on MediaSentry, the firm hired by the RIAA to snoop around various P2P networks for potential lawsuit targets, when they accidentally targeted the distribution network of Revision3, a legitimate content provider, causing a disruption in Revision3’s service. Recently, however, rumors began to circulate that the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) was severing ties with MediaSentry (a division of SafeNet Inc.) for reasons unknown.
According to a new story published less than two hours ago by the Wall Street Journal, those rumors had their basis in fact. The RIAA does in fact plan to stop working with MediaSentry to identify ripe lawsuit targets. However, this doesn’t mean that the RIAA is abandoning the practice of monitoring P2P networks. Instead, the industry group plans to work with the Danish firm DtecNet Software ApS, which claims to have a more advanced means of determining whether a person shared a particular song. MediaDefender’s tactics were only capable of determining that defendants had shared the music file with them, with no proof that the song had been shared indiscriminantly, a fact that had caused the RIAA some trouble in court earlier.
Mr. Beckerman cites MediaSentry’s practice of looking for available songs in people’s file-sharing folders, downloading them, and using those downloads in court as evidence of copyright violations. He says MediaSentry couldn’t prove defendants had shared their files with anyone other than MediaSentry investigators.