Crazy Warnings and Hacking Webcams: Anti-Piracy, Indian Style

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Last year anti-piracy company AiPlex Software hit the headlines after their threats to DDoS torrent sites led to them being DDoSd back by Anonymous. Now another pair of companies from India are tackling piracy in their own inimitable styles, one by delivering preemptive warnings to the FBI and dozens of torrent sites and another by hijacking file-sharers' webcams - and photographing them in the act.

Anti-piracy companies come in all shapes and sizes, from the large corporate concerns of the United States and Europe to the smaller outfits operating in a niche, taking down content and links for smaller, independent rights holders.

Some like to use a sledgehammer to crack a nut while others try the more sensitive approach, negotiating in person and gently persuading sites to comply. Others, like India’s AiPlex Software, do things in a way which can leave onlookers completely bewildered.

Last September the company admitted DDoSing torrent sites in order to get their way, a tactic which backfired when Anonymous DDoSd them in response. AiPlex also made hollow threats to have torrent sites blocked all over India and told another site in a bizarre email they would get into trouble for paying users to spot fake files.

But the Indian anti-piracy companies aren’t finished with their wacky strategies, not by a long way. First up, movie distributor Dil Raju.

Dil Raju reported this week that he has filed what appears to be a preemptive complaint with the FBI against three dozen sites who he suspects will try to offer or link to his new movie Mr.Perfect sometime in the future.

The list of 36 domains includes famous torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay, isoHunt, TorrentReactor, ExtraTorrent, Vertor, TorrentHound and a number of lesser known ‘desi’ trackers. There are also a few surprises such as Google, GoDaddy and Netherlands ISP, LeaseWeb.

“Website owners who would like to distribute full length video of Mr.Perfect online through their official websites will get very serious punishments legally,” Raju sad in a press release. “Imprisonment up to 7 years, both users and the website owners.”

Raju goes on to warn that “websites which do not follow our rules” will be “blacklisted in all Organic search engines like Google, Yahoo! And Bing.”

Let’s hope that Google isn’t forced to ban itself from its own search engine, or things could get very messy indeed. It would also mean we couldn’t read about more crazy strategies, such as the one about to be introduced by filmmakers Prem and Rakshitha. And that would be a real shame.

According to Rakshitha, the producer of a new movie called Jogaiah, her company has hired an anti-piracy outfit called Shree Technologies to protect the movie’s soundtrack due to be released later this month.

“The software that we’ve used will help us track each person down, so that we can take action against them. It is much-needed in the film industry,” Rakshitha said this week.

Then, and without explaining exactly how the anti-piracy system will achieve its most extraordinary feat, Prem – the director of the film – drops the bombshell.

“All it requires is for someone to search for the keywords ‘Jogaiah music download’ and it automatically tracks them down,” he said. “If they have a webcam on their system and it’s switched on, it will also capture the photo of the offender.”

Time to scream in rage or laugh hysterically? We’ll let you decide.


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