Leading Anti-Piracy Outfit Sold To US Fraud and Brand Protection Firm

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DtecNet has been one the world's leading anti-piracy monitoring companies for some time. Utilized extensively by the international music and movie industries to track users on BitTorrent and other file-sharing networks, the company has its base in Denmark. That now appears set to change with news that DtecNet has been sold to US anti-fraud and brand abuse company, MarkMonitor.

In July this year, we reported on some new stats made available by the RIAA.

In less than two years the music industry group had sent out copyright infringement notices to 1.8 million Internet subscribers and a further 269,609 to colleges and universities. This kind of tracking and monitoring is a substantial task, so the RIAA along with its partners at IFPI and BPI, use companies who specialize in the work.

While BayTSP is a company many readers will be most familiar with, Denmark’s DtecNet has been increasing its profile substantially in recent years. During the AFACT v iiNet trial in Australia it became clear that much of the evidence had been collected by DtecNet and the company has worked with IRMA, the Irish Recorded Music Association, in connection with its 3 strikes agreement with ISP Eircom.

DtecNet, which is active in over two dozen countries, originally stemmed from anti-piracy lobby group Antipiratgruppen (APG), who along with IFPI represent the music and movie industry in Denmark. DtecNet was owned by the Johan Schlüter Law Firm, which itself has close ties to APG and IFPI.

However, according to a report from Denmark, the company has now been sold to US-based company, MarkMonitor.

With its headquarters in San Francisco and offices in London, Boise, Washington, D.C., and New York, MarkMonitor describes itself as “the global leader in enterprise brand protection” and claim that “more than half the Fortune 100 depend on MarkMonitor to help safeguard their brands online.”

MarkMonitor has listed DtecNet as one of its partners for some time now and together they have offered a one-stop-shop solution to tackle piracy online in both its physical and digital form. While DtecNet monitored P2P networks, blogs, Usenet and streaming services, MarkMonitor dealt with listings for counterfeit products on sites such as eBay and various social networking platforms.

Together they collected evidence of alleged infringements and sent DMCA takedown notices, requested items or posts to be delisted and issued cease and desist notices. MarkMonitor also worked to steer Internet users away from sites offering counterfeit material and towards those offering official products.

The sale will undoubtedly net Thomas Sehested, co-founder and CEO of DtecNet, a sizeable amount, although at this stage the amount MarkMonitor paid for his company is not available. Indeed, there is currently no mention of the deal anywhere on either company’s website.

TorrentFreak contacted both Thomas Sehested and Te Smith, Vice President, Communications at MarkMonitor for comment. Neither were prepared to confirm or deny the news.


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