Warner Bros. Seeks IT Expert to Take on Internet Pirates

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Ever wondered what goes on inside the anti-piracy department of one of the world's largest entertainment companies? Soon one lucky individual will find out when he or she begins optimizing Warner Bros.' content takedown systems, building and maintaining their robots, investigating rogue sites, and thwarting pirates who encrypt their links.

warnerpirateDespite the greatest efforts of the world’s entertainment companies, Internet piracy is showing few signs of decline. Obscure content aside, most movies, music and TV shows are still just a few clicks away.

As evidenced by Google’s Transparency Report the companies behind movies, TV shows and music are desperately trying to do something about that. Many millions of DMCA takedown notices are sent every single week in the hope that by making content at least marginally harder to find, consumers might choose to purchase rather than pirate.

What goes on behind the closed doors of the anti-piracy outfits involved is largely a secret, but for one lucky individual the curtain could soon be lifted.

Warner Bros., a company that generated revenues of $12 billion in 2012, is looking for someone to join their Content Protection and Analytics department. The unit’s stated objective is to protect Warner’s “…film, TV and games content against piracy throughout the entire value chain, with a primary focus on internet piracy in all its forms.”

The entertainment giant is looking for a Systems Manager, a degree-level IT professional with software development experience and a knowledge of SQL, PHP, Kapow, javascript and python. In addition to managing a small team the successful candidate will optimize “WB SHIELD”, Warner’s anti-piracy system focused on discovering and taking down unauthorized content.

To date, Warner Bros. Entertainment has sent around 1.9 million takedowns to Google, although many were handled by outside vendors. Google’s reports accredit around 900,000 directly to Warner, a not inconsiderable amount for a single company.

Other parts of the job include managing SHIELD failures and contributing to the building and maintenance of the company’s infringement scanning and take-down robots.

While Warner sends plenty of notices for content on BitTorrent networks, it’s interesting that the company is also looking to improve its capabilities elsewhere. The person landing the job will be required to work against protection mechanisms being employed by pirates by “developing solutions for dealing with link encryption, captchas and FLASH.”

It’s often suggested that anti-piracy companies tend to focus their protection strategies on “hot” content, meaning that older titles receive less attention. That train of thought is supported somewhat by the requirement that Warner’s new anti-piracy employee will be responsible for ensuring that the company’s “priority film, TV and game titles are covered within SHIELD.”

Finally, Warner’s new employee will be required to conduct analysis of rogue sites and hosting platforms and coordinate that work with other members of the company’s anti-piracy team.

Overall this sounds like a job ideally matched to a tech-savvy former pirate, but whether the company will be keen to employ a poacher-turned-gamekeeper is another question. If they did, however, they definitely would not be the first.


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