TorrentFreak, a news site devoted to all things BitTorrent, has published the results of an investigation they conducted into downloads via BitTorrent software at IP addresses owned by some of the entertainment industry’s biggest companies.
Using Russian site YouHaveDownloaded.com, which identifies a user’s torrent downloading activity based on their IP address, TorrentFreak took known IPs belonging to Sony, Fox, and NBC Universal and tested them. They found rampant downloading of a variety of programming - movies, music, and TV shows - at all three companies. Highlights of the findings include the Paramount Studios film Super 8 being downloaded by someone at Fox, the complete first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones being downloaded at an NBC Universal office in Fort Lauderdale, the 2011 Conan the Barbarian remake being downloaded at Sony, and someone at Google’s New York office downloading a copy of Windows 7. They also checked on the IP of the San Francisco headquarters of BitTorrent, Inc., where they found no downloading activity at all.
As remarkable as these results are, they are made all the more amazing by debate currently raging over SOPA, the anti-piracy legislation currently working its way through the US Congress. The companies whose activity TorrentFreak examined are among the most outspoken proponents of the legislation, and have a history of aggressively pursuing those who violate copyright by downloading their content.
One Twitter user summed up the situation nicely: