MPAA & MediaDefender Respond to Exposure of Fake Video Download Site

MPAA denies any involvement with MediaDefender, the company behind MiiVi, and Media Defender called it an “internal project that involved video.”

In the latest twist to the ongoing saga concerning the now defunct fake BitTorrent video download site MiiVi.com, the MPAA denies any involvement with the company behind it, and MediaDefender calls it an “internal R&D” site “that involved video” and had “nothing to do with antipiracy.”

Yep, that’s right MediaDefender calls it an “…internal project that involved video” and “had nothing to do with anti-piracy.”

So let me get this straight. A company who bills itself as the “…undisputed provider of choice for most global content owners, and has retained a dominant position in the P2P (Peer-to-Peer) Anti-Piracy Industry” and also has “…been contracted by every major record label and every major movie studio, video game publishers, software publishers, and anime publishers” claims that creating a site that offered full-length movie downloads of Batman Begins and 300 was merely part of an “internal R&D” project? Moreover, the MPAA is also claiming that it has “…no relationship with that company at all?”

In an interview with ArsTechnica, MediaDefender’s Randy Saaf says that “MediaDefender was working on an internal project that involved video and didn’t realize that people would be trying to go to it and so we didn’t password-protect the site. It was just an oversight from that perspective. This was not an entrapment site, and we were not working with the MPAA on it. In fact, the MPAA didn’t even know about it.”

Ars points out that if it was merely an “internal project” then why did it then remove all contact info from the whois registry for the domain? Apparently because of hackers and spam. Saaf said “…that after everything hit the fan, the company decided to take everything on the site down because it was afraid of a hacker attack or ‘people sending us spam.'”

According to an interview in an article on Computerworld, Saaf also commented that “…the decision to take down Miivi was made because of the reactions generated by the blog postings, particularly after it appeared on sites such as Digg,” and that “‘People started to hack us. It started to become a big mess. It became like a ‘let’s torch them down’ mentality out there.'” Hmm, I wonder why.

The real intent of the site, whether it was merely an “internal R&D project” or part of some plan to nab unsuspecting users may never be truly known but, as they say “Where there’s smoke there’s fire,” and when an anti-piracy company creates a site offering movie downloads and a client to “speed up the process” is it really so far fetched to say they were up to no good?

Furthermore, some of the movie studios that comprise the MPAA have certainly employed MediaDefender at one time or another and to say that the MPAA has “no relationship” with it seems hard to believe.

Does the MPAA always allows anti-piracy companies to offer full-length downloads of its video content in order to test out new anti-piracy sites and tactics or must it first ensure that the site is closed to the public?

Aren’t companies supposed to have permission from copyright holders in order to make their works available for download by others, even in an internal network setting as we are so often told?

Saaf counters that his company was the “…unfair target of ‘salacious, libelous, bit-torrent blogs,’ out to create a controversy where none existed,” but, shouldn’t merely creating such a blatant anti-piracy entrapment site, if even for “internal R&D” purposes be controversial instead?

Without proper password protection, or even a simple disclaimer warning, it’s a public site by default, and offering the unsuspecting the ability to download movies or better yet, a client to “speed up the process,” under the watchful eyes of a leading anti-piracy organization is the real controversy here.

Better yet, the real question, – the million dollar question – is that if you or I had set up this video download site wouldn’t we certainly be guaranteed a cease and desist if not a “get ready to open up your wallet” letter from the MPAA?

So the MPAA has no association with MediaDefender but, oddly doesn’t care if they offer their content for download even if it is only “in-house?” Hmm, yah that’s believable. I also have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale if anybody’s interested.