MediaDefender e-mails leaked to BitTorrent


DENVER -- Thousands of internal e-mails from MediaDefender were leaked to the Internet via BitTorrent servers over the weekend, exposing many of the company's activities with some embarrassing results.

The anti-piracy company works with both the music and movie industries to foil unauthorized file-sharing through the use of decoy files and other tactics. The e-mails, more than 700 MB worth, detail many of these strategies.

Among the leaked documents is a draft of a contract with Universal Music Group outlining how MediaDefender works with record labels. According to the document, MediaDefender charges $4,000 to protect an album for a month, and $2,000 to protect a specific track for a month. It targets over 12 million users on the top 15 P2P networks, including FastTrack, Gnutella, eDonkey, BitTorrent and others.

Another included the company's involvement in setting up a fake video-sharing service as a sort of sting operation designed to lure and identify file-sharing users. The company previously denied any involvement in the site, but the leaked e-mails clearly show its participation.

Other e-mails reveal a secret collaboration with the New York Attorney General's office to develop a way for prosecutors to access MediaDefender's database of P2P users.

Other secrets will almost surely pop up throughout the week as the media pores over the vast cache of information.