MediaDefender e-mails show porn profits

September 23, 2008 | 14:55

Tags: #p2p #porn #pron

Companies: #mediadefender

The anti-P2P company MediaDefender, most famous for using some questionable data-gathering techniques, has an interesting source on income on the side: porn.

According to leaked e-mails received by the pro file sharing site TorrentFreak, the champion of beleaguered music labels and cinematographers used its P2P spoofing technologies not just to disrupt the trade of illegitimate copies of music, movies, and games – but to advertise pornography to file sharers.

Despite receiving upwards of $4,000 per music album and as much as $900,000 per film the company is employed to protect, MediaDefender used the technologies they had in place to insert fake and corrupt links into P2P systems like LimeWire to encourage downloaders to sign up to their porn portal, EnterAllSites. In one of the leaked e-mails, MediaDefender employee Ben Grodsky states that “one of the theories I've had about why the LimeWire redirects sell so many porn subscriptions is because one basically can't get porn on old versions of LimeWire because our popups and spoofs overwhelm the user.

Grodsky goes on to state that the company enjoys great success using the same spoofing technologies to sell memberships to Adult Friend Finder, a porn-themed 'casual dating' site, stating “Adult Friend Finder converts 1 in 2000 on LimeWire.

While there is nothing illegitimate in the business of internet pornography per se, it is interesting to see a company that positions itself as the champion of the law when it comes to P2P admitting to using “popups and spoofs” to sell access to porn sites – doubly so when they're using technologies originally developed to protect content owners. The final irony comes with the much-publicised work the company did with the New York Attorney General in tracking down traders in child pornography on P2P file sharing systems.

Should MediaDefender come clean about the source of its income, or is there nothing wrong with an anti-P2P company using the very technologies it decries to sell pornography? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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