A look at the Digital Forensics Examiners behind some Torrent movie download cases – Maverickeye UG, Guardaley, or IPP
When you are involved in a torrent p2p file sharing lawsuit its always good to know who the “players” are and that includes the companies that allegedly found the ISP subscriber to be downloading the movies illegally. In your case, you might see one of these digital investigative anti-piracy companies signing a declaration under penalty of perjury, so it is good to know at least a little bit about them. This is not all the investigative companies, but just three I see pop up now and again.
Who is Maverickeye UG?
According to wikipedia:
Maverickeye UG (or Maverickeye) is a copyright enforcement company that is based in Germany. It detects and retraces copyright infringement using software technology. Maverickeye provides surveillance of intellectual property within various Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks such as BitTorrent and eMule. It makes use of hardware infrastructure to identify, analyse, archive, and document the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials. Maverickeye generates analytical, statistical, and graphical reports for P2P downloads of Internet users. They also offer takedown services requesting removal of unlicensed content from search engines and torrent sites. This service includes an analysis and trademark and picture infringement detection.”
Maverick is believed to be involved with some of the following movies:
Dumb and Dumber To | Predestination | American Heist | Good Kill | Automata | The Humbling | Dallas Buyers Club Cymbeline | Skin Traffik | The Zero Theorem | Convict | Homefront | Northmen – A Viking Saga Haven | Staffel 5 Folge 01| Don Jon | Kidnapping Mr. Heineken | The Big Wedding | Tokarev | Julia | Nymphomania | Our Idiot Brother.
Here is a sample declaration on one London Has Fallen Case
Here is a declaration under penalty of perjury, which explains how Maverick catches a online pirate:
“The Investigator monitors P2P Systems for acts of distribution of Plaintiff's motion picture through the use of MaverikMonitor™ software. When MaverikMonitor finds an IP address distributing Plaintiff's motion picture, a direct connection is made to that computer and a portion of the infringing file is downloaded.
MaverikMonitor also records the exact time of the connection and other available information broadcast by the infringing computer. This evidence is then saved on a secure server in indexed evidence logs.
To confirm the infringing activity, the data downloaded from each defendant is matched to the complete file and a full copy of the motion picture being distributed is compared with a DVD of the original motion picture confirming the infringing IP address is in fact distributing Plaintiff's motion picture.
The software uses a geolocation functionality to determine the location of each infringing IP address under investigation. The geolocation data for the infringing IP address is also set forth in Exhibit 1 of the Plaintiff's Complaint (“Complaint Exhibit 1”), incorporated herein by reference.
The software reviews and other publicly available and searchable data to identify the ISP responsible for each infringing IP address and such data is also set forth in Complaint Exhibit 1. The forensic software routinely collects, identifies and records the Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses in use by those people who employ the BitTorrent protocol to share, copy, reproduce and distribute copyrighted works. In this way the software is connected to files of illegal versions of the Motion Picture.
Although the Investigator and Plaintiff have successfully captured data showing the infringement occurring on the Internet, Plaintiff is only able to obtain the IP addresses of the individuals who are committing the infringement and does not yet know the actual identities of the individual defendants.”
Who is Guardaley?
Guardaley is another company that helps copyright holders protect their movies, games, software and other intellectual property. Here is one article from the popular website , which discusses how Guardaley was challenged back in 2011 in regard to their methods.
Who is IPP?
IPP International is another digital investigation company. According to their website:
“File Sharing Observation A large part of internet traffic is generated by file sharing networks, where you can transfer huge amounts of data in little time. These file sharing or peer-to-peer (P2P) networks are used in 99% of cases when spreading software, movies and music illegally. Renowned networks are BitTorrent, Gnutella and Emule. We are able to track and monitor illegal propagators within those networks around the clock whilst simultaneously pursuing several thousand file versions. Web crawlers work to permanently analyse websites and integrate new releases into the process during the whole observation cycle.”
Here is one federal court lawsuit involving Third Degree Films which discussed IPP's investigation:
B. Plaintiff's Investigation “Each computer connected to the internet (or each wireless router to which a computer connects to) identifies itself via its internet protocol address. This IP address is similar to a street address: it helps ensure that information sent from one location (a computer on the internet) is routed to the correct destination (another computer on the internet). Internet service providers (e.g., Comcast or SBC Internet Services) are the entities that assign their subscriber's computers (or wireless routers) the unique IP address. Plaintiff's investigator, IPP, Ltd., has identified the 36 John Doe Defendants in this case by their IP address. According to Plaintiff, IPP used forensic software to scan peer-to-peer networks, such as BitTorrent, for the presence of infringing transactions. Plaintiff vaguely explains, IPP extracted the resulting data emanating from the investigation, reviewed the evidence logs, and isolated the transactions and the IP addresses associated therewith for the file identified by the SHA–1 hash value of: 3A7FEA8906A476A2F9FB4A8F831AF50B834FC133 (the “Unique Hash Number”). Although Plaintiff refers to the “file” identified by the 40–character alphanumeric string, the Court believes that this is either the unique digital fingerprint of one of the pieces of the digital file that IPP downloaded from the 36 John Does or the “info hash” of the . torrent file. See Robert Layton and Paul Watters, Investigation into the Extent of Infringing Content on BitTorrent Networks, Internet Commerce Security Laboratory Report (Apr.2010) at 7; Patrick Collins, Inc. v. John Does 1–21, No. 11–15232, (E.D.Mich. Apr.5, 2012) (Report and Recommendation). In either event, the hash value uniquely identifies the digital file. Based on this unique identifier, Plaintiff asserts that 36 people corresponding to the 36 IP addresses listed in Exhibit A of the Amended Complaint each downloaded a piece of the Work. In its Response to the Motion to Sever, Plaintiff further explains, Plaintiff's investigators use the hash value as a digital fingerprint that enables Plaintiff to ensure that all of the infringements alleged in this suit arise from the exact same unique version of Plaintiff's movie. Significantly, many of Plaintiff's movies have been initially seeded several times. Each seeding produces its own independent swarm. Here, Plaintiff has only sued Defendants in the exact same swarm. See Third Degree Films v. Does 1-36, No. 11-CV-15200, (E.D. Mich. May 29, 2012).
Digital Forensics companies that may be able to help Defendants in a lawsuit
- Setec investigations. Approx. $275/hour. 3 hour typical. Call Todd Steffan. 1-323-939-5598 x112
Contact a torrent movie defense lawyer
If you are being charged with illegally downloading software, movies, games, comics, photos, videos, music or other digital content, and need to discuss your legal rights call us at (877) 276-5084. We offer no cost initial consultation to discuss your case and flat rate legal fees for most cases. We have helped many persons across the United States deal with claims of online copyright infringement. We have excellent federal court experience and glowing Avvo client reviews.