Sony, Universal and Fox employees are pirates, too

Major motion picture studios and record labels have been waging war on so-called “pirates” — the consumers who download copyrighted content free of charge on the Internet.

So you wouldn’t expect any of these so-called “pirates” to be employed by major motion picture studios and record labels — right?

As it turns out, the siren song of BitTorrent is just too sweet to resist. According to data gathered by TorrentFreak via spy site YouHaveDownloaded, employees at Sony, Fox and Universal are a bunch of torrent-happy fiends just like the rest of us.

TorrentFreak used IP ranges for a handful of major Hollywood studios, entered that information into YouHaveDownloaded and saw a stream of TV shows, music and movies being downloaded by employees.

At Sony, folks were downloading Conan the Barbarian and music by the Black Keys. Over at NBC’s Fort Lauderdale office, someone was pirating Cowboys and Aliens and new sitcom Two Broke Girls (really?). And at Fox, downloads included the newly-released-on-DVD film Super 8.

And as TorrentFreak pointed out, “Yes, these are the same companies who want to disconnect people from the Internet after they’ve been caught sharing copyrighted material.”

Major entertainment entities including NBCUniversal, CBS, Disney, Fox, Sony Pictures, Viacom and Warner Brothers are all lobbying for greater monitoring and punishment of what they term “content theft.” After all, they make the shows, and we humble pirates lift them without so much as watching an ad.

These studios recently formed a coalition to support the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a proposed bill in Congress that could lead to new levels of web censorship.

This Thursday, SOPA goes before the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees copyright law. So far, the bill is expected to pass. Many organizations and individuals have been protesting the bill. To get involved yourself, you can check out various tools and suggestions at AmericanCensorship.org or I Work for the Internet.

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