If MediaDefender can’t beat them, they’ll join them

June 15, 2008

If MediaDefender can't beat them, they'll join them MediaDefender is partnering with record labels and advertisers to distribute legitimate Mp3s across p2p networks. Since its anti-piracy campaign was unsuccessful and unprofitable, it turned its attention to target advertising on popular P2P networks like LimeWire.

Last year MediaDefender saw a revenue stream of $560,000 from advertising. Now, in 2008, it hopes to increase its profits by getting more record labels on board.

According to TorrentFreak, in 2007, the company partnered with Sprint and Atlantic Records in a six-figure investment to offer p2p networks 16 million tracks from the hip-hop artist Plies. These music files would display the Sprint logo while it was being played.

The project was designed to generate advertising revenue, link brands to particular artists, and limit piracy.

This is the same company that set up fake BitTorrent trackers and fake download sites to combat piracy and catch users in the act. These are also the same record labels that use the RIAA to sue people for copyright infringement and the IFPI to educate people against file-sharing. I like how TorrentFreak’s Ernesto put it, “I’m not a lawyer of course, but this double standard must have some legal implications.”

This kind of thing doesn’t surprise me at all. Record labels and companies that support them aren’t interested in doing the right thing by stopping piracy. They’re only interested in your money and don’t care what they have to do to get it.

As long as pressing lawsuits against people (guilty or not) is profitable, they’ll continue to do so and use politics to hide behind the moral standard of fighting piracy. Has their efforts really done anything to bring down the rate of piracy in the world? Have the consumers benefited at all from anti-piracy campaigns or DRM, for that matter?

I think Ernesto has the right idea. At some point in time, MediaDefender will have to face this double standard in a court of law. However, I don’t believe that any accusations will stick, since it is legitimate Mp3s that the record labels are offering and not copyrighted material. The most it will do is discredit the company and make people angry.

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