John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

A Password-Protected Beta Was a Feature of Version 2, Huh?


Torrent-users can be forgiven their umbrage today over MediaDefender’s MiiVi video site. After all, an online video service owned and operated by a leading anti-piracy solutions provider would seem to have HONEY-POT written all over it. Especially given promotional text like this:

Get MiiVi now! Click here to start downloading your favorite videos now! Our members experience better services and faster downloads. Member login!”

Certainly, it seems plausible that MediaDefender–an outfit that’s responsible for flooding peer-to-peer networks with decoy files designed to frustrate users’ attempts to trade copyrighted content–might be behind a bogus torrent site established to bust movie pirates. But according to MediaDefender CEO Randy Saf, that’s not the case. MiiVi is really just a very early video site beta that should have been kept under lock and key, but wasn’t.

“It is true that MediaDefender was doing R&D on a new type of video site that we had registered under MiiVi,” MediaDefender CEO Randy Saf told Digital Daily. “All the other mumbo jumbo about working with [the] MPAA, spyware, lawsuits, etc., was a libelously fabricated story by a group of p2p blogs that are generally pro-piracy and anti-us. … MiiVi has nothing to do with the MPAA, the RIAA, or any music or movie studio. It was not even meant to be used by the general public. MiiVi has nothing to do with lawsuits. … We did not go to great lengths to hide our connection to MiiVi because we were not trying to do anything shady.”

So what was the site doing?

“Internal research and dev on a variety of software issues that are not obvious from how the site looked,” said Saf. “We were working on recommendation engines, for example. I deny on record that MiiVi collected information for legal actions. We are not working on MiiVi with MPAA/RIAA or any music or movie company for the purposes of lawsuits. We are working on recommendation engines like Last.FM. We were not scanning hard drives, or trying to trick people into downloading copyrighted content. … In hindsight, maybe we should have password-protected [the site].”

This post has been updated to include comments and clarification from MediaDefender. See our original post here.