Warner Bros. hiring students to spy on torrent websites
In a bid to fight copyright infringement, Warner Bros. Entertainment UK is recruiting students to be part of its anti-piracy taskforce. The internship at the University of Manchester requires students to create anonymous accounts on specific BitTorrent sites and spy on other users who illegally upload copyrighted Warner Bros. material, reports TorrentFreak.
Beginning this summer, successful candidates to the 12 month program will be paid £17,500 as they hunt down unsuspecting pirates online. Warner Bros. is seeking students who have a background in IT and a degree in a computer-related discipline for they will be required to use stealthy tactics to spy on heavy BitTorrent users.
Besides monitoring Internet forums and scanning links for pirated Warner Bros. and NBC Universal content, the students will also be responsible for preparing infringement notices and issuing takedown requests.
Film distributers like Warner Bros. have been struggling in the fight against piracy for years and all claim to lose millions of dollars annually due to stolen content. Advocates of the anti-piracy movement (i.e. the Motion Picture Association of America) constantly push forward efforts to thwart online pirates but most are unsuccessful. Recent examples include screening warning videos in theatres to moviegoers and launching a series of anti-piracy parodies of classic films like Casablanca and Alice in Wonderland.
Now, Warner Bros. hopes to learn from these tech-savvy university students as they observe and report illegal films and television content being shared. Most students today have grown up in the Internet age and many engage in file sharing activities, both legal and illegal. Warner Bros.’ new strategy to fight piracy has some implications on how they can take advantage of the interns to fight their biggest known piracy demographic.