MPAA’s Latest

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has new website that “encourages” people to respect copyrights. It lists the user names and IP addresses (usually just the class C) of file sharing & P2P users the MPAA believes are sharing coprighted files under the heading “Is this you? If you think you can get away with illegally trafficking in movies, think again”. The site also offers a tool called “Parent File Scan” that users can install to check if they have file sharing programs installed or if their computer contains “potentially infringing” material.

The “Parent File Scan” cannot actually distinguish legitimate movie and music files from “infringing” ones. Its main purpose seems to be a “P2PCleaner” — locating and encouraging users to uninstall file sharing and P2P applications. Freenet, the popular anti-censorship anonoymous publishing tool is included in the list of P2P software that “Parent File Scan” encourages users to uninstall.

The “Parent File Scan” software just scans the user’s harddisk for specific file extentions associated with music and video files and checks to see if the extension matches the file format (if you rename a .txt to .mp3, it won’t be located). It looks inside of compressed files .zip and .rar for music and video files too.

It cannot identify any copyright infringing material. And if any file extensions have been renamed on music or video files the user may have, the software will not locate them (For example, if you rename a .wmv that the scan found to a .mp3 it will not be located in your next scan).

Buried within the EULA:

3. The SOFTWARE searches for files in the most popular music and video formats. However, there is no guarantee that the SOFTWARE will find all music and video files, as the files may be stored in other formats, or renamed or hidden on your computer in a way that the SOFTWARE might not find.

4. You must determine yourself whether music or video files on your computer were acquired legally or illegally. The SOFTWARE does not verify or report the source of files found. You must clarify this question yourself by discussing with the persons who have used the computer where the music and video files are found.

The software does not distinguish between legitimate or infriging files, but some default audio files that come with Windows are not found by the “Parent File Scan” software. Perhaps these files are whitelisted in some way?

After locating music and video files the software prompts the user to uninstall file sharing programs. The software then checks to see what file sharing software is installed and the user can then uninstall any programs the software locates. This seems to be the main purpose of the application. In fact, it may (or portions of it) have been internally called P2PCleaner, at one time (a string in the executable: c:\Documents and Settings\wraith\Desktop\P2PCleaner2_MPAA\P2PCleaner\Release\P2PCleaner.pdb ).

One of the P2P programs that “Parent File Scan” prompts the user to uninstall is FreeNet.

Freenet is free software which lets you publish and obtain information on the Internet without fear of censorship. To achieve this freedom, the network is entirely decentralized and publishers and consumers of information are anonymous. Without anonymity there can never be true freedom of speech, and without decentralization the network will be vulnerable to attack.

The file extensions the software looks for are:


The applications that the “Parent File Scan” looks for and propmts the user to unistall are:
bitcomet.exe;bitspirit.exe;bt lite.exe;btdownloadgui.exe;
lordofsearch.exe;morphexe.exe;mp3 music search.exe;

One comment.

  1. Welcome
    Welcome to both Nart and Peter to my little list of links. Nart has a nifty entry on the MPAA’s new illegal content scanner….

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