The Motion Picture Association of America claims it lost $2.3 billion worldwide to Internet piracy in 2005. So you'd think they'd be willing to spend a couple extra grand to keep some of its more unsavory antipiracy methods quiet. But you'd be wrong. According to a Wired News story, the MPAA signed a $15,000 contract with hacker Mark Anderson to obtain the names, addresses and phone numbers of the owners of P2P site Torrentspy.com.
This, Anderson said, after the MPAA told him, "We would need somebody like you. We would give you a nice paying job, a house, a car, anything you needed.... if you save Hollywood for us you can become rich and powerful."
After signing the contract, Anderson held up his side of the bargain, guessing at user passwords until he gained access to TorrentSpy's email servers and then forwarding information to the MPAA.
But after Anderson cashed his $15,000 for services rendered, he said he never heard from the MPAA again. Whoops.
Eventually, the attention-starved deviant went to Torrentspy's founder, Justin Bunnell, and confessed. Now Bunnell is suing the MPAA for illegal wiretapping. Anderson, however, faces no legal trouble.
"He took steps to advise us of his wrongdoing and to cooperate. We've made a decision to go after the bigger wrongdoing, the MPAA," Bunnell's attorney, Ira Rothken, told Wired.