YouHaveDownloaded.com maintains a database of downloads via BitTorrent and the IP address associated with each one. Since most Internet users have dynamic IP addresses, which may change at any time, it is likely inaccurate in most cases.
However, some IP addresses aren't dynamic. Typically corporations, governments, and other large organizations use static IP addresses which don't change. Assuming the database contains good information, it should be relatively accurate for those using such IP addresses.
Last week TorrentFreak revealed that IP addreses used by several major studios and also French President Nicholas Sarkozy were linked to illegal downloads. Now they have added the RIAA and US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to that list.
This is particularly ironic considering the RIAA has sued countless people for alleged illegal downloading using nothing more than an IP address to identify them. In a statement to CNET, the organization denied TorrentFreak's claim, saying:
We checked the block of IP addresses allocated to RIAA staff to access the Internet and no RIAA employee was responsible for this alleged use of bittorrent.
Notice, however, they didn't say their IP addresses weren't implicated by YouHaveDownloaded, nor did they claim the information in the database was incorrect. They simply claimed RIAA employees had not downloaded anything illegally.
Of course this is a common claim among people accused by the RIAA, who simply claim that an IP address is enough to file a lawsuit. And YouHaveDownloaded is similar to the agencies used by the RIAA in one key respect. Their methodology is secret.
While DHS doesn't sue file sharers, they do have a division which has made a practice of seizing domain names of websites they claim are guilty of criminal copyright infringement for facilitating illegal downloads, often by nothing more than offering embedded streams from third parties.
Written by: Rich Fiscus @ 21 Dec 2011 4:58