Popular piracy site, Uploader Talk, revealed as a honey trap

The operator of one of the Internet's most popular illegal file-sharing sites, Uploader Talk, has revealed that he has been working for anti-copyright infringement organisation Nuke Piracy LLC.

The site's owner, known only as WDF, claims he set up the site as a "honey trap" to lure file-sharers and that users' details have now been shared with the authorities. WDf claims to have "suckered" his users.

Since its launch 12 months ago, Uploader Talk has become a popular hangout for Internet users who upload files to file-sharing sites for other users to download, often in breach of copyright and intellectual property laws.

Visitors to the site are now faced with the logo of Nuke Piracy alongside that of the ostensible file-sharing site, as well as a message from WDF, entitled "Hello Reader".

The message goes on to say that "UT was set up for a number of reasons. But mostly to be a sounding board, proof of concept... and to collect data."

The operator has apparently signed on as a consultant for Nuke Piracy, and handed over the details of high-profile users to the organisation. For many, this represents a startling development in the ever-shifting landscape of the war on piracy.

Nuke Piracy, which apparently formed just this month, say on their website that "because we use proprietary and unconventional methods we do not discuss or disclose our methodologies, processes, and procedures publicly."

Could the Uploader Talk honey trap be one of those "unconventional methods"?

On 31 August, however, the anti-piracy company published a blog post in which they announced "the acquisition of several piracy related websites," as well as "the co-operation of those sites admins in identifying the operators of File Hosting sites, their payment methods, users, and criminal activities."

The post went on to say that "Several of these sites admins have agreed to provide information, emails, chat logs, and other information".

These acquisitions will help increase the amount of usable information in our anti piracy databases and make more information available to our clients and partners."

WDF apparently started out as a user, then a moderator of the even more popular piracy hangout WJunction, eventually going on to become a super-moderator. He then left on apparently bad terms, and started Uploader Talk.

On the front page of Uploader Talk, WDF asked, "So what happens now? I am already working with different ID, a new persona, and still collecting data. You never know who I will be or where I will turn up"

He added, "I work for Nuke Piracy now... this is very bad for anyone profiting from piracy."

Online piracy is predicted to cost 1.2 million European jobs by 2015, and video game piracy alone is said to cost as much as £1 billion a year.

Image: Flickr (steve p2008)