Randy Saaf

Randy Saaf

Randy Saaf is the chief executive officer [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06291/730993-42.stm Record labels turn piracy into a marketing opportunity ] ] , and founder, of MediaDefender, Inc., which was purchased by ARTISTdirect, Inc. for $42.5 million in cash [http://www.freshnews.com/news/fresh-money/article_25776.html?Intel
] .


Saaf has testified before Congress on Internet piracy at least three times [http://judiciary.senate.gov/testimony.cfm?id=623&wit_id=2276] [http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/judiciary/hju81896.000/hju81896_0f.htm Piracy of Intellectual Property on Peer-to-Peer Networks ] ] [ [http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearing.cfm?id=623 United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary ] ] , and has worked with Senator Leahy [ [http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200306/061703.html Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy: "The Dark Side Of A Bright Idea: Could Personal And National Security Risks Compromise The Potential Of Peer-To-Peer File Sharing Networks?" ] ] , Senator Arlan Spector [ [http://specter.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Events.Detail&Event_id=360&Month=6&Year=2003 United States Senator Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania : Home ] ] , and Senator Orrin Hatch [ [http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/37717 heise online - US-Senator will bei illegalem Musiktausch PCs zerstören lassen ] ] to prevent piracy. In 2004, he donated $2,000 dollars to California Senator Barbara Boxer [ [http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/randy-saaf.asp?cycle=04 Randy Saaf - $2,000 in Political Contributions for 2004 ] ] .

Saaf appeared in a “60 Minutes” segment on piracy on 31 October 2003, where he talked about his efforts to prevent piracy [ [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/10/31/60minutes/main581153.shtml Pirates Of The Internet , High-Tech Thieves Are Coming After Hollywood - CBS News ] ] . He has also been a prime source for other leading news organizations, and has authored many articles against piracy [ [ Written Testimony for the Oversight Hearing on “The Prevalence of Pornography, Including Child Pornography, on Peer-to-Peer Networks” by Randy Saaf, President of MediaDefender, Inc., March 13th, 2003]
] .

A Fresno native, Saaf attended the University of California, Irvine, after graduating from high school. He then transferred to Harvey Mudd College and graduated in 1998 [ [http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/static/pages/0,,3557719,00.html Randy Saaf Biography - Mediadefender ] ] . Saaf graduated with a B.S. degree in engineering.

He spent less than a year with defense technology giant Raytheon, where he worked closely with airborne signal processing—systems that extinguish incoming missiles. Saaf left Raytheon to start the website with friends, InterFriendly.net. It was designed to use P2P technology to give small businesses the ability to transfer large and numerous files [http://www.onsystems.com/anonymous/news/oc_register_08_29_00.html] .

He then enrolled in the UCLA School of Law [ [http://offline.computerra.ru/2000/370/5783/ Новости - Журнал "Компьютерра" ] ] . A year later, he left, noting that "Law was too technical of a vocation for me." [http://bulletin.hmc.edu/archives/2005/Summer05/randy_saaf98.html Harvey Mudd College Bulletin Summer 2005 ] ]


Saaf and his company, MediaDefender, has been accused of hypocrisy among the file-sharing community for their own willingness to share and download copyrighted content [http://torrentfreak.com/anti-piracy-gang-launches-their-own-video-download-site-to-trap-people/
[http://www.diggreader.ru/2007/07/04/antipiratskaya-banda-zapuskaet-sobstvennyiy-sayt-dlya-zagruzki-video-chtobyi-otlavlivat-polzovateley/ Антипиратская банда запускает собственный сайт для загрузки видео, чтобы отлавливать пользователей]
] .

An example of this occurs in his interview from Harvey Mudd College:

...When prodded, Saaf offers a short demonstration. Logging on to file-sharing network Kazaa, he double-clicks on the Roy Orbison song “Only the Lonely.” The tune, which MediaDefender has not been contracted to protect, downloads immediately. He then clicks on rocker Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl,” which fails to download. Other Stefani files also will not download—the result of MediaDefender’s efforts.

Saaf has also been criticized [ [http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?cat=6 Freedom to Tinker » Berman-Coble ] ] for his usage of a type of denial service attack against P2P uploaders [ [http://starbulletin.com/2003/07/07/business/story2.html Honolulu Star-Bulletin Business ] ] . In sworn testimony to the Committee on the Judiciary House of Representatives, he described this kind of attack his company, MediaDefender uses:

Interdiction only targets uploaders of pirated material. The way it targets them is to simply download the pirated file. MediaDefender’s computers hook up to the person using the P2P protocol being targeted and download the pirated file at a throttled down speed. MediaDefender’s computers just try to sit on the other computers’ uploading connections as long as possible, using as little bandwidth as possible to prevent others from downloading the pirated content….

Interdiction works by getting in front of potential downloaders when someone is serving pirated content using a P2P network. When MediaDefender’s computer’s see someone making a copyrighted file available for upload, our computers simply hook into that computer and download the file. The goal is not to absorb all of that user’s bandwidth but block connections to potential downloaders. If the P2P program allows ten connections and MediaDefender fills nine, we are blocking 90% of illegal uploading.

“The easiest way to disrupt a mass distribution system is to put out a lot of phony files,” Saaf said. “You create decoys. We do this on a massive scale with our own proprietary software [ [http://mdd.bluenorway.org/MediaDefender.Source.TrapperKeeper-MDD/ Index of /MediaDefender.Source.TrapperKeeper-MDD ] ] . That’s one of a suite of technologies that we provide.”

“I like movies, but I don’t really listen to that much music,” he said. “I guess that’s kind of ironic. This job will really eat at your love of music.”

Picture 1 of Saaf = [http://bulletin.hmc.edu/archives/2005/Summer05/media/alumni_profiles/RandySaaf98title.jpgPicture 1]

Picture 2 of Saaf = [http://www.wired.com/images/article/full/2007/09/randy_saaf_media_defender_500px.jpgPicture 2]

ee also



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