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McAfee Patents Tech That Detects, Blocks Pirated Content

TorrentFreak reports that security software firm McAfee has patented technology that detects and blocks pirated content. This anti-piracy system expands on the company's SiteAdvisor tool, and will prevent users from downloading copyrighted media from any website while presenting them with authorized and legal alternatives.

"For example, a user might be likely to visit an inappropriate distribution site when sent a message containing a link or when search results from a search engine query identify a plurality of distributors for a requested movie, song, book, etc.," reads the patent's abstract. "By informing a user of illegal sources and possible alternatives, a user can obtain the desired electronic distribution without violating an author's intellectual property rights."

The patent, called "Detect and prevent illegal consumption of content on the Internet", was filed in October 4, 2012 and made public on April 18, 2013. It works by intercepting an URL the user enters into the browser and sending it to an intermediary server. This URL is analyzed and compared to information about other web sites, and then the server responds with information about the URL and alternative downloads. If the address is clean, then the user is allowed to move forward.

McAfee's attempt to curb piracy is an obvious move to reduce the number of malware and virus threats stemming from laced downloads. McAfee also states that this method will help customers avoid legal risks that could arise from inadvertently or purposely downloading copyrighted content.

"One major reason for concern is possible violation of an Intellectual Property right and the potential cost ramifications associated with such a violation," the company explains. "A second major concern could relate to potential threats cause by some unauthorized distributions. For example, it is not uncommon for an unauthorized distribution of material on the Internet to include malicious material."

Of course, consumers will actually need to install the software first to protect themselves from their pirating tendencies. McAfee suggests that the tech be incorporated into its SiteAdvisor tool for consumers and business clients. Threats can be detected in both public search engines, and those used within social networks like Facebook.

For businesses, this would be ideal for preventing employees from inadvertently or directly consuming illegal content while on the clock. However McAfee's anti-piracy efforts may not be quite so successful on a voluntary consumer level. That said, if the patent is approved, there's a good chance this system will silently become an included feature in the company's existing and upcoming security products.

  • Dupontrocks11
    Oh no! I'll have to stop using McAfee security! Just kidding I don't use McAfee...
    Reply
  • falchard
    You can always look at the positive. The anti-piracy groups now must license software that checks for pirated content.
    Reply
  • bubu2013
    @dupon , do u know who owns Mcafee?
    Unfortunately they'll make u .
    Reply
  • santeana
    lol Good luck McAfee
    Reply
  • bubu2013
    @dupon , do u know who owns Mcafee?
    Unfortunately they'll make u .
    Reply
  • guanyu210379
    McAfee is the best antivirus you can find out there...honestly!
    McAfee will block any virus or malware or whatever without any failure
    It will suceed to block everything...I mean everything...
    Setting the proc always to high load so that none will run anymore...no virus...no malware...not even...your normal software...your OS too will be blocked
    Now...it is adding new feature...blocking pirated products or items which it thinks they are pirated...
    McAfee is always be my best and favorite security products...it blocks everyting including YOU!
    Reply
  • I hope McAfee will just keep this patent and never share it with anyone. Can you imagine that? No one else will have a good way to block pirated content, all you have to do is not have McAfee AV and you can pirate all you want(which I do not endorse or participate in).
    Reply
  • drwho1
    Of course, consumers will actually need to install the software first to protect themselves from their pirating tendencies.
    LOL good luck with that
    Reply
  • NeeKo
    Who on earth would use this?
    Reply
  • JohnUSA
    McAfee is a very poor, irritating, horrible and abysmal security software.
    I am a professional PC expert and I never recommend this software to any of my clients.
    Luckily even the free security software are better than McAfee.
    Stay away from this garbage software.
    Never use it.
    Reply