MPAA hacker interview

Wired has an interview with Robert Anderson, a hacker-for-hire who went to work for the MPAA, illegally breaking into BitTorrent trackers and snooping on their email:

According to Anderson, 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..."

But once Anderson turned over the data and cashed the MPAA's check, he quickly realized that Garfield had no further use for him. "He lost interest in me," he says. Anderson felt abandoned: During negotiations with Garfield, the hacker had become convinced he was starting a long-term, lucrative relationship with the motion picture industry. "He was stringing me along personally."

Hollywood's cold shoulder put Anderson's allegiance back up for grabs, and about a year later he came clean with TorrentSpy's Bunnell in an online chat. "'I sold you out to the MPAA,'" Anderson says he told Bunnell. "I felt guilty (for) what happened and I kinda also thought at that point the MPAA wasn't going to do anything."



  1. they promised him that they would still respect him in the morning. then when he woke he only found $10 on the nightstand…not even enough for the cab ride to get home.

    i hate it when mom is right about men like the MPAA

  2. That’s the first lesson you have to learn in the entertainment business. Take meetings, talk (without revealing your process), turn over samples of other “projects”, but no work until the contract is signed.

    Unfortunately, this is a lesson that few in the gaming, online, IT, and reality TV segments of the entertainment business have learned.

    David B.

  3. Actually, quite similar in the dotcom world, from my perspective. Any CEO will tell you about riches, and get you to join a team doing whatever. Then, a few months later, you haven’t been paid, and the company is gone or worse. I still see this happening.

    Make sure you get it in writing before doing any work.

  4. This guy is feeling bad not because he sold his soul, but because he got stiffed for some of the agreed price. Hard to feel any sympathy.

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