MarkMonitor to buy Danish provider of antipiracy services

MarkMonitor has acquired the Danish company DtecNet, an antipiracy tracking company, the companies said Monday.

MarkMonitor offers companies ways to track how their brand is being used -- or in many cases, abused -- online. It offers alerts when people have registered Internet domain names that seek to trick people into believing they've landed on a website belonging to another brand.

MarkMonitor was already a partner with DtecNet, which specializes in detecting content under copyright that is being illegally shared on file-sharing networks such as eMule. Its software can be used to track the distribution of pre-release content, and it has an automated system to send out cease-and-desist letters.

The Irish Recorded Music Association has employed DtecNet to detect illegal file sharing by subscribers of the Irish ISP Eircom. DtecNet provides lists of IP (Internet Protocol) addresses of suspected illegal file sharers.

Eircom was sued by IRMA, a trade association composed of record labels such as EMI, Sony, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, which sought to force the ISP to install traffic-monitoring equipment. The two sides reached an out-of-court agreement whereby Eircom would suspend or cut off Internet access to those accused of file sharing up to three times.

Terms of the MarkMonitor's acquisition of DtecNet were not disclosed. DtecNet's founder and CEO, Thomas Sehested, will become a senior vice president for DtecNet's European operations. DtecNet has a development team in Denmark and an operations center in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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