Off topic: MiiVi

Hey quick off topic post just to get this out of my head.

At the risk of seeming like an actual blog I’m going to post on something almost topical.

I’ve spent a good chunk of the day reading through the MediaDefender emails.


the actual emails:

I’ve read some of the responses to these emails visa vi – MiiVi and can’t help but think people are getting it wrong.

People are mining the emails to support their pre-existing belief: MiiVi is a honey pot built to harvest IPs that can be used to extort money.

And yes there are a few quotes that support this theory in a round about kind of way. Mostly stuff in the EULA saying that they can report you to the cops if you break copywright. I don’t find this convincing. There’s all sorts of shit in EULAs. The wording in this one doesn’t sound any more threatening than the last one I didn’t read.

What I do find compelling is

1) Consistent efforts to find monetary streams outside of their core business model. Like building facebook widgets.

2) A genuine desire to make MiiVi really good.

These guys spent days on tiny interface issues. They sat down users and did actual interface testing. Something that noone does even though it’s the only way to get a decent interface. Most importantly they where brainstorming ways to keep people comming back day after day.

If you’re building a honey pot you don’t spend this kind of money on it. You hack out a front end and go fishing. At the most you make something servicable and then advertise the fuck out of it for a month so you can harvest all those IPs from the initial boom.

You don’t worry about user retention. By the time that becomes an issue you’re first law-suits are hitting the courts with your URL emblazoned all over them.

I think these guys were genuinely trying to make a go of it. They looked at all these sites they where trying to shut down every day, thought about how well they understood the market, how well they understood the technology, and decided they could do better.

Is that really more far fetched than them trying to make a buck off of facebook widgets?

Of course they still had to keep their name off of it. Not to keep it a secret from pirates but to keep it from their day-job clients. Universal had, according to emails sent from Universal employees, around 1000 properties under the watchfull eyes of MediaDefender. Media defender charges 1000$ a month per property to work their mediocre magic. Even if Universal got a deal that’s still a ton of money to lose.

So when you’re little moonlighting endevour gets outed by the pirates do you cop to playing both sides? No. You complain about everything being unfair (because your feelings are genuinely hurt) but don’t provide any explination of what you were actually doing.

So anyway it just looks to me like everyone read this the wrong way. Don’t get me wrong. I hate these guys too. In fact I think they’re even slimier for playing both sides.

Anyway hopefully this was written poorly enough and was lacking enough in cited evidence that it doesn’t come off as a respectable blog post. This is not a blog it’s a Travelogue.

Also, Tabish Hasan, I hope you found work. You’re a good guy even if things didn’t work out at MediaDefender.


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