You’re trying to download the latest Madonna album, only to find the pop queen calling you…a thief? Welcome to the odd and oftentimes annoying war against piracy. The entertainment industry has been hiring companies to pollute P2P networks with phony files for years, and now some of these very same companies are going into marketing. Instead of sabotaging file transfers, they offer their own media for download, and instead of corrupted files, suddenly it’s all about branding.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Mediadefender has been at the center of this shift. The subsidiary of ARTISTdirect is known and hated in the file-sharing world for its anti-piracy work, but has recently gotten a lot of press for an upcoming campaign involving ad-supported MP3 downloads. Mediadefender has been experimenting with P2P marketing for a number of years now, and they’ve learned a few lessons along the way. VP Jonathan Lee agreed to share some of them with me. Continue reading at

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