Warner Bros. Recruiting Student Piracy Spies In U.K.

In a job listing posted this week, which was unearthed first by the blog TorrentFreak, Warner says it's looking for an "Anti-Piracy Intern" to assist the company in tracking down pirated content online.

Job duties include scanning for links to hosted pirated Warner Bros. content, and gathering information on "pirate sites, pirate groups and other pirate activities," according to the listing.

The intern will also be tasked with preparing infringement notices to be sent to pirates, maintaining and developing bots for scanning and identifying links to pirated material, and performing trap purchases of pirated products, according to the listing.

Warner Bros. will provide training for the more technologically advanced aspects of the internship, which pays roughly $26,000 annually. Job requirements include familiarity with P2P, IRC, FTP, and Web forums, and applicants are required to be pursuing a degree in a computing-related discipline. Experience with Java or JSP and PHP, Perl or Python "would be a bonus," according to the listing.

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While recruiting students to serve as copyright spies sounds like something that would raise legal red flags, it's apparently not only legal, it's also a common practice, a spokesman for U.K. law firm Pinsent Mason told the tech magazine PC Pro Monday.

"There are a couple of potential legal issues but it looks like they've covered their bases. They have to log the problems in case it comes up in court [and] they can only monitor their own content," the unidentified spokesperson told PC Pro.

The internship begins in July and prospective applicants have until March 31 to apply.