Showing users how to send large video files is a task undertaken by dozens of software and hardware manufacturers but for the folks at Netgear the issue is now a controversial one. Want to send a pirate movie to a friend after downloading it from a torrent site? Netgear apparently has an app for that.
Call me old-fashioned or just plain old, but when people blatantly break the law in a public place I find that somewhat bemusing – especially if there is absolutely no gain in doing so.
For instance, while the tell-tale smell of marijuana is hardly worth a second sniff at a music festival, inhaling the same in a shopping mall is an altogether different affair. Stupid, confident or just couldn’t give a damn? Who knows, but it would be non-issue in private, that’s almost certain.
But could it be that smoking weed and other petty ‘crimes’ have become so commonplace that people have forgotten that they should consider hiding their habit? That thought struck me this week when reading a thread on Reddit, oddly enough focused on router manufacturer Netgear.
Netgear’s Genie is software designed to “Manage, Monitor, and Repair your Home Network”. In addition to diagnostic and repair features, users can use Genie to network map and manage wireless connections. Sounds great.
However, in addition to the above, Genie also has a feature called “Turbo Transfer” which allows users to quickly shift files between computers on the same network.
Like all good manufacturers, Netgear provides instructions on how to use this feature but it appears that the author of the tutorial either a) decided to carry on smoking pot at his workstation or b) forgot that Internet piracy is illegal.
Things start off innocently enough with the following diagram.
….but then descend into madness when Netgear’s employee either forgets he’s at work or simply doesn’t care anymore.
For those who haven’t spotted the faux pas, what we’re looking at in the above image is Netgear explaining how its users can send a pirate rip of the Michael Bay movie ‘Pain and Gain‘ across a network.
Possibly making matters worse is the fact that the movie appears to have been acquired from RARBG, one of the world’s most popular torrent sites. Presuming that the file was on a Netgear computer when the tutorial was made, one doesn’t have to be particularly imaginative to work out how it got there.
The tutorial in some form or another appears to have been on Netgear’s site for two years but depending on date format it could’ve been edited as recently as this month – “Updated 12/07/2015 12:13 PM,” Netgear’s site reads.
While unusual, this isn’t the first time a corporation has forgotten to hide its illegal file-sharing habits from the public.
In 2008, John Lewis used aXXo rips to sell iMacs and a year later Saturn, Europe’s largest retailer of consumer electronics, showed pirated films to sell Macbooks.
Then in 2010, electronics giant LG happily showed its customers how to play pirate movies on its TVs.
An archive copy of Netgear’s tutorial, should they take it down before getting the munchies and wondering off, can be found here.