With a little help from Microsoft, a seven-person team in Russia is building a new technology to try and prevent users from downloading copyrighted materials from file-sharing sites. Called Pirate Pay, the company conducted a trial last December where it spent 30 days trying to block downloads of the Walt Disney-distributed Russian film Vysotsky. Thanks to God, I'm alive. During that time the team claims it stopped 44,845 copies of the film from being downloaded, though it's unclear how many copies were successfully downloaded over that same period. However, Pirate Pay seems confident in the success of the trial, with CTO Alex Klimenko claiming that "our technology has become literally a hundred times better" due to what was learned over the 30 day span.

So how does it work? "We used a number of servers to make a connection to each and every P2P client that distributed this film," Klimenko told Russia: Behind the Headlines. "Then Pirate Pay sent specific traffic to confuse these clients about the real IP-addresses of other clients and to make them disconnect from each other." However, despite the $100,000 in seed funding it received from Microsoft and the high-profile job from Disney, Pirate Pay isn't currently turning a profit. It charges between $12,00-$50,000 per job, but is still spending more on development than it actually earns. "There is not yet an opportunity to recoup our expenses from revenue," said Klimenko.