A video posted to YouTube in April offers a primer on how to use Google to pilfer music and video files in less time than it takes to download them from a peer-to-peer service.
"I'll be teaching you how to use Google as your own peer-to-peer network," said Jimmy Ruska at the beginning of the clip. Ruska is the 21-year-old who posted the video, according to a report in The Financial Times.
The how-to video focuses on what is known as an "index of" search and shows users how to direct Google's search engine to locate files from unprotected computer systems, many of which are found on college campuses. University students around the country often store music on their schools' computer networks.
Ruska's formula also worked at Yahoo and other search engines, according to the FT. Record labels have always maintained that downloading unauthorized music files violates copyright law.
How effective is Ruska's technique? The FT quoted a Google engineer who said that "nothing guarantees that such a search will find music files."
But during the 9-minute long video, posted to YouTube on April 16, Ruska teaches viewers to focus their search using keywords, which will weed out spam and other unwanted results.
Ruska claims on the video that his technique can help people find MP3 and MP4 files "so they are compatible with the iPod" and even small video clips.
Les Echos, a sister publication to the FT, first reported this story.