Tuesday, November 16, 2004

MPAA Reads RIAA

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has finally started filing lawsuits against file-sharers. Besides relying on the (legal) tools of fear, the MPAA has some old tricks in the bag:
As part of a larger effort to combat piracy, The Motion Picture Association of America also said it would soon make available a computer program that sniffs out movie and music files on a user's computer as well as any installed file-sharing programs.

The MPAA said the information detected by the free file-detection program would not be shared with it or any other body, but could be used to remove any "infringing movies or music files'' and remove file-sharing programs.
Remove file-sharing programs? Remove programs that are "merely capable of substantial noninfringing uses" and as such comply with the Betamax Doctrine? Remove when: when infringing files are detected on a user's PC?

This echoes the Berman Bill, that would have freed Hollywood from liability when hacking PCs in their effort to counter copyright infringement. A reversed echoe, because file-sharers are expected to remove infringing content and p2p programs themselves. Subtle self-censorship under the threath of legal action is on the rise, again.

Thru Techdirt

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