Monday, March 15, 2004

California Attorney General to target P2P?

According to this article on Wired News, that's exactly what's going to happen. Interestingly, the article points out that text found in a MS Word document leaked from the Attorney General's office sounds very much like language used by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and metadata in the Word document shows that it may have been reviewed by someone at the MPAA.

From the article, text found in the leaked letter:

"As a P2P software developer and distributor, we believe you have the ability and responsibility to better educate consumers about these known risks, and to design your software in a manner that minimizes the risks. We view with grave concern reports that at least some P2P software developers may be adding features deliberately designed to hinder law enforcement in its prosecution of crimes using P2P software. Companies that engage in such conduct, and fail to meet the important responsibilities referenced above, harm the interests of consumers in our States.

It is widely recognized that P2P file-sharing software currently is used almost exclusively to disseminate pornography, and to illegally trade copyrighted music, movies, software and video games. File-sharing software also is increasingly becoming a means to disseminate computer worms and viruses. Nevertheless, your company still does little to warn consumers about the legal and personal risks they face when they use your software to 'share' copyrighted music, movies and computer software. A failure to prominently and adequately warn consumers, particularly when you advertise and sell paid versions of your software, could constitute, at the very least, a deceptive trade practice."

While movie trading hasn't reached near the fervor of music trading (nor has it received anywhere near the amount of media attention), it still goes on with fair amounts of frequency over P2P networks. Haven't we seen this strategy before? RIAA vs. Napster, Napster shut down, P2P starts, music industry is fundamentally changed (and fundamentally hated because of the previously-perceived price gauging and lawsuits specifically targeting individual users).

I've asked in some of my previous posts on these topics if the MPAA was listening. Apparently they are not.

No comments: