Thursday, September 22, 2005

More Legal Absurdity...

So I am doing a lot of blogging on the current battle between P2P networks and the record industry. This is another interesting example of the stupidity that occurs when people try to secure their intangible property interests. Whats worse, this time around they are violating the law to secure that interest.

Many people know of the RIAA's assault on P2P networks. Now, though, the European counterpart is distributing maleware (malicious software) that seeks out and deletes P2P software on user's computers. Fundamentally, the maleware has to operate like a virus, and it is, after all, considered maleware. Releasing this software would violate all kinds of laws that are usually used to convict hackers and writters of big worms everyone is always worried about. This blatant act of internet vigilantism should be punished like any other illegal act not withstanding the benevolent intent. Realistically, this is the media industry violating someone elses copyright by hijacking their software. No matter how you spin it, its a perverse tit for tat.

2 comments:

Gary said...

So whats the difference between downloading music and sharing it for personal use and recording TV shows and watching them over and over?
Like if I recorded all the Seinfeld episodes I wouldnt have to buy the DVD collection.
I dont get it...it was a huge deal at one point when VCRs came out.

Please 'splain lawyer boy! lol

The Donnybrook said...

That is exactly the point I am getting at. The Supreme Court’s decision does little to actually curb file sharing. Rather, it provides a grounds to sue and the ability to hold someone else liable. What is worse is that using the definition espoused in the opinion, as you noted with VCRs, the definition will not remedy the so called problem. Sharing mp3s is a violation of copy right law, it’s the copying and distribution of proprietary content that is illegal. As illogical as it sounds, apparently obtaining ownership through “sharing” is unlawful distribution, and it no longer requires profiting from intellectual property that belongs to someone else. I think the reason why this case made it to the Supreme Court is because Grokster has the money to pursue the litigation, and I think that the appeals courts would take issue with individual possession. Take that opinion with a grain of salt, though, I am no expert in copyright. Usually, suits don’t happen like this because an individual would sue a deep pocket who profited. Now, the deep pocket is suing the individual.