(From a friend with inside experience in the music publishing business and extensive computer networking background, I trust his opinion implicitly.)
RIAA and BSAS favorite lawyers taking top DOJ posts (from Gizmodo)
I am not sure why the DOJ is packed with a bunch of corporate loving lawyers that like to sue people and business. I do not think these jerks can serve the public best because they have a perceived conflict of interest in preserving what they have been advocating. In the RIAA’s eyes, all people that use peer-2-peer technology, of which one use is file sharing, are criminals to be sued.
They want to shut down the first next generation computer communication model since client-server. I do not advocate pirating music, but I have an issue with an organization that sets up a dragnet and abuses our judicial system for their gain when the legal theories being used are questionable (i.e. making available for distribution argument is equal to illegal distribution).
By the way, you do not upload anything to a P2P network, you share a directory on your local machine. So, by having the software they are targeting and a shared directory that contains music might make you a target if they can illegally access your machine.
Currently, the RIAA is making deals with ISPs to police your connection to the Internet. Do you like spying on your communications by non-governmental entities? Do you believe you should be able to download music from the Internet you already own with a end user copyright? Do you think entities like ISPs should self-deputize in order to fulfill the RIAA’s version of justice? The RIAA wants ISPs to shutoff your broadband pipe if they believe you are pirating music. Where is the due process?
The BSA is a front group for Microsoft among other IT companies like IBM, Sun, HP, etc. Essentially, the BSA tries to encourage people to tattle on people if they are using pirated software or try to influence governmental policy either to enforce copyright or entrench MS in government. I am not an advocate of pirating software, but setting up a gestapo-esque atmosphere raises my hackles.
Have you heard of Sen. Orrin Hatch a BSA cyber champion. He proposed a “kill switch” for your computer if you were pirating software. Even more importantly, though, the BSA is used to fight governments considering moving off of MS technology to open source software like Linux and ODF (Open document format). ODF does not imply a move off of MS technology, but it is in MS’ interest to keep all government business in their format.
Why should government keep taxing people to pay for MS licenses that use a format that restricts non-MS applications access to public documents? The non-MS applications have to use a plug-in that can cost a royalty fee. By the way, MS Office can read/write ODF docs with no added expense for a plug-in. I feel strongly about these issues. Nevertheless, I can see that there is a conflict of interest with these individuals with regards to doing what is best for the public versus what is best for copyright holders. I already wrote the White House to let them know that this is “change I can’t believe in.” I urge you to do the same. Right now.