MPAA files new film-swapping suits
rah at shipwright.com
Thu Jan 27 11:06:53 PST 2005
> The MPAA's new software, "Parent File Scan," is aimed at identifying
>file-swapping software applications and multimedia files on a computer, so
>that--in theory--parents can evaluate whether the files on their computer
>have been legally acquired and talk with children about the legalities of
MPAA files new film-swapping suits
By John Borland
Story last modified Wed Jan 26 13:43:00 PST 2005
Hollywood studios filed a second round of lawsuits against online
movie-swappers on Wednesday, stepping up legal pressure on the file-trading
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) also made available a new
free software tool so parents can scan their computers for file-swapping
programs and for movie or music files which may be copyrighted.
The group said its lawsuits were targeting people across the United
States, but did not say how many people were being sued.
"We cannot allow people to steal our motion pictures and other products
online, and we will use all the options we have available to encourage
people to obey the law," MPAA Chief Executive Officer Dan Glickman said in
a statement. "We had to resort to lawsuits as one option to help make that
After initially letting record labels take the lead, movie studios have
launched their own aggressive legal campaigns against online film-trading
in recent months, targeting individual computer users as well as Web site
and server operators that serve as hubs of file-trading networks.
The group filed its first set of lawsuits against individual computer
users in November, and followed up with a worldwide campaign against the
operators of BitTorrent, eDonkey and DirectConnect networks.
As a result, some of the most popular Web sites that served as
file-trading hubs, such as Suprnova.org and Yourceff.com have gone offline.
At least one, LokiTorrent.com, has remained online and is soliciting
donations from its visitors to pay for legal fees.
The MPAA's new software, "Parent File Scan," is aimed at identifying
file-swapping software applications and multimedia files on a computer, so
that--in theory--parents can evaluate whether the files on their computer
have been legally acquired and talk with children about the legalities of
peer-to-peer activity. Unlike the network-monitoring software often
installed in businesses or corporate networks, the MPAA-backed software
does not monitor or block downloads.
In practice, the software, developed by the DtecNet Software company in
Denmark, casts an extremely wide net.
It searches for and identifies virtually any audio or video file,
including popular formats like MP3, Microsoft's Windows Media, the AAC
files that Apple Computer's iTunes software often uses, or MPEG video. The
software makes no distinction between legally acquired or illegally
downloaded files, however--which can total in the thousands.
Parent File Scan also uses a very liberal definition of file-swapping
software. In a test on a CNET News.com computer, the software identified
Mirc--a client for the Internet Relay Chat network, where files can be
swapped, but where tens of thousands of wholly legal conversations happen
every day--and Mercora, a streaming Web radio service that uses
peer-to-peer technology but does not allow file swapping.
The software is primarily aimed at use by parents, and does not report any
information back to the MPAA or any other group, the trade association said.
R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at ibuc.com>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'
More information about the cypherpunks-legacy