The Motion Picture Association of America today announced the first step in its crackdown on people sharing motion pictures online, and in their announcement had a very interesting snippet that suggests they’re going to be much more nefarious than even the Recording Industry Association of America (the RIAA).
Here’s what MSNBC is reporting:
“The MPAA said it would also 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 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.”
Are you reading this the same way I am? That the MPAA is going to distribute a virus, a program that’s going to infect our computers, and then if the program finds file sharing software it doesn’t like, delete it?
In case the MPAA folk haven’t figured this out, you can use file sharing and P2P software for legitimate things too, like downloading Linux install CDROM images.
But there’s a bigger issue here, what we’d colloquially state as “two wrongs don’t make a right”: surely the MPAA can’t write and distribute a virus that will delete “suspect” software off your computer without them getting into trouble?
What do you think of all this?
Completely unacceptable and not even constitutionally legal.
If you haven’t yet, read Digital Imprimatur. (http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/digital-imprimatur/) It’s long (37 pages), but well worth the read and it’s scary to see where everything might be going.
This virus is already in circulation in some p2p networks, BitTorrent and the like are however safe from it for the moment.