Wednesday, 19 January 2005

Another example of government ignorance regarding P2P

SB 96 Senate Bill - INTRODUCED: "...any person or entity that sells, advertises, or distributes peer-to-peer file sharing software, as defined, that enables the user to electronically disseminate recordings or audiovisual works over the Internet who fails to exercise reasonable care in preventing use of the software to commit an unlawful act... is punishable by a fine not exceeding $2,500, imprisonment in a county jail for a period not to exceed one year..."

Ah! This is so stupid it hurts my brain to read it!

FACT: P2P typically runs over the protocols UDP and TCP/IP (or rather other protocols like HTTP and Sockets run on top of these) . These are also the main protocols that support networking, hence most of the Internet (a web page is, after all, just a 'file').

FACT: These protocols provide the means to break the law in exactly the same way as the P2P software does, with exactly the same absence of any kind of anti-piracy provision. Is Senator Murray going to try to hold the creators of this software accountable M$, Berkeley, MIT, etc?

Saying P2P should be banned because it's mostly used for piracy is like saying the Internet should be banned entirely at work and in schools because it's mostly used for porn rather than educational/business purposes.

How exactly would one go about adapting the Internet protocols or P2P software to "take due care to prevent piracy" anyway? Sounds like a machine learning problem to me!

They're trying to pass this law to make it illegal to provide technology to people that could be used to commit a crime. Tell you what a**holes: I'll agree to that when you hold people who sell guns and other weapons (including governments) accountable for the atrocities that are committed with them! Not so worried about that sort of accountability are you? Hypocrites.

Article found at Slashdot