You are Being Watched (Follow up)

[[Update]]

In a follow up to the story regarding the RIAA's tracking software, 7amnews.com answered some questions which many Megagames visitors, who read the story, probably share.

Isn't the recording industry in breach of the millennium copyright act by reverse-engineering Napster to build a compatible product?

They would have been, had they developed the software using a US company. In an unorthodox move they chose to contract an offshore company, probably the same one that manages their unorthodox bank accounts. Likewise, the code which scans for potential infringers is operated from outside the USA, thus it is not subject to US privacy or hacking laws.

It's not illegal for me to have a ripped MP3 on my PC because I might legally own the CD and just putting that file on my PC isn't a breach of copyright right?

This could be the case in many European countries, many believe though, that making copies of copyrighted material available through the Internet may be considered an act of publishing. If this is accepted then the publisher could be considered a contributory infringer because, if someone downloads that file, they have contributed to the offense by making it freely available.

Isn't this a breach of privacy?

Again opinions vary. It is however assumed that advertising the availability of your files through the Napster or Gnutella networks, users are making the information public domain.

Although this may make the future of file sharing seem gloomy, the possibility that everyone sharing files will be sued or that all ISP's will face legal action remains practically unfeasable. It is more likely that this story has been leaked in order to cause the weakest and unsure users to log off from the networks. The subsequent reduction in users sharing files combined with Napster's filtering process, may cause the gradual extinction of file sharing. Or so he record industry believes....

[[The Original Story]]

The recording industry, you know the people determined to shut Napster down, have struck again and this time..... "It,s Personal".

Those lovable company moguls have developed a software packet which plans to record the moves made by anyone using a filesharing utility.The software, known as "Media Tracker" masquerades as a client on any of the file-sharing networks through which users exchange files. It can also passively monitor IRC chatrooms, newsgroups, interrogate search engines and check ftp sites for offending material.

By performing structured queries of the database, recording companies are able to produce a list of offending machines, IP numbers and connection times for any ISP. Word is that this information will be regularly sent to ISPs whose users are breaching copyright with a demand that, in the first instance, the ISPs take action to stop those users re-offending.

Forcing the ISPs to police their own customers (or perhaps face legal action) could lead to a strange ISP customer relationship. Do ISP's HAVE to keep logs of their customers actions? If they don't this not very intelligent move by the RIAA could be over very soon.

It seems that it would be so much less trouble, effort and cost if they just dropped CD prices to the perfectly affordable USD 4-5 range. So Eminem will have one limo less and Metallica will have to add Duff to their list of beer sponsors, they'll get over it...

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