Monday, March 15, 2004

MPAA ghostwriting for the government?
Xeni Jardin at Wired News is reporting that a strongly worded anti-P2P letter, written ("written") by Bill Lockyer (CA's Attorney General) reveals evidence of having been written in part by a senior VP of the MPAA. (Yes, it's the track changes feature in Word that's gotten someone in trouble once again).

However, the metadata associated with the Microsoft Word document indicates it was either drafted or reviewed by a senior vice president of the Motion Picture Association of America. According to this metadata (automatically generated by the Word application), the document's author or editor is "stevensonv." (The metadata of a document is viewable through the File menu under Properties.)

Sources tell Wired News that the draft letter's authorship is attributed to Vans Stevenson, the MPAA's senior vice president for state legislative affairs. MPAA representatives have issued similar criticisms of P2P technology in the past. Mr. Stevenson could not be reached by press time for comment.

The document proposes an unprecedented legal theory with regard to peer-to-peer file-sharing services. If P2P software can be used to violate law, the argument goes, its makers should be obligated to incorporate a warning on the product or face liability for deceptive trade practices.

Wired News: Who's Teaming Up Against P2P?


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