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Verizon Ups the Ante
By Eric de Fontenay (Founder & Publisher)
(more articles from this author)
2003-05-01
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Forget for a moment the privacy, free speech and other fundamental issues raised by the on-going battle between the RIAA & Verizon. I for one am grateful to see the industry finally target their legal guns towards to true culprits of online piracy: the actual distributors of infringing material versus underlying technology enabling it.

From it's earliest efforts, the recording industry has tried to stem the flow of digital piracy by attacking the technology providers enabling the illegal activity, whether it was devices like Diamond's Rio, the internet backbone providers, sites like MP3Board, and of course p2p systems such as Napster and KaZaA. While the strategy may promote the short-term interest of copyright holders, it's long-term benefits are at best dubious as illustrated by continued rampant file sharing, and at worst may have actually hampered the growth of a digital music market. And the fact remains that this same piracy axis-of-evil has been the primary driver behind today's legal music solutions, especially features like burning or porting to devices.

But from a legal perspective, the arguments appeared even more tenuous, unless you decide to lump them with cigarette companies & gun manufacturers. Otherwise, it's akin to suing Ford for providing the getaway car or the Post Office for delivering obscene material. Or suing CD-R manufacturers for assisting crime syndicates in flooding Hong Kong to NYC with counterfeit CDs. As Charleston Heston so eloquently puts it "It's not guns that kill people, it's people that kill people."

Related News from Mi2N:
» Court Gives Hollywood Broad Powers To Violate Your Privacy
» Verizon Vows To Continue To Protect Subscriber Privacy
» Judge Decides In RIAA's Favor Again In Verizon Case


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