Friday, June 06, 2008

Today's propaganda coup

How best to illustrate the claim that copyright owners' use of the DMCA is poorly targeted? Get DMCA notices sent to printers by making their IP addresses visible using BitTorrent. Well played, U Wash programmers; well played. I have yet to read the full report, but I do wonder how often the problem of a user apparently requesting a file but not actually downloading it -- which seems to be why the printers got their notices -- causes false positives, and why we should care (that's at least an attempt to download, in the ordinary case EDITED: absent deliberate misidentification, which was what was involved here) compared to the problem of dynamically assigned IP addresses. The report indicates that the dynamic assignment issue is, at least in theory, a source of false positives that has nothing to do with an attempted download by the person accused or a deliberate attempt to frame a particular IP address. Completely accidental misidentification strikes me as a potentially serious enforcement problem.

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