Felony By Proxy?
from the tough-call dept
Aaron writes “So here’s an interesting question. The latest MPAA anti-piracy legislation to be introduced, the Artists’ Rights and Theft Prevention Act, makes sharing ANY pre-released pirated films on an openly accessible network a felony. Offenders face jail time up to five years and up to $250,000 in fines. So what happens to users whose servers are taken advantage of and aren’t aware they’re sharing the files? ISP Planet explores the idea of “tagging” servers with directories for warez that can’t be deleted without special software. Broadband Reports has an article wondering if the MPAA lawyers are going to buy the “I didn’t know” defense as an excuse. That defense hasn’t held up well in other unrelated hacking cases.” And it won’t hold up well in these cases either. The MPAA will state flat-out that almost everyone using such a defense is lying. While it is very likely that many illegal films will show up on someone’s unsuspecting servers, the MPAA is not known for caring about little technology details like that. The only thing going in favor of the “I didn’t know” defense is that it actually has been working in some cases where it seems fairly unlikely. Witness the recent string of cases using the chewbacca style “a hacker did this to my computer, not me” defenses for everything from denial of service attacks to child porn to tax fraud. In the end, it will come down to how convincing an argument someone can make that they didn’t really put the files on their own servers.