Has The MPAA Started Writing Threatening Letters For Attorney Generals?

from the seems-like-too-much-power dept

Wired News got their hands on a draft of a letter that California’s Attorney General is supposedly going to pass on to other state AGs, for them to send out to any developer of P2P software telling them they need to be much clearer in the potential “dangers” of the software. Beyond the many problems with this argument, Wired has pulled the standard trick of looking at the Word document’s metadata to discover that the letter was likely written by a top MPAA official – who would obviously be a bit biased. Once again, it looks like the entertainment industry may have pulled off the neat trick of convincing politicians to do their dirty work by convincing them of something without letting anyone else point out the problems with the industry’s arguments. In this case, it’s a situation where they are (once again) blaming the tool, rather than the action – saying that all P2P programs need to warn users that they can be misused. If that’s true, then just about any product would need to have additional warnings as well. As Fred von Lohmann from the EFF states: “The principle has no limit — you can use Internet Explorer to violate the law or unintentionally access pornography, so does he want to suggest that Microsoft is also breaking the law? Why stop at the Internet — should Ford be held liable for failing to warn drivers that exceeding the speed limit will expose them to citations?” Now that this has come out, it will be interesting to see how California AG Bill Lockyer responds – and if he still gives out the same letter.

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