MPAA Takes University Toolkit Offline For GPL Violation

from the whoops dept

Remember last week how the MPAA was pushing a ridiculous toolkit on universities that was officially supposed to help universities track network usage, but also had the side-effect of potentially exposing all sorts of private info? Well, some folks noticed that the toolkit was built on open source technologies, such as Ubuntu Linux, though the MPAA (irony alert) didn’t appear to be abiding by the GPL license associated with the software. It didn’t take long for an Ubuntu developer to send a takedown notice, forcing the university to remove the toolkit. The developer contacted the MPAA concerning the violations, and found that the group ignored him (shocking, I know, for a group that claims it’s such a huge supporter of intellectual property rights). So, he was forced to go to the ISP hosting the content, which finally resulted in the MPAA pulling the software down. This isn’t the first time, by the way, that the MPAA has decided that it was okay to ignore intellectual property rules when it suits the organization, but it does suggest that for all its talk of having a principled stand on the issue, it’s all a bunch of hogwash.

Filed Under: ,
Companies: mpaa

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “MPAA Takes University Toolkit Offline For GPL Violation”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous of Course says:

Stooges and Goons

The MPAA/RIAA prove once more that they’re
a shakedown organization. Their bullying
and extortion tactics knows no bounds.
Is it any wonder they ignored the GPL?

The really troubling part is the government
aiding them. Oh, wait… I guess that’s
no surprise either. Just another means of
shearing the sheep.

The only difference between organized crime
and the government is that you get better odds
when betting on the illegal numbers games.

Anonymous Coward says:


It’s interesting to note that rather than immediately taking the entire site down as ISPs usually do, the ISP in this case,, apparently contacted the MPAA and allowed them to remove just the infringing item instead. I thought ISPs were required to immediately remove infringing content. But if not, then why is that what they usually do? I admit that I am not familiar with all the details of the DMCA.

ehrichweiss says:

they need "damages"

Maybe it’s time to take the same licensing that Phrack Magazine used to have(and maybe still does if it’s still being published) where any private individual can read it for free but if you are using it for government/corporate objectives then there needs to be a license paid(I think it was $495 per issue or something to that effect). AFAIK there is nothing that prevents this type of license from being legally binding so twisting the stipulation to be “if you use it without honoring the license there is a $5,000,000 fee per copy” or the like could make for some interesting times in that regard.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...