Wrongful Arrest Demonstrates Dangers Of Law Enforcement Listening To Bogus Industry Claims
from the a-little-late dept
It’s getting pretty ridiculous watching law enforcement and politicians simply take the entertainment industry at their word in attacking various individuals who they misleadingly blame for their own inability to adapt to a modern digital era. We’ve seen it here in the US, where Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) group has been seizing domains on extremely questionable industry-provided evidence. Over in the UK, it’s been leading to wrongful arrests. A few years back, of course, the industry pointed fingers at Alan Ellis, an admin for OiNK, but a trial found him not guilty of the weakened charges of “conspiracy to defraud.”
In October, we noted similarities to the Ellis situation with the news that the police had arrested a guy somehow connected to Mulve, a music search and download app that hosted no files and didn’t even involve file sharing — it just created a front-end of a Russian social network where the files were uploaded by users. After the guy was arrested, people began pointing out that the guy hadn’t even programmed Mulve. He had just registered the domain name.
At least this time the police didn’t go through a whole wasteful trial before realizing it had totally screwed up. They’ve apparently told the guy that they’re not moving forward with any case against him. Of course, he still had to deal with months of worries about bogus charges and having all of his electronics and computer equipment seized.
So, at what point does law enforcement stop listening to the entertainment industry every time it freaks out about some new technology? After all, this is the same group of folks who can’t even figure out how to send a letter to the right editor when they don’t like an article. And yet the police think they can accurately point fingers for their business model problems?