News from the copyright wars • 4 December 2007 • The SnowBlog

News from the copyright wars

For lovers of the schadenfreude frisson (and similar franco-germanically-entitled phenomena) there's a fun development in the Motion Picture Association of America's attempts to clamp down on copyright violation. It seems they're pushing hard to have some monitoring software installed on university networks to check that students aren't stepping on their copyrights. Unfortunately for them, they built their monitoring application using bits of open source software. And the licence for most open source software says that if you use the community's code, you have to make the results freely available to all. But the MPAA don't like that sort of copyright, they only like their own, so they refused to make their code available. At which point they became the recipients of one of their own favourite weapons, a DMCA notice. Pwned, as the net-kids say. I have to say that until copyright enforcement becomes at least as much about encouraging creativity as it is about protecting profits I can't get very excited about it.


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