Hollywood wants the right to hack your computer

DaveNet : Hollywood wants the right to hack your computer. Fri, Jul 26, 2002; by Dave Winer.

A couple of years ago, at the peak of the Napster boom, I got an email from a music industry exec, not a friend, asking if it would be possible to design a virus that would seek out and destroy music downloaded from Napster on users' computers.

As a computer professional, I expressed my disgust. We have strong ethics in this business. We look out for less technical users, like this executive. At a technical level it's impossible for software to tell the difference between a legal scan and one of questionable legality. Further, the question reveals an incredible and unrealistic selfishness, why should we allow him to hack our computers to protect his property? It would have been unethcial for me to say anything other than DON'T under any circumstances do that, and that is what I said.

Two years ago I never imagined that the US Congress would consider making it legal for Hollywood to spread viruses that hack our computers; that give us a disease to protect a right that's not clear that they have. But that's exactly what is happening in Washington, now, in 2002.  [Privacy Digest]

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