If reading the novel 1984 left you huddled for days in a paranoid, depressive coma, you probably don't want to finish this article. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have just filed a joint comment on the forthcoming “Joint Strategic Plan” for IP enforcement. The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports on a few of the more shocking portions.
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The RIAA and MPAA want customers to install spyware on their own computers which will monitor and delete files which meet their (constantly shifting) standard of “infringing”. They also state that network admins and ISPs should “be encouraged” to introduce filtering, bandwidth throttling, and to spy on incoming traffic and stop illegal downloading in the act. If you think that sounds kind of scary, check this out,
“Customs authorities should be encouraged to do more to educate the traveling public and entrants into the United States about these issues. In particular, points of entry into the United States are underused venues for educating the public about the threat to our economy (and to public safety) posed by counterfeit and pirate products. Customs forms should be amended to require the disclosure of pirate or counterfeit items being brought into the United States.”
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Illegal downloading isn't cool, but making the whole agonizing customs process take even longer and involve even more annoying steps is a terrible idea. Can you imagine the legal firestorm that would erupt every time a customs official accidentally broke a computer or deleted an important file? You can read the rest of the comment over at the EFF's site. It's all equally impractical.