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Asinine lawsuit from French music interests targets Sourceforge

Torrent Freak reported yesterday that the SPFF -- think of it as the French RIAA -- filed lawsuits against the developers of P2P clients Vuze, Limewire, and Morpheus. There is also a fourth target, and I'll get to that particular bit of insanity later.

The SPFF's beef is with the fact that these programs don't provide a system to block copyright protected materials from being shared. Because the programs don't prevent files from being shared, the SPFF argues that the programs are complicit in the act itself.

It's the same flawed P2P argument that agencies have been making for the last decade. This "making available" argument has failed to hold up in US court cases against individual users.

To claim that the developers of these programs are responsible for what their users decide to do with it is pure idiocy. If someone were to author a subversive plot to overthrow the French government using OpenOffice Writer, would there be a lawsuit filed against Sun? OK, don't answer that...

The kicker: Rather than actually going after those who develop the fourth app (Shareaza), the SPFF decided to sue SourceForge - who merely provide hosting for Shareaza's project files. SourceForge has absolutely nothing to do with the actual development of the program.

When I read this, I started having visions of the SPFF headquarters looking like something out of Bizarro World from the old Superfriends cartoon. Clearly the only people that could hatch a scheme like this would be badly animated super villains.

I'm sure there's no possible way this fiasco could backfire on the French music industry. After all, I think we can all agree that the P2P community is usually very good about knuckling under to threats from coporate interests.

In an unrelated note, I have to check uTorrent to see if my downloads are finished.


Tags: bitt, lawsuit, news, p2p, riaa, sourceforge

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