"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause..."
- Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution
I've written two controversial pieces concerning intellectual property. One with the view that if it should come to pass that the MPAA / RIAA / xyz advocating new enforcement law to monitor users of the Internet and are found to have illegal copyright material, then who should regulate it, in which I proposed that the FCC is one possible solution.
I wrote immediately thereafter that intellectual property associations are going way overboard and border on the absurd? Just because file sharing is going over the internet, should these associations have the right to find you guilty, have multiple different mediums content distribution, many of which are free to the public while being able to sue you for infringement? They need to change their business models.
This week, 50,000 new lawsuits have been filed against downloaders. It's only going to get worse.
The history of copyright and intellectual property rights goes back to the 1700's. The free distribution of copyright works has never been impeded like it is today. Some intellectual rights owners are beginning to feel the heat of just how far some organizations (that they belong too) are going to find you. Is McCarthyism ringing in their heads? Are they experiencing uncomfortable emotions? Billion dollar conglomerates suing Grandma's children for 50 grand through their associations is not good PR.
Surveillance methods being used are in the same league as those used by the NSA, CIA, MI5, MI6 and China. A real and genuine underground of revolt is brewing. This isn't two street gangs fighting it out in your local hood. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act enacted in 1986 is out of date. No kidding.
Google, Microsoft, AT&T, eBay, Intel have joined with the ACLU, EFF and others to form a coalition, Digital Due Process. I know what you're thinking, yet another PR stunt by the moguls who already have their billions and trying to talk out of both sides of their mouth. But if you read through their website, recognize the experienced legal entities associated with this organization, there is a sense that it maybe more than a sham. It's well funded, has put forward its ideas and concepts. Now it is up to you to figure out if its worthy of entering dialogue with. The stakes are significant. The quotation of the 4th amendment is on their front door and not a trivial matter - for anyone. Either they are serious about privacy and surveillance reform, or they aren't. Digital Due Process.org believes that the ECPA should be updated, which is probably the only thing everyone agrees with. How reforms take shape is another matter.
Are the companies associated with Digital Due Process hedging their bets or is this laying the foundation balancing their fortunes with giving back as Andrew Carnegie did? I'm sure you will voice your opinion.
Update: Google posted on their privacy blogspot views on Digital Due Proccess and created a basic video.