Thursday, June 02, 2011

Tennessee anti-piracy law bans sharing online passwords

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Pro-filesharing seal: “WARNING! Artist supports filesharing”
WARNING! Artist supports filesharing

Another day, another idiotic and oppressive law in the name of the futile battle against illegal filesharing:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - State lawmakers in country music's capital have passed a groundbreaking measure that would make it a crime to use a friend's login - even with permission - to listen to songs or watch movies from services such as Netflix or Rhapsody.

The bill, now awaiting the governor's signature, was pushed by recording industry officials to try to stop the loss of billions of dollars to illegal music sharing. They hope other states will follow.

The bill was intended to prevent hackers and phishers from obtaining and selling passwords in bulk, which immediately tells you just how technologically clueless these lawmakers are. (But then, that’s hardly unexpected.) The very least they could have done was to specify that only the use of illicitly obtained passwords was prohibited; although as tricky to verify and enforce as that would be, it would at least stop the bill from devolving into the ridiculous nonsense that it’s now become. Because, obviously, the best way to combat illegal filesharing – is if that weren’t such a transparently hopeless endeavor to begin with – is to punish people who use legit passwords, with permission.

Maybe they’re just clueless in general.

(via @todayspolitics)