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August 7, 2005
The Chill Felt 'Round the World
Berkman Fellow Urs Gasser channels Fred von Lohmann in this Wired piece last week on an inducement-like clause in the proposed EU Directive [PDF] that would criminalize indirect copyright infringement: "Just within Europe you would have to care about many different standards and about what they exactly mean, and what 'inducing' and 'inciting' exactly mean...You may have intended for the software to share files within a company, but later (copyright) movies are exchanged...Would you want to put money in such a firm?"
Update (August 8): For more in this vein, check out Irish pioneer pilloried for file-swap software, in which a tough-talking Conor Flynn, the technical director of an Irish information security company, criticizes Ian Clarke's Freenet because it can be used for "malevolent and malicious purposes." Adds Flynn, "The ability to remain anonymous while surfing the web is dangerous."
Update #2 (3:13 p.m.): Techdirt has a post picking up on the anonymity angle: "The worries are that such systems will be used by terrorists -- but then ignores the idea that in taking away anonymity it opens up the very real possibility that the lack of privacy will be abused, allowing the government to take away free speech from those they disagree with."
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