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EFF Has Big Problems With USPTO's P2P Report

March 29, 2007

The Electronic Frontier Foundation isn't exactly jumping for joy about a new U.S. Patent and Trademark Office report named Filesharing Programs and "Technological Features to Induce Users to Share." 

EFF's read on this report is that it is, in part, a frontal assault on "several leading P2P software applications for making user interface decisions that allegedly 'dupe' users into sharing files unintentionally."  The EFF claims that by doing so, P2P's effects are then extended to be contributing factors to "terrorism, child pornography, identity theft, and (of course) copyright infringement."

In the ad hominem department, EFF notes that two of the report's authors are "Tom Sydnor, who while an aide to Sen. Orrin Hatch was widely credited with the Senator's infamous 'blow up their computers' solution to P2P file-sharing, and Lee Hollaar, a professor who was a motive force behind the ill-fated INDUCE Act. So it's fair to say these gentlemen have an anti-P2P agenda and a rather one-sided view of copyright law."

EFF's problems with this report goes deeper than authorship, however. The group holds that the "interesting and worthwhile empirical research" in this report is obscured by "invective, innuendo, and misguided legal analysis."

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