Burden of Proof

According to Cory Doctorow’s latest article in the Guardian, copyright holders (like the RIAA, MPAA, etc.) are lobbying in governments here and abroad to force ISPs to pull the plug on customers who are “caught” transmitting or receiving illegal copyrighted material. That much isn’t necessarily a bad idea. After all, frequent violators may be proving that they don’t “deserve the privilege” of accessing the Internet. What really catches in his craw (and mine) is that they don’t want to have to prove anything. That’s right. The burden of proving their accusations is far too great, but they still feel like the “3 accusations and you’re out policy” is a good one. Never mind that they recently accused a laser printer of downloading the newest Indiana Jones movie. Surely everyone should just take their accusations as pure truth. Doctorow feels like we should hold copyright holders similarly accountable: 3 false accusations and they should have their copyright enforcing privileges on the Internet revoked.

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