P2p networks and the verizon V. RIAA case: Implications for personal privacy and intellectual property [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ethics and Information Technology 7 (4):243-250 (2005)
In this paper, we examine some ethical implications of a controversial court decision in the United States involving Verizon (an Internet Service Provider or ISP) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In particular, we analyze the impacts this decision has for personal privacy and intellectual property. We begin with a brief description of the controversies and rulings in this case. This is followed by a look at some of the challenges that peer-to-peer (P2P) systems, used to share digital information, pose for our legal and moral systems. We then examine the concept of privacy to better understand how the privacy of Internet users participating in P2P file-sharing practices is threatened under certain interpretations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the United States. In particular, we examine the implications of this act for a new form of “panoptic surveillance” that can be carried out by organizations such as the RIAA. We next consider the tension between privacy and property-right interests that emerges in the Verizon case, and we examine a model proposed by Jessica Litman for distributing information over the Internet in a way that respects both privacy and property rights. We conclude by arguing that in the Verizon case, we should presume in favor of privacy as the default position, and we defend the view that a presumption should be made in favor of sharing (rather than hoarding) digital information. We also conclude that in the Verizon case, a presumption in favor of property would have undesirable effects and would further legitimize the commodification of digital information – a recent trend that is reinforced by certain interpretations of the DMCA on the part of lawmakers and by aggressive tactics used by the RIAA.
|Keywords||DMCA intellectual property Panopticon privacy RIAA surveillance Verizon|
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References found in this work BETA
Herman T. Tavani (2003). Ethics and Technology: Ethical Issues in an Age of Information and Communication Technology. Acm Sigcas Computers and Society 33 (3):1.
Judith Wagner DeCew (1999). [Book Review] in Pursuit of Privacy, Law, Ethics, and the Rise of Technology. [REVIEW] Ethics 109 (2):437-439.
Jessica Litman (2003). Ethical Disobedience. Ethics and Information Technology 5 (4):217-223.
Citations of this work BETA
Ugo Pagallo (2011). ISPs & Rowdy Web Sites Before the Law: Should We Change Today's Safe Harbour Clauses? Philosophy and Technology 24 (4):419-436.
U. Pagallo (2010). Ethics Among Peers: File Sharing on the Internet Between Openness and Precaution. Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 8 (2):136-149.
Ugo Pagallo & Massimo Durante (2009). Three Roads to P2P Systems and Their Impact on Business Practices and Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics 90 (4):551 - 564.
Ugo Pagallo (2010). A New “Ring of Gyges” and the Meaning of Invisibility in the Information Revolution. Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 8 (4):364-376.
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