back to article US P2P bill aims shackles at browsers, IM

Technology lobbying groups have pounced on proposed US legislation designed to prevent the accidental sharing of sensitive files over peer-to-peer networks, saying it is so broad that web browsers and even entire operating systems would also be covered. The Informed P2P User Act would require makers of file-sharing software to …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Oh dear...

    Is this another example of feckless morons in power with little or no understanding of technology, making up stupid laws and policies, that those of us in IT will have to attempt to implement, or watch our companies marched off to the nearest courthouse, for breach of said stupid laws and policies?

    Where would we be without politicians eh? Oh yes, fecking happy and a lot less stressed!

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Bono's bill is designed to save such users from themselves.

    But who will save us from idiot politicians? Certainly not the voters.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Legislating stupidity

    Why don't we have a law that makes sure every email program has a 5 minute delay for sending email so you have time to read your mail again and check for spelling?

    Why don't we have a law that makes computer manufacturers put a sticker on computers warning users that they should not take their computers with them in the bath?

    You get my point...

    Paris, because she would get my vote when she would be running for congress.

  4. Adam Azarchs
    Thumb Down

    Bono's bill is designed to save such users from themselves

    No, not really. It's designed to take away one of the more successful excuses for file sharing used to defend against RIAA suits in the past. That is, it's not protecting users, it's protecting the content holders from users who claim incompetence.

  5. Stephen Stagg

    @Fuzzy Wotnot

    "Where would we be without politicians eh?"

    Unemployed probably, I wonder how much of the global software engineering workforce is currently being paid to implement some crazy government legislation or other.

  6. Ole Juul

    What constitutes "file sharing"?

    Does that mean that someone has to sit and click yes to every http request? I kinda liked the idea of just clicking a link and someone like the Reg would share their html file with me. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to find some other use for my internet connection.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why do so many of these witless wonders, brain dead fucktards, and neuron challenged morons have to come out of California? Seriously not all of us are at dim witted as this Bono person, I swear. Some of us have a grasp on technology and would happily tell her why this bill is a horrendously bad idea. Next thing you know she is going to mandate that warning lables not to bathe with your laptop, not to light matches around an open gas tank, and not to use a scalpel to get a spec of dust out of your eye. ~shuffles off in embarrassment~

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Works both ways

    Don't forget that this kind of thing would have to apply to things such as Kservice (part of the install set of iPlayer, 4OD and others.) Which, previously stated 'feckless morons' wouldn't have known about unless forewarned by such a message.

    I definitely agree that it would be another dialogue box that will get on an insurmountable number of people's tits, but it's not all completely daft.

  9. Neoc

    Stupidity rules

    This is, once again, a case where someone was stupid and instead of making sure that person does not reproduce they instead make sure that everybody else is inconvenienced.

    This happens more often than not. Think I'm kidding? Check the warnings in the manuals of your next purchase - and know that the majority of them are there because someone did do something that stupid and then successfully sued the manufacturers for "not telling them this was a bad idea".

    Actual examples:

    "Do not use blowdryer when asleep."

    "Do not iron clothes while wearing them."

    "Do not stop chainsaw with your genitalia." (instant Darwin Award winner here, couldn't believe it when I read it in the manual of my new electric chainsaw)

  10. Martin Usher

    Don't keep repeating half-truths.... gives them credibility. Marine One is a helecopter and as such its going to have plans circulating for it because airfans and modellers are interested in that sort of thing. There will be no "blueprints" because "blueprints" died a couple of generations ago; even if there were one of these it wouldn't be anything like as detailed as it would need to be to describe all the systems on that aircraft. (Aircraft documentation.....that's an amazing subject all in of itself.)

    But the way you repeat it the impression is left among many folk that some super-secret has been leaked to the world, further justification of the need to clamp down &tc &tc. Don't humor the morons!

  11. Rob Moss
    Thumb Up

    Lets make all applications like Vista

    Hey cool, more popups and dialog boxes

    I'm glad that the Americans have used such a great model to guide their P2P security, Windows Vista UAC

    I'm also glad that many P2P applications are written outside of America.

  12. Anonymous Hero

    I'm for it!

    This is splendid! Every moronic law brings us a step closer to anarchy. And since this law is merely useless and broken rather that harmful, it's a net gain.

  13. Tom
    Thumb Down

    Only a fool posts their whole drive on P2P

    And the same fool will click ok on the warning (just what we need, another "are you sure" popup) so this will do nothing...

    Looks like another attempt out of hollywood to say P2P is bad/unsafe/a kitten killer...

  14. Tim Bates

    Now how is that going to work...

    ... when it comes to non-interactive software? I use a number of programs designed to upload files to the internet by themselves. Without prompting.

    And on top of that, US laws aren't enforceable outside USA, so how the heck do they intend to enforce it? Are they going to block websites for software that doesn't meet the laws? Are they going to extradite developers who don't abide by it despite not living in USA?

  15. Andraž Levstik

    So that's sorted then

    Desigend dialog box What user sees....

    |--------------------------------------------| |-----------------------------------------------|

    | you need to click something | | ehioerihb,rcgikerbikrcb,pixboaei |

    | | | |

    | [OK] [Cancel] | | [something] [something else] |

    |--------------------------------------------| |-----------------------------------------------|

    As said... sorted ;)

    Sad but true... most users just start punching buttons until things go away.

  16. Ash
    Thumb Down

    @Legislating Stupidity

    You jest, but I have seen a packet of "mixed nuts" for sale in my local which had the words "This product contains nuts" in the allergy information on the back.

    The packaging was transparent.

  17. SuperTim

    That will stop piracy....

    As will painting ships near somalia with a sign that says "piracy is a crime".

    and what will be the point? In a court of law they will state that you explicity gave permission to share files? wouldnt that be more than covered by the fact you have the effing software in the first place?

    Welcome to government, please leave your brain at reception......

  18. Matthew


    Reminds me when at school they said that "downloading" was banned.. erhm :) wtf is the point of the internet if your cant download data?

    Safe thing with "filesharing"

    Anyway, good luck with this. Just make sure your download servers aren't located in the USA and what can they do if your software doesn't conform?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This is going to end up like the "This product is known to cause cancer in the state of california" thing, isn't it?

    "This product is known to facilitate file sharing within the state of California"

  20. Dennis
    Paris Hilton

    Warning: May contain nuts

    found on bag of peanuts.

    Enough said.

    Paris because she likes nuts

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Making sure everyone knows his albums are still popular on p2p

    Is he just not happy with bothering national leaders about poverty? Now he just wants to make everyone know his massively popular U2 albums are being shared - probably because not enough of them are on bittorrent trackers which makes him feel insignificant.

  22. Nebulo
    Thumb Down

    Come on, Microsoft!

    Little animated pirate pops up ... "Hello, you seem to be downloading copyrighted material. Do you want some help stopping that?"

    Bloody nonsense.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Enforcable how exactly?

    And watch as all software download hosting moves out of the US...

  24. g e

    Protecting users from themselves? Nope.

    It's sessentially so it can be stated in court that the user has read the warning and therefore any file sharing becomes their own responsibility which means the MAFIAA can sue them and expect NOT to get thrown out because the user wasn't aware of the sharing being in place.

    It's stick, not carrot.

  25. Chika


    Extreme 1: Politicians in positions of power but no specific knowledge of the technology at hand. They bring in bills and other legal instruments without clear knowledge of what they are on about, even if they do consult those that do know, mostly because they don't know what questions to ask and often misinterpret the answers they get.

    Extreme 2: Technology supremos who want the world and they want it pretty damn soon. They differ very little from extreme 1 except that they are more interested in making themselves as powerful as possible, no matter who gets hurt in the process. Increasingly these are less likely to be politicians but will often have politicians at their mercy.

    And where does the real power reside? Hey, I'm a BOFH! If you really want to know, and you can't figure it out, my prices are reasonable!

  26. shane fitzgerald

    So many reasons..

    Not all software is made in the US

    People who use P2P often download 'cracked' versions of software which may have their own installs

    People buy and sell second hand PC's pre loaded with software

    People buy PC's pre-loaded and setup with software.

    The list goes on and on......Idiot.

  27. Chika

    @Shane Fitzgerald

    > Not all software is made in the US

    Bloody good job too, given the crap we often have to work with that passes for software coming out of the US.

    > People who use P2P often download 'cracked' versions of software which may have their

    > own installs

    I'm glad you put "often" but I'd still like to see your data on this. There are a lot of assumptions made about P2P and its uses and I'm not keen on the idea of being suckered in Usenet style by unsubstantiated statements.

    > People buy and sell second hand PC's pre loaded with software

    Very true. But then that isn't always a bad thing. EULAs are far too restrictive in such areas and can lead to all sorts of confusion with end users, especially at times when they are changing over PCs for whatever reason.

    > People buy PC's pre-loaded and setup with software.

    Again, quite true. Since this is generally at the insistance of such morons as Microsoft so that they can manipulate the EULA to their own advantage, and is often accepted by end users because they don't want to get their hands dirty on the nasty, grubby task of installation any more than they have to, I don't see this changing much.

    > The list goes on and on......Idiot.

    That's life. Like it or hate it, you can't ignore it.

    Sounds familiar, that does!

This topic is closed for new posts.