Respect Copyrights owned by our Entertainment Overlords! is a site put together by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) to combat piracy of movies on the Internet. Now, I respect people’s rights to attach whatever non-human-rights-infringing conditions they like on stuff they produce, but I’m just astonished by the out-and-out fear-mongering and bald-faced lies that pervade this site’s content. I really want to give these people some credit, but I can’t, thanks to information like this: (MPAA’s content in bold)

Have you ever had your computer crash and had to replace it or reinstall all the files due to a virus or other such problem?

The nature of “peer-to-peer” file sharing sites like eDonkey, Gnutella, KaZaA, etc., open your computer to destructive viruses and worms and annoying pop-ups.
I don’t understand!? I’ve never used peer-to-peer filesharing, and yet my computer still suffers from destructive viruses, mostly sent through chat applications such as AIM. Hang on a second… isn’t AIM owned by Time-Warner, the largest media company in the world? And a significant player in the MPAA?! I’m confused!

Common Viruses:
Apher, Benjamin, Backdoor, Duload, Fizzer, Hantner, Klez, Neuer, Nimda, Livra and Magic Eightball

Wow, and I thought they were just second-rate German techno groups.

You also become a distribution source for illegal downloading of movies, music and more, which makes you just as responsible if you had downloaded the movie yourself.
Note clever use of the word “responsible” rather than “liable”? There is no legal basis for this claim (at least where I live, in Australia). If software on your computer downloads information without your knowledge or consent, you cannot be held liable. This is why freenet is such a damn good idea.

Network users have a back door to your hard drive while you’re online, thereby seeing your personal, private information, such as bank records, social security number, etc.
Wow, this is just an out-and-out lie. What network users can see on your computer is entirely limited by the p2p application(s) you are using, and typically you must manually select the locations on your computer that are accessible. This doesn’t preclude the possibility that there are security holes and back doors in the application, but it’s certainly not limited to the domain of p2p. The number of security vulnerabilities found in various versions of Windows is testament to this.

Is the theft of your personal information worth the free movie?
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Linking p2p applications to the theft of personal information is like linking owning a Holden Monaro to being run off the road. Sure, you’re kind of asking for it, but there’s nothing innately special about that car that makes it the only target. They might as well say “Is having your computer send spurious virus-laden e-mails to your friends and co-workers worth using Microsoft Word, Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Update, AIM, MSN Messenger, IIS, or Internet Explorer?”.

Also, I don’t want to get petty on their asses, but whoever designed the site should be shot: what’s with the tiny flash-based text window? Do they really have so little meaningful content that it has to be presented like this? I felt like a mid-90’s Uni computer lab pervert, scrolling around pictures of hot pussy in a little-bitty window.

Also, if you’re going to blatantly promote Time-Warner films, try spell-checking your blurbs.

And straighten that toupee!

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