A new study by the Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reveals that the “distributors of five popular programs repeatedly deployed features that they knew or should have known could cause users to share files inadvertently.”
“All Internet users should study this report carefully and use new technology measures to stop the immense danger of P-2-P networks on individuals, business, higher education institutions, and our national security,” said CEO & President Safwat Fahmy, SafeMedia Corp., based in Boca Raton, Fl.
According to the report, “Virtually everyone who uses filesharing programs appear to use them exclusively to download infringing files. In practice, file-sharing programs are used mostly to download and upload (“share”) infringing copies of copyrighted music, movies, games, images, and software. For example, on June 27, 2005, in MGM v. Grokster, unrebutted evidence showed that 90 percent of available files on filesharing networks consisted of infringing files. In fact, the district court found undeniable evidence showing that almost 97 percent of the files requested for downloading were infringing. Perhaps for this reason, filesharing programs have become one of the most widely used, least discussed and reviewed, computer programs on the market.”
The USPTO report, which analyzed BearShare, eDonkey, KaAaA, LimeWire and Morpeus discovered that all five “repeatedly tricked users into uploading infringing files inadvertently.” According to the report “the distributors deployed at least five such dangerous features.
• Redistribution features: All five programs analyzed have deployed a feature that will, by default, cause users of the program to upload (or “share”) all files that they download.
• Share-folder and Search-Wizard Features: These dangerous features can cause users to share inadvertently not only infringing files, but also sensitive personal files like tax returns, financial records, and documents containing private or even classified data.
• Partial-uninstall features: At least four of the programs analyzed have deployed these features. If users uninstall one of these programs from their computers, the process will leave behind a file that will cause any subsequent installation of any version of the same program to share all folders shared by the same uninstalled program as it was before.
• Coerced-sharing features: Four of the programs analyzed have deployed features that make it far more difficult for users to disable sharing of the folder used to store downloaded files.”
The USPTO report also said, “Almost everyone who participates in one of the file-swapping networks is breaking the law in the process.”
"Computer programs that can cause unintended contribute to copyright infringement, and they threaten the security of personal, corporate, and governmental data," explained Jon Dudas, under secretary of commerce for intellectual property, who oversees copyright policy, and who wrote the Foreword in the report.
The report also said that, "In a 2004 letter to six Senators, the distributors of KaZaA asserted that disabling KaZaA's redistribution feature would cripple the KaZaA network. In an internal email, Altnet asserted that "P-2-P exists because of this (redistribution) feature.”
“There are several fallacies about on the Internet,” said CEO & President Safwat Fahmy, SafeMedia Corp., based in Boca Raton, Fl. “In this case the first one that pops up is ‘Peer-To-Peer (P2P) is a viable distribution channel for the recording industry, and the entertainment industry in general.’ When you read this most recent study from the US Patent Office, you quickly learn about the untold dangers.”
“As the user downloads a song, the P-2-P program is making that very file available to all other program users without their knowledge or permission,” explained Safwat. “The study reveals that these schemes used by file sharing programs represent a real problem for less-experienced Internet users such as children and teenagers, who are often without supervision,” said Fahmy.
The Department of Homeland Security warned that inadvertent could compromise national security: "There are documented incidents of P-2-P where Department of Defense sensitive documents have been found on non-US computers with no protection against hostile intelligence."
"A decade ago, no one would have thought that copyright infringement could threaten personal or national security," said Dudas. "Today, that threat is a reality; we need to understand its causes and find solutions."
SafeMedia’s Clouseau® technology provides an easy, immediate and cost-effective way to totally protect home computers and networks from the dangers of illegal programs.
For more about the USPTO Report: A copy of the report call MAYO Communications 818-340-5300.