RIAA wants content filters and proposes spyware too [VIDEO]

Last week, many in the beltway attended the State of the Net Conference put on by the Advisory Committee to the Congressional Internet Caucus. The second panel discussion was on content filters. It was a lively panel, and how could it not be, Gigi and Cary Sherman were on it!

The panel went on for an hour, which is kind of long for any one with just a casual interest to stream over the Internet (Real Player video). I wanted to make sure that folks saw some of what I thought were the more important statements about content filtering—straight from the source: the RIAA.

(If the video above doesn’t load, please be patient, I just posted it to YouTube).

In this abridged six minutes of video, Sherman addresses four questions about filtering:

  • What’s the RIAA’s stance on content filtering?

  • What about encryption?

  • What about fair use?

  • Should Congress mandate filters for ISPs?

Lastly, Chris Soghoian asks Sherman about the legality of ripping CDs to your iPod.

Perhaps the most interesting part comes as a response to Question 2, where Sherman essentially proposes placing spyware on users' computers to get around the “problem” of encryption:

Filters can be put in the applications for example. You know, one could have a filter on the end user’s computer that would actually eliminate any benefit from…encryption because if you want to hear it, you’d have to decrypt it, and at that point the filter could work.

And he goes on to say the spyware might be in your virus checker or media player, or even in an ISP-provided modem or somewhere else under the ISP’s control. But fear not, it's just to "notify" you so you learn what's right and wrong.

Don’t believe me? Watch the video.

What's next, our keyboards will shock us when we download the wrong music?

If you care about issues of fair use and net neutrality, you owe it to yourself to learn how the recording industry would like to change the Internet, in the name of protecting its music.

And for the record, the video excerpts were used here without permission for purposes of political criticism and comment. These clips were selected sequentially and edited for time and not to change the meaning of any of the statements.

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