MPAA caught infringing copyright

Written by Phil Cogar

December 4, 2007 // 12:50 p.m.

Tags: #copyright #gpl #infringement #irony #mpaa

Last month, the MPAA began sending out a "university toolkit" to several universities across the US. These toolkits monitor network traffic and created graphs and charts showing the prevalence of file sharing across the school networks.

The whole aim was to bring more attention to copyright infringement happening in these networks but the toolkit itself is chock full of irony - it's violating the GPL agreement.

The toolkits were built upon open source software that is licensed under the GPL. As we all know, when you use any GPL'd code in your software and distribute it, you're required to provide the modified code to all. Well, that's the part that the MPAA apparently does not understand.

After being contacted by Matthew Garrett, one of the coders of the GPL'd software, several times in an attempt to have the source code distributed, Garrett took matters into his own hands. The fine gentleman contacted the MPAA's ISP and had the content removed from the servers. Take that MPAA.

So far, the source code and changes have yet to be made available so this could get even more interesting if the MPAA does not provide them. Maybe Garrett will take them to court like other GPL holders have done lately. That would certainly make this man's day/week/year.

Are you laughing from the irony yet? Poke fun at the MPAA over in the forums.
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