Big Content demands the right to use rootkits

In case you ever feel sympathetic to the poor movie and music studios in the losing battle against technology, you might want to consider the latest missive from the “Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property”.

The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property claims to be an independent and bipartisan initiative of “leading Americans from the private sector, public service in national security and foreign affairs, academe, and politics”. These leading Americans just happen to be very interested in P2P piracy.

The outfit released an 84 page report on what it expects Big Content’s sock puppets in Congress to do. The best bit about it is that that it is not quite, but almost entirely, insane.

What it wants to do is legalise the use of malware in order to punish people believed to be copying illegally.

It wants to develop software which would be loaded on computers that somehow figures out if you are a pirate, and if you are, it could lock up your computer until you confess your crime to the police and write a huge cheque to Big Content.

What could possibly go wrong? There is already a working model, used by Russian organised crime, when it deploys ransomware.

According to Geekosystemit appears that having run out of ideas, to fix their business model, Big Content is looking to dictators and criminals.

More details on the DRM make amusing reading. Software can be written that will allow only authorised users to open files containing valuable information. If an unauthorised person accesses the information, the file could be rendered inaccessible and the unauthorised user’s computer could be locked down. Instructions would appear about how to contact the cops to get the password needed to unlock the account.

What is interesting is that Big Content is asking for the US government, which is currently unable to cope with malware on its infrastructure, for the right to use the same sort of techniques to protect its failing business model.

While we doubt that even the US government is that dumb, the fact that such ideas are being put forward by Big Content indicates how little its representatives really care, or know about internet security.