MPAA Gets A Bit Of Their Own

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The Motion Picture Association of America — one of the "Associations of America" notorious for single-minded focus on copyright enforcement — has gotten a bit of it's own poison, as it's been forced to remove software from it's website designed to detect and report file sharing by university students.

The MPAA's "University Toolkit" was touted in a series of letters sent to U.S. colleges in October, encouraging them to use the toolkit to help identify and punish students engaged in copyright-infringing file sharing. What the MPAA apparently forgot to check was it's own copyright-infringing file sharing, as the toolkit was built upon GPL-licensed code from Ubuntu Linux.

The MPAA's failure to publish the source code for the toolkit put it at odds with the GPL, and landed it's ISP with a DMCA take-down notice from Ubuntu developer Matthew Garrett. Garrett indicates that he made repeated efforts to remedy the issue directly with the MPAA, but was unsuccessful, prompting the escalation to the association's ISP.

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Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.