New industry group takes aim at 'net pollution,' piracy

Technology and entertainment heavyweights are undertaking a public relations campaign to dissuade consumers from illegal file sharing.

A group of technology and entertainment heavyweights is undertaking a public relations campaign to dissuade consumers from illegal file sharing, something the group calls "net pollution."

The group, called Arts+Labs, includes Viacom, NBC Universal and the Songwriters Guild of America, all of which have exerted legal muscle against the sharing of music and content without permission of the copyright holder. Other members include Microsoft, AT&T and Cisco Systems.

Arts+Labs also lists its aim as educating consumers about "spam, malware and computer viruses." However, the Arts+Labs' Web site mostly emphasizes the protection of intellectual property rights for content providers. Its mission in part is to steer people to Web sites where content can be legally bought or viewed.

"Arts+Labs firmly believes that most consumers agree that artists should be compensated for their work and would prefer to purchase affordable, safe and legal content rather than reward those who illegally traffic in the hard work and creativity of others," the group said.

However, Public Knowledge, a digital rights advocacy group based in Washington, DC, called Arts+Labs "a big-money front group," saying its real goal is to make operators and ISPs (Internet service providers) monitor private Internet traffic.

"Combining the power and influence of AT&T and the entertainment industry means only that both are going to wage an all-out war for the right to filter every bit of data anyone sends across the Internet," the group said.

Arts+Labs' Web site promotes a host of legal download sites, including Netflix, a legal movie download site; Veoh Networks, a video-sharing site that also has content from major content providers; Blockbuster's Movielink; Joost, Microsoft's Xbox live and many more.

Despite efforts to sue individual file sharers and shut down file-sharing networks, illegal file sharing continues to be rampant.

Popular search engines such as The Pirate Bay index torrents, or small data files that coordinate the download of content from computers across the Internet using the BitTorrent protocol. Other file-sharing networks include eDonkey.

ISPs have sought to relieve the strain on their networks by slowing down certain kinds of traffic. The entertainment industry is pushing hard for ISPs to monitor content on their networks and disconnect high-volume file sharers.

Arts+Labs is employing power lobbyists: the group is co-chaired by Mike McCurry, former press secretary to U.S. President Bill Clinton and Mark McKinnon, who has been an advisor to Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Earlier this month, McCurry resigned as co-chair of Hands Off The Internet, a group that opposes regulations mandating net neutrality.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags bit-torrentpeer-to-peerpiracy

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?