Inadvertent Filesharing Revisited: Assessing LimeWire's Responses to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

14 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2008  

Thomas D. Sydnor II

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Lee Hollaar

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 30, 2007

Abstract

This report on inadvertent filesharing was released by the authors of Filesharing Programs and Technological Features to Induce Users to Share, a groundbreaking analysis published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in March of 2007. This new report seeks to enhance understanding of the causes of inadvertent sharing by analyzing (1) recently released data that the distributors of the program LimeWire gave to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform before its July 24, 2007 hearing on inadvertent sharing, and (2) the efficacy of efforts to improve the LimeWire program since the Committee's hearing. The authors conclude that law enforcement should investigate whether filesharing programs deliberately perpetuate inadvertent filesharing.

The paper concludes that LimeWire's Response neither identifies material deficiencies in the analysis and conclusions of the USPTO Report nor offers credible, good-faith explanations of why LimeWire deployed five features that were known to cause users to share infringing and sensitive files inadvertently.

The authors also conclude that LimeWire has implemented potentially meaningful changes in ways that repeat past errors and will tend to perpetuate inadvertent sharing by both new and existing users of the LimeWire program.

The results of these two analyses lead the authors to renew the conclusion that they drew in the USPTO Report. State and federal law-enforcement agencies should aggressively investigate to determine whether distributors of popular filesharing programs intended to blunt the deterrent effects of copyright-enforcement lawsuits by duping users of their program into sharing files inadvertently.

Keywords: Filesharing, Technological Features to Induce Users to Share, USPTO, Limewire, Oversight and Government Reform, Mark Gorton, patents, file share, file sharing,privacy, security,online privacy, online security, USPTO report, copyright, intellectual property, oversight committee, file distribution

JEL Classification: D18, L86, L82, O34, O38

Suggested Citation

Sydnor, Thomas D. and Hollaar, Lee, Inadvertent Filesharing Revisited: Assessing LimeWire's Responses to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (October 30, 2007). Progress & Freedom Foundation Progress on Point Paper No. 14.22 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1086390 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1086390

Thomas D. Sydnor II (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Lee Hollaar

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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