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The missive urges companies to crack down on "unlawful uses," promising cooperation with firms that "take whatever steps [are] necessary to ensure that your network is not being misused to infringe copyrighted works."
STOP THAT FILE SHARING,
CORPORATE AMERICA!
Letter Signed by RIAA, MPAA, Music Pubs and Songwriters Guild Heads Goes Out to Fortune 1,000 Companies Asking Them to Police Piracy
Dear Office Worker: Keep your filthy paws off those illegal MP3 files...and stop downloading those Rolling Stone outtakes of Christina Aguilera while you're at it, too.

That's the message behind a letter signed by the heads of the RIAA, MPAA, National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and the Songwriters Guild of America (SGA), which will go out this week to 1,000 U.S. corporations regarding employees’ use of company broadband resources for the unauthorized peer-to-peer sharing of copyrighted material.

The missive urges companies to crack down on "unlawful uses," promising cooperation with firms that "take whatever steps [are] necessary to ensure that your network is not being misused to infringe copyrighted works."

KaZaA, Grokster, iMesh and Gnutella are mentioned explicitly in the letter, which is being forwarded to the CEOs/Presidents of the various companies.

"By now, you and your colleagues are well aware that software piracy is illegal and that your company is at risk when your employees copy and use software without buying additional licences."

And while Hilary Rosen, Jack Valenti, et al., don't explicitly ask companies to forbid the use of these services, they insist those uses that involve "copyright piracy" must be eliminated.

The only problem is, these programs have non-infringing uses, so it’s a potentially touchy (and possibly illegal) situation to forbid (or block by firewall) the use of such software itself. This leaves companies the unappetizing alternative of trying to police employees’ share folders. Even if corps are willing to help the "creative content industries" protect their interests, is it practical to try to enforce this edict? Will potential litigation against companies that abet infringement "by omission" be enough of an incentive to motivate new rules? Will they encourage co-workers to rat out their cubicle colleagues downloading the new Nirvana track? Hey, who do we look like, Bill O'Reilly?

Meanwhile, digerati—while deploring this tactic—see in it an admission that reckless file-sharing isn’t solely attributable to those damn college kids, but is rapidly becoming a white-collar crime. Kinda like this website.

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