I say this for the Intellectual Property Mafia; they do not allow either consistency or scrupples to get in the way of what they want. Like characters out of too many mob movies, “it's just business” whether you need to disclose your real identity or not. Unsurprisingly, the IP Mafia reserve the right to lie for themselves, while wanting big time penalties for everyone else who tries to maintain anonymity.
According to this article, the MPAA lobbied hard to kill an anti-pretexting bill proposed in the California Legislature. “Pretexting,” as folks who followed the recent scandal over at HP know, is pretending you are someone else in order to gain access to that other person's personal information.
Why would the MPAA fight hard to kill a pro-privacy, pro-consumer protection bill? Because they assert they need to use pretexting to investigate allegations of piracy. And if investigating into possible piracy means puting consumers everywhere at greater risk for identity theft or other violations of privacy? “Sorry, it's just business. Ya know?”
OTOH, consider the never ending flap over WHOIS data at ICANN. The IP Mafia have continued to press for requiring all registrants of domain names to provide completely honest information about the identity of the registrant and contact info. No use of third parties to shield privacy interests, despite very real concerns from individuals and free speech organizations in countries that routinely imprison and execute critics (or, in light of recent events involving the apparent poisoning of Putin critic Litvinenko, concerns about their personal safety abroad). Back in July, the Software Information Industry Alliance told a Congressional Committee that organizations concerned about their privacy just shouldn't bother to register domain names. In other words “We're sorry our policy gives you a choice between exercisin' your Free Speech rights or putting your personal safety at risk. But hey, it's just business. Ya know?”
I hope the folks attending the ICANN meeting in Sampra, Brazil this week will ask the defenders of a wide open WHOIS why the MPAA and the rest of the intellectual property mafia fights so hard for a “license to lie” for themselves, while demanding that everyone else expose themselves to identity theft and personal risk.