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IP Protection Group Calls for 'Scamware' Anti-Piracy Techniques, WHO Funding Cut

Posted by: , 16:52 AEST, Sat June 1, 2013

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The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property recommends using malware techniques to fight software piracy, and also asks funding to the World Health Organization to be cut if they do not prioritize IP protection
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An anti-piracy group headed by prominent politicians, including a former governor of Utah and Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, says that copyright holders should be given more leeway to fight web piracy.

The group, The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, or just The IP Commission, writes in a new report that recommends lawmakers give rights holders more power to fight piracy, including the right to use techniques that are frequently associated with malware.

One recommendation suggests that software vendors the following action when the unauthorized usage of their software has been detected: "the file could be rendered inaccessible and the unauthorized user's computer could be locked down, with instructions on how to contact law enforcement to get the password needed to unlock the account."

The exact same technique is used by many scamware software on the Internet, often disguising themselves as security software that when installed, locks the unwitting victim's computer until further action is taken (often involving the submission of credit card details).

Other Internet scams also play heavily on the "law enforcement" card, tricking users to visit websites where further malware is downloaded and installed.

The report also calls on the U.S. government to treat IP protection as a matter of national security, and singles out Chinese based IP-theft as one of the most serious issues facing the United States at present.

Controversially, the report also calls for U.S. funding to the World Health Organization to be cut unless the organization prioritizes the protection of American based intellectual property, ahead of its mission to alleviate public health issues around the world. 

The report says that the WHO should "refrains from prequalifying any product until the regulating agency of jurisdiction demonstrates and certifies that it does not violate IP rights". This could mean that the WHO would have to put public health interests aside, such as fighting an outbreak of a deadly disease, until after they have made sure IP rights have been observed. 

You can read the full report here.


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