Ok, now things are just starting to get a little ugly. Microsoft, the reformed, kinder, gentler technology megacorp has apparently shifted gears from issuing statement
to partners on how to patch PlaysForSure against FairUse4WM
and assigning "teams working around the clock" on a fix
, to hunting down the scurvy dogs hosting FairUse4WM and sending them letters from Microsoft Legal. Now, we aren't lawyers, so we couldn't tell you for certain the potential ramifications for hosting files that could violate everyone's favorite law, the DMCA. That said, the nastygram Microsoft sent (posted in full after the break) to BG4G.net
did not regard FairUse4WM, but instead stated BG4G "is offering 'Cracks' or 'Product Keys', intended to circumvent technical measures that control access to Microsoft's copyrighted works and that protect Microsoft's copyrights in those works." The last we checked neither FairUse4WM nor the material it "protects" is copyrighted by Microsoft (however, the "works" they're referencing are Windows Media Player 10 / 11, which makes this even more nebulous). Either way, we've officially passed the point where Microsoft plays music industry intermediary and DRM solutions provider, and entered the phase were Microsoft takes on the role of DMCA enforcer (we're sure the record labels with had absolutely nothing
to do with this strongarming). What does the man running BG4G, Jason Woodcock, think about Microsoft Legal's letter? We asked, and after he referred us to his very clearly worded BG4G page
on Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act on DMCA takedown provisions, he replied, "I refuse to take down this file until they can prove to me they own the copyright to this file (yeah right....) or a court system makes me. If the line is not drawn in the sand here, then they will keep bullying everyone around." Our hats go off to you, sir.