Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Fighting back against Big Copyright

There's a really interesting bit of news on ArsTechnica, RapidShare have hired a lobbying firm with the express purpose to "counter negative attacks on the company from US copyright interests." This might not seem like a big deal, but the file sharing industry has been almost painfully timid at fighting back against Big Copyright's campaigns against them. Despite provably doing nothing illegal, RapidShare was recently called out as one of the 5 worst websites in the world by Congress.

From the article:

It should come as no surprise that RapidShare has hired the same lobbying firm that Google uses—the Dutko lobbying group.

The registration form that RapidShare filed with the government makes it pretty clear what the three lobbyists the company has hired will be focusing on: "Develop and implement a coordinated government affairs/public relations program for RapidShare targeted at Congress, the Administration and the media to help counter negative attacks on the company from US copyright interests."

Dutko is definitely a high-powered lobbying organization. According to the Open Secrets database, Dutko Worldwide generated $12,940,000 in lobbying income in 2010 in the course of advocating on behalf of Adobe Systems, Google, Motorola, Qualcomm, TiVO, Level 3 Communications, and dozens of other technology related firms.

Considering how much the content industry has gotten away with in the last few years its good to see that one file sharing service is actually starting to fight back.

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