Did Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow Even Read the IP Commission Report?

The following first appeared at PrivacyNet, authored by Gordon Plattwho's given permission to post here.

Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing has been an outspoken in his opposition to copyright legislation for some time. That’s fair enough. But his recent blog posting on the recent report by the IP Commission does a disservice to the report’s context and the facts. That’s a nice way of saying that his posting is as misleading as it is incorrect.

Let’s start with Doctorow’s breathless headline:

US entertainment industry to Congress: make it legal for us to deploy rootkits, spyware, ransomware and trojans to attack pirates!

OK, the 84 page report was the work of the “Commission on the Theft of American Property.” According to the report itself:

The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property is an independent and bipartisan initiative of leading Americans from the private sector, public service in national security and foreign affairs, academe, and politics.

The members of the Commission hardly qualify as entertainment industry insiders:

  • Dennis C. Blair (co-chair), former Director of National Intelligence and Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command
  • Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. (co-chair), former Ambassador to China, Governor of the state of Utah, and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative
  • Craig R. Barrett, former Chairman and CEO of Intel Corporation
  • Slade Gorton, former U.S. Senator from the state of Washington, Washington Attorney General, and member of the 9-11 Commission
  • William J. Lynn III, CEO of DRS Technologies and former Deputy Secretary of Defense
  • Deborah Wince-Smith, President and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness
  • Michael K. Young, President of the University of Washington and former Deputy Under Secretary of State

In fact, the report mentions the entertainment industry only once. The problem with IP theft affects almost every (if not every) sector of the economy.

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