Wow! I was taken by surprise when I heard about the U.S. Supreme Court agreeing the hear the appeal of the entertainment industry of the P2P decisions
I am quickly blogging this, as getting ready for a flight to DC this afternoon. I am going down to (among other things) speak on an FTC panel on P2P risks. Our panel is not designed to deal with the piracy issues, but other risks, government action and inaction and non-profit and advocacy programs. What is being done and what needs to be done to help consumers and businesses use the P2P technology safely and privately.
It's a softball panel, compared to the ones being held the next day on piracy issues. But one that made me think harder than most.
It's easy to talk broadly about the viral risks, security risks and privacy risks. So, when I decided to write a column for Information Week on P2P risks, other than piracy ones, I expected to have many others to draw on. Instead, I discovered that few articles have even raised the other risks. So I wrote it. Later I found some wonderful resources already written by the FTC on these kinds of risks. But their and my pieces pretty much stand alone. All the focus has been on copyright infringement and priacy issues.
The more I reviewed the situation, the more I saw potential problems in consumer misconceptions and confusion. And when consumers are confused, there is almost always something for the consumer protection agencies and groups to do.
As I review the cert applications and supporting documents, I realized that some of the issues I have discovered and some of the consumer misconceptions/confusion fixes may help save P2P technology from wholesale closures. And they involve not blokcing or filtering technologies, but education and disclosures and clarifications. The kind of things that the FTC does every day better than any single agency in the world.
I'll share some of my concerns and how, after shooting a video last night with some of my teenangels (teenangels.org) I decided to take more actions in thsi area and to devote serious time of WiredSafety.org, the non-profit I run, to developing educational programs, suggestions and helping stop consumer confusion and misconceptions.
Read further at this blog.