SFist brings you another update on the Governator's bill-signing binge -- and this one will hit you right in the gut if you're an unrepentant file-sharer like we are. It is now a misdemeanor offense in California to share music or movies without making your email address available.
SFist would point out that this is totally useless. We have lots of personal experience in dealing with spoofed emails, and with dozens if not hundreds of people offering free email accounts online, it's so easy to create a fake email anonymously that you can use to keep in touch with your fellow pirates. So actually using the emails provided to try to track down copyright infringers will be next to impossible. All it will do is catch the lazy and stupid, who are rarely the worst offenders. Plus, almost every P2P client we know negotiates IP addresses, which are a much better way of identifying a particular user anyway. Plus there's the issue of whether the software developers who create P2P clients will even bother to build in this functionality in the first place.
Still, Hollywood made the Governator what he is today -- well, Hollywood, anabolic steroids and the Kennedy family. You may have seen the ads with film crew complaining that film pirates cut into their pay. Um, how about production companies moving productions to non-union states or out of the country entirely so that they can pay the crew less and work them harder -- while still paying stars millions of dollars? And why should we have to wait a year and half for Miramax to release Takeshi Kitano's stateside when we can download the Japanese DVD version months in advance? The film industry has posted a new box office revenue record for the 20th straight year -- SFist says quit your whining and take your problems to the tender at your local oxygen bar.Zatoichi