The music and movie industries are giving people who have swapped songs and other copyrighted material over the Internet a new way to repent for their illicit ways.
A free program released Thursday, called Digital File Check, will uninstall or disable file-sharing programs on people’s computers. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), a London-based affiliate of the Recording Industry Association of America, helped develop the software with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
The groups are mainly aiming the program at parents and employers in Europe.
“Digital File Check is easy to use and can help people prevent their employees, children and others from illegally downloading and swapping movies,” Dan Glickman, the president of the MPAA, said in a statement.
“It could be especially useful for parents who want to encourage their children to enjoy music responsibly on the Internet,” the IFPI said in a statement. “It is free, voluntary and for private use only and does not tip off any antipiracy organizations.”
The software, available for download, will also search computers for music and movies and remove any illegal copies, the group said.
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The IFPI also announced plans to publish and distribute a guide for employers called “Copyright and Security Guide for Companies and Governments,” outlining the liabilities of leaving corporate networks open to copyright infringement.
The new campaign is one of several fronts in a war the recording industry is waging on peer-to-peer networks that facilitate the free sharing of music and movies. Last week, the RIAA sent warning letters to seven peer-to-peer companies, asking them to stop encouraging users to circumvent copyright laws.
The organization won a Supreme Court fight in June with file-sharing service Grokster and has filed thousands of lawsuits against individuals who allegedly used such networks and violated copyright laws.
By Alorie Gilbert