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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Anti-P2P software for parents

The US film industry released it last February (see my coverage), and now the free software's available under a different name in six more languages at a site representing the recording industry worldwide. What Parent File Scan and Digital File Check do is 1) scan your PC and tell you what media files (video, music, photos, etc.) and file-sharing software you may have on it, and 2) let you delete any of those files and programs. The very easy-to-use app, which works only on Windows PCs, is designed to help less-than-tech-literate parents educate themselves about multimedia on the family PC, but TechWhack.com in India suggests that, these days, "when the kids at home are smarter than their parents when it comes to using computers … we at TechWhack doubt that this application is going to make much of a difference." In other words, this software may not be able to find the more sophisticated work-arounds young digital-media fans are undoubtedly already developing as P2P services "go legit" (see this blog post). Here's Digital File Scan at the London-based International Federation of the Phonographic Industry's site. You can get Parent File Scan at the Motion Picture Association of America's site, RespectCopyrights.org, or through its developer's site. And coverage of its release at the BBC and the International Herald Tribune. See also "File-sharing realities for families."

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