An English IT firm fired a consultant after he commented on Grokster on BBC, and the firm had this to say:
“The decision to terminate his employment was made in order to defend our legitimate business interests. Mr Hanff has declared that he is opposed to copyright and intellectual property laws. Since much of our business is based around the protection of our copyright and intellectual property, we consider our dismissal of Mr Hanff entirely justified and appropriate.”
Techie fired over Grokster comments on BBC [silicon.com]
If the company fired him because he was using their resources to host his bittorrent site, that would be one thing. The article mentions that the MPAA is suing him for hosting a bittorrent site. But no, it appears from the company’s statement that it fired him for his “opposition to copyright and intellectual property laws”.
Based on this statement, it appears that Aldcliffe Computer Systems in Lancaster is “defend[ing] [its] legitimate business interests” by enforcing a thought code. That doesn’t sound like good business practice to me. The company is crafting a workforce of orthodox thinkers and yes-men. Who would want to work for a company that requires its employees to shape their personal beliefs in accord with whatever internal policies are being crafted that week?
Employers have successfully infiltrated the private lives of workers by requiring drug tests and monitoring email. But Aldcliffe Computer Systems thinks employers should also be able to colonize their minds.
I feel a science fiction story coming on …