MPAA spokeslawyers insist that they not be identified by name in reports from press-conference

The MPAA is suing RealNetworks for making a product that will rip a DVD, crap it up with DRM, and store it on your hard-drive. The MPAA says that only their stupid DRM, and not RealNetworks' stupid DRM, can be used to cripple DVDs. My take? A pox on both their houses.

Except this:

Lawyers for the MPAA, in a teleconference with reporters, said Kaleidesape and RealDVD are circumventing "technology designed to prevent copying."

The lawyers, who asked that their names not be published, said they were concerned "Consumers will think this is a legal product...when in fact it is totally illegal."

Wait wait wait wait: what? These unnamed lawyers are on a press-call with the media, as spokespeople for their company, and they "asked that their names not be published?" And journalists complied?

Truly, this is a new low in chickenshittery that has me scraping my jaw off my chest. These lawyers aren't deep-throat whistle-blowers sneaking information out of their employers' filing cabinets: they're the official spokespeople for the firm. And they get anonymity?

So what happens in the future -- after the MPAA gets its ass handed to it by the court -- if we want to argue that the MPAA's lawyers have a long history of going around saying that software is "totally illegal"? Do the MPAA get to deny it, because no one can name the spokesperson who said it?

And why on earth would the journalists honor such a request? "Unnamed MPAA lawyer says stupid thing" fails one of the important Ws of reporting: Who said it? MPAA, RealNetworks Wage Court Battle Over DVD-Copying Software