Monday, July 29, 2002

DOES THIS SOUND LIKE LEGALISED 'TAKING LAW INTO OWN HANDS' OR WHAT? So now there's a proposal in front of the House of Representatives which would allow trade organisations like the RIAA to hack into, and close down, peer to peer networks without having to worry about legal comeback. All they'd have to do would be say they had a "reasonable basis" to believe this was happening. Sponsored by Berman and Coble, the legislation might get caught in the logjam as the end of the year approaches, but the mere prospect of the Bill is scaring some. While - of course - piracy is wrong, handing the right to scupper a third parties' computer system to an unelected body seems to be a slightly more disturbing wrong. Apart from anything, the peer network might be allowing the swapping of legal material alongside the pirates (or suspected pirated) material; it could even provide the RIAA with a way of destroying competitor label's legal download systems from behind a legal shield.
CNET reports - why not just let AOL Time Warner shoot people it doesn't like?

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