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Legislators suggest other ways to combat copyright infringement

Congress Scrutinizes RIAA Tactics. The debate escalates over enforcing online copyrights and a U.S. senator is gaining support for a bill to stop copyright holders from compelling ISPs to reveal identities of subscribers suspected of infringing without first filing a civil lawsuit. The RIAA has already filed some 1600 informational subpoenas in a nationwide campaign to track down illegal file-sharers. The draconian tactic is under fire from groups that say the method invades user privacy.

A bill introduced Tuesday by Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), comes while the music industry is locked in a battle with ISPs and privacy advocates over its antipiracy campaign. The measure has gained support from other senators who question the provision in the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) that lets copyright-holders subpoena the names of alleged file-traders without first getting a judge’s permission. One senator has even suggested the DMCA subpoenas give copyright-holders more power to go after suspected copyright violators than U.S. law enforcement agencies have to seek information on terrorists.

Brownback cited Verizon’s complaint that the RIAA and other copyright-holders can get subpoenas without a judge’s approval, but Justice Department investigators generally must go to a judge to subpoena terrorist suspects. “Congress hasn’t given this power to the federal government to investigate terrorism,” said William Barr, vice president and general counsel for Verizon, which has been fighting RIAA subpoenas. “Why should the record industry–private citizens–have this unfettered subpoena authority to reach the most sensitive information people have?”

Written September 18th, 2003 by | Filed under: Miscellaneous Blog Tips

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Legislators suggest other ways to combat copyright infringement

Congress Scrutinizes RIAA Tactics. The debate escalates over enforcing online copyrights and a U.S. senator is gaining support for a bill to stop copyright holders from compelling ISPs to reveal identities of subscribers suspected of infringing without first filing a civil lawsuit. The RIAA has already filed some 1600 informational subpoenas in a nationwide campaign to track down illegal file-sharers. The draconian tactic is under fire from groups that say the method invades user privacy.

A bill introduced Tuesday by Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), comes while the music industry is locked in a battle with ISPs and privacy advocates over its antipiracy campaign. The measure has gained support from other senators who question the provision in the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) that lets copyright-holders subpoena the names of alleged file-traders without first getting a judge’s permission. One senator has even suggested the DMCA subpoenas give copyright-holders more power to go after suspected copyright violators than U.S. law enforcement agencies have to seek information on terrorists.

Brownback cited Verizon’s complaint that the RIAA and other copyright-holders can get subpoenas without a judge’s approval, but Justice Department investigators generally must go to a judge to subpoena terrorist suspects. “Congress hasn’t given this power to the federal government to investigate terrorism,” said William Barr, vice president and general counsel for Verizon, which has been fighting RIAA subpoenas. “Why should the record industry–private citizens–have this unfettered subpoena authority to reach the most sensitive information people have?”

Written September 18th, 2003 by | Filed under: Miscellaneous Blog Tips

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