Law Vows to Stop Music Downloads - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/20/02

Law Vows to Stop Music Downloads

Music lovers download nearly two billion songs on the Internet a month. The Internet allows the user to by-pass the royalties that normally accompany copyrighted material. The bill before Congress would allow the entertainment industry to hack into personal computers to find illegally shared music and movies and then disable or interfere with file sharing programs.

Attorney Alec French is the legal counsel for the bill's sponsor. He says, "It would allow them to essentially stop the illegal distribution of their copyrighted works." French insists the measure is not designed to intrude into personal privacy. "The bill doesn't allow a copyright owner to go into your computer and delete anything, change anything, alter anything. It doesn't allow the copyright owner to look at any part of your computer that you are not making publicly accessible to 6 million people."

Some privacy groups oppose the bill, saying it would set a dangerous precedent. Chris Hoofnagle with the Electronic Privacy Information Center says, "What this bill does is immunize copyright holders from criminal computer fraud. So that they can enter public networks and interfere with communications."

U.S. Representative Howard Berman of California introduced the bill, but it has yet to be debated on Capital Hill.

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