Hollywood, record labels, want their own, 'hacking, spoofing, and virus
attack' legislation, says CCIA
Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: Mi2N - July 29, 2002
An anti-p2p law which would allow copyright owners to disable computers they
thought contained copyright infringing material would be "vigilante
legislation," says the Computer & Communications Industry Association
Under bill HR 5211, introduced by Congressman Howard 'Tell It Like The RIAA
Says It Is' Berman (D-California), "content owners should be entitled to
'vigilante justice' for suspected copyright violations," said Ed Black,
President and CEO of CCIA.
"Hollywood moguls have long railed against illicit tampering with their
protected content by 'hackers' and 'Internet pirates.' Now the Hollywood
studios and the recording industry seek statutory authority for their own
hacking, spoofing, and virus attacks, with the capability to shut down many
Internet websites and services at their discretion."
Berman's bill would exempt copyright owners from criminal and civil
liability for "disabling, interfering with, blocking, diverting, or
otherwise impairing" any infringing data on another computer, as long as
they have a "reasonable basis" for doing so.
Copyright owners would have only to provide notice to the Justice Department
of its intent to do so, and would be liable for damages only if a victim
could prove they "knowingly and intentionally" took action without a
reasonable basis, and then only after petitioning the US Department of
Justice to investigate and validate their claim.
"The breadth of the safe harbor provisions, combined with the severe
limitations on suits by aggrieved parties, are really tantamount to license
for content owners to strike wherever they see fit," said Black. "Our
industry has recently experienced a rapid rise in cyber-attacks against our
networks and secure systems, and the last thing we need is to create a
protected group of hackers.
"No other industry has been deputized to prosecute its own enforcement
actions, and we see no compelling reason to provide this enormous grant of
power to Hollywood."
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