Are The Major Label's "Blacklisting" Morpheus?
StreamCast Networks, Inc. CEO Michael Weiss, representing the popular Morpheus search and file-sharing software, testified at hearings addressing the legitimate impact of peer-to-peer file distribution before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the Subcommittee on Competition, Foreign Commerce & Infrastructure, today. Focusing on "The Future of Peer-to-Peer Technology," Weiss presented powerful evidence of major record labels "blacklisting" developers of peer-to-peer software and preventing third parties from doing business with StreamCast.
"Most immediately, we ask you to direct the Federal Trade Commission and/or Department of Justice to investigate the apparently collusive, anti-competitive conduct in restraint of trade by the music industry," Weiss said in his prepared remarks on Capitol Hill, "Technology marches on, Mr. Chairman, but apparently some things never change."
During his presentation, which should figure prominently in Congress' subsequent consideration of the issues identified with P2P technology, Weiss quoted from an audio recording of a voicemail message from Real Networks, Inc. Chief Technology Officer, which included the statement that "the labels have blacklisted you guys. So that is the problem we've got. Basically, what they're saying is you've got to denounce P2P, and/or resolve the lawsuit is what you have to do. And so, until they resolve the lawsuit, they're going to keep you on the blacklist, which means I'm probably not going to get much latitude to do anything."
Specifically, Weiss, in conjunction with initiatives set forth by P2P United, called for Congress to:
* Commission an objective outside study that we are confident will confirm that software like Morpheus cannot centrally filter out content and should not be fundamentally redesigned to require that.
* Explore whether a collective or compulsory license should be used to turn 60 million Americans who use file-sharing software like Morpheus into customers instead of alleged criminals.
* Direct the Federal Trade Commission and/or Department of Justice to investigate the apparently collusive anti-competitive conduct in restraint of trade by the music industry.
Weiss made additional comments following his testimony, emphasizing that Congress has been misled by lobbyists for the RIAA and MPAA while Morpheus and the other responsible members of P2P United are doing a great deal to educate, protect and empower our users.
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