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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: Draft of Rep. Berman's bill authorizes anti-P2P hacking

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Tue, 23 Jul 2002 20:29:35 -0400
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
To:             	politech@politechbot.com
Subject:        	FC: Draft of Rep. Berman's bill authorizes anti-P2P hacking
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com


   Could Hollywood hack your PC?
   By Declan McCullagh 
   July 23, 2002, 4:45 PM PT

   WASHINGTON--Congress is about to consider an entertainment
   industry proposal that would authorize copyright holders to disable
   PCs used for illicit file trading.

   A draft bill seen by CNET News.com marks the boldest political
   effort to date by record labels and movie studios to disrupt
   peer-to-peer networks that they view as an increasingly dire threat
   to their bottom line.

   Sponsored by Reps. Howard Berman, D-Calif., and Howard Coble,
   R-N.C., the measure would permit copyright holders to perform
   nearly unchecked electronic hacking if they have a "reasonable
   basis" to believe that piracy is taking place. Berman and Coble
   plan to introduce the 10-page bill this week.

   The legislation would immunize groups such as the Motion Picture
   Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of
   America from all state and federal laws if they disable, block or
   otherwise impair a "publicly accessible peer-to-peer network."

   Anyone whose computer was damaged in the process must receive the
   permission of the U.S. attorney general before filing a lawsuit,
   and a suit could be filed only if the actual monetary loss was more
   than $250.

   According to the draft, the attorney general must be given complete
   details about the "specific technologies the copyright holder
   intends to use to impair" the normal operation of the peer-to-peer
   network. Those details would remain secret and would not be
   divulged to the public.

   The draft bill doesn't specify what techniques, such as viruses,
   worms, denial-of-service attacks, or domain name hijacking, would
   be permissible. It does say that a copyright-hacker should not
   delete files, but it limits the right of anyone subject to an
   intrusion to sue if files are accidentally erased.


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