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Thread: P2P hacking bill may be amended

  1. #1
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    Apr 2002

    P2P hacking bill may be amended

    Reported by http://news.com.


    By Declan McCullagh
    Staff Writer, CNET News.com
    October 23, 2002, 12:44 PM PT

    WASHINGTON--A proposal to let copyright owners hack into and disrupt peer-to-peer networks will be revised, a congressional aide said Wednesday.

    Alec French, an aide to bill author Rep. Howard Berman , D-Calif., defended his boss' ideas but acknowledged that some critics had made reasonable points about the controversial proposal.

    "He plans to significantly redraft the bill to accommodate reasonable concerns before reintroduction in the 108th (Congress)," French said during an afternoon event at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

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    Introduced in July, the P2P Piracy Prevention Act says copyright holders would have the right to disable, interfere with, block or otherwise impair a peer-to-peer node that they suspect is distributing their intellectual property without permission. The bill does not specify what techniques--such as viruses, worms, denial-of-service attacks, or domain name hijacking--would be permissible.

    Because there is a near-zero chance the bill will be enacted during the last few months of this congressional session, Berman would have to re-introduce it in the next Congress, which convenes in January 2003. Berman represents California's San Fernando Valley, adjacent to Los Angeles and Hollywood's cluster of entertainment firms, and is viewed as likely to keep his job in next month's elections.

    "Unfortunately, theft of copyrighted works is the predominant use of peer-to-peer networks today," French said. "Peer-to-peer networks are primarily used today for the unauthorized public distribution and reproduction of copyrighted works."

    The measure attracted instant criticism from consumer groups, academics and technologists. Berman "welcomes suggestions" about how to eliminate problems while still maintaining the general approach of the bill, French said.

    Also speaking at Wednesday's event was Bruce Mehlman, assistant secretary of commerce.

    Striking a middle-of-the-road tone, Mehlman urged Hollywood and Silicon Valley "to cooperate" over finding technological solutions to protect copyrighted content without additional government intervention. "All fair use is not piracy, but neither is all piracy fair use," Mehlman said.

    "I do hope and believe that government can play a constructive role," Mehlman said.

    Co-sponsoring the bill with Berman is Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., chairman of the House subcommittee on intellectual property. Berman is the top Democrat on the panel.
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  2. #2
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    Jun 2002
    Berman "welcomes suggestions" about how to eliminate problems while still maintaining the general approach of the bill
    You can't hope to eliminate problems while still maintaining the general approach of the bill, simply because the problem is the general approach of the bill. Giving companies the legal right to perform DoS attacks against p2p networks they 'suspect' are distributing their works... give me a break.

    Although it is encouraging that he is redrafting the bill, I still think he should abandon the idea entirely and come up with a less fascist way of ensuring p2p networks aren't distributing copyrighted material.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2002
    No, what they are asking doesn't involve DoS attacks, from what I know. They are basically looking for a liscense to hack into people's computers to "disrupt" the p2p networks and to delete all their MP3 files. For one, who is to say that is all they are taking, and Two, How can you be sure they won't take revenge against those who hacked them or are against them. I don't think they should be granted the bill, but that's JMHO.
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  4. #4
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    Jun 2002
    From the proposed bill itself:

    Notwithstanding any State or Federal statute or other law, and subject to the limitations set forth in subsections (b) and (c), a copyright owner shall not be liable in any criminal or civil action for disabling, interfering with, blocking, diverting, or otherwise impairing the unauthorized distribution, display, performance, or reproduction of his or her copyrighted work on a publicly accessible peer-to-peer file trading network, if such impairment does not, without authorization, alter, delete, or otherwise impair the integrity of any computer file or data residing on the computer of a file trader.
    So the one thing they can't do (without authorization) is modify the files or data residing on a file trader's computer, but they can more or less perform DoS attacks on these people. Subsections (b) and (c) basically outline that the copyight shall not impair access to legally shared files

    except as may be reasonably necessary to impair the distribution, display, performance, or reproduction of such a work, or portion thereof, in violation of any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner
    It needs to be overhauled or abandoned. I hope they make some major changes before bringing it to Congress again.

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