Feeds

RIAA nemesis, Senator Coleman voices his thoughts online

'Law and technology are not in sync'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Senator Norm Coleman is the leading figure in the US government who is showing concern about the Recording Industry Association of America’s legal suits against music lovers. The Washington Post this week posted a transcript on its web site of a chat session where questions were put to Senator Coleman.

Coleman’s position has always been that piracy is wrong, but the industry has to think carefully just how it is going to go about changing people’s attitudes.

Coleman listed three concerns about the RIAA approach.

“First, the broad grant of subpoena authority has the potential to sweep in folks who may not have done anything wrong.

“Second, the civil penalties in this area, including fines up to $150,000 per song, are clearly excessive.
They can be used to intimidate and threaten folks who may or may not have done anything wrong. We know that penalty will never be imposed. My concern is the threat of that penalty is so severe that you force someone who didn't do anything wrong to settle because of fear of bankruptcy.

“Finally, I also have concerns about the impact on personal privacy protection. The technology used by the RIAA and P2P networks has the potential to undermine personal privacy protections.”

Coleman described the new tactic of the RIAA writing to people before suing them as merely“a good first step”, and he confirmed that he didn’t think tinkering with legislation was going to solve the problem, appearing to lean towards a technological solution.

He said: “The solution must be led by the industry and be a combination of law, technology, and creative business solutions. The industry has a right to be protected, but you have to do a better job of meeting consumer needs.”

In response to one question Coleman agreed that a greater number of smaller fines would be more productive and less worrying than the huge maximum potential threat file sharers are under at the moment.

On the subject of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, he said: “I think one of the problems with the 1998 DMCA is that it was created before the advent of KaZaA, Napster and the P2P technology that is used today to facilitate illegal downloading. This is what I mean when I say the law and technology are not in sync.

“It is a great challenge for Congress to "adjust that balance" because technology changes so much quicker than the legislative process.”

© Copyright 2003 Faultline

Faultline is published by Rethink Research, a London-based publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter is an assessment of the impact of events that have happened each week in the world of digital media. Faultline is where media meets technology. Subscription details here

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.