Feeds

RIAA nemesis, Senator Coleman voices his thoughts online

'Law and technology are not in sync'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

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

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.