Feeds

Congress mulls 'post-Grokster' legislation

Considering the coup de grâce

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday welcomed testimony from parties seeking the legislative final solution to P2P networks during a Capitol Hill hearing confidently entitled "Protecting Copyright and Innovation in a Post-Grokster World."

The labels are clearly encouraged by the recent Supreme Court decision in MGM vs Grokster, which holds that the makers and distributors of technology used primarily to violate copyrights may be liable for infringement, and would like to see the spirit of that decision enshrined in new laws.

However, since that decision, file sharing networks have begun to capitulate, so additional laws are not needed now, at least until the ruling's implications have a chance to emerge in courtroom dramas across the country. But no doubt the labels are eager to press their advantage, and no doubt they're dissatisfied with the Supreme Court's rather fair interpretation of the law.

Aside from content-industry angels like US Senator Dianne Feinstein (Democrat, California), who fretted openly that P2P is "going to destroy the intellectual property industries," the Committee's mood overall was cautious, with Chairman Arlen Specter (Republican, Pennsylvania) content to wait and see. "At least in the short term, I think we'll carry out the wishes of those who want [Congress] to do nothing," Specter said in conclusion.

Additionally, the Committee heard a lament from US Registrar of Copyrights Marybeth Peters, who decried the outdated methods by which artists are paid royalties, and warned that the process has got to be brought in line with current technological realities. She did not, however, think that Congress should hurry to begin writing new legislation.

At this point, it appears that the Committee might give the courts a chance to make sense of existing law, and perhaps step in later if that yields confusion and inconsistency, or fails to satisfy the industry's lust for total content control in the guise of copyright protection. ®

Related stories

Mashboxx appoints music industry insider as CEO
Good ship P2P burns to the waterline
WinMX and eDonkey: offline, doors closed
Mashboxx in Grokster 'takeover talks'
RIAA calls time on P2Pers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
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.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.