Saturday, March 27
Congress Moves to Criminalize P2P
Source: Wired News
A draft bill recently circulated among members of the House judiciary committee would make it much
easier for the Justice Department to pursue criminal prosecutions against file sharers by lowering the
burden of proof. The bill, obtained Thursday by Wired News, also would seek penalties of fines and
prison time of up to ten years for file sharing.
An estimated 62 million Americans are thought to have used P2P networks as of October 2003, though
it is not known how many have illegally shared music. Globally, two in every five recordings are pirate
copies, according to a former head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Sharman Networks, the owner of popular file-sharing program Kazaa, has recently been making efforts
to convince record companies and movie studios that it's sincere about becoming a legitimate, licensed
distributor of mainstream entertainment content.
Added April 5:
Researchers show file sharing does not affect record sales
"The Internet is really much more like radio than we thought," said Harvard Business School professor
Felix Oberholzer-Gee. "If they like what they hear, they go to the store, and they buy it." Thus, he
added, Internet downloading can promote CD sales just as radio broadcasts do. In other cases, file
downloaders may not buy CDs they otherwise would have bought, leading to a net even effect.