BERMAN BILL WOULD ALLOW ANTI-PIRACY HACKING

Would Give Copyright Owners Green Light for P2P Countermeasures
A bill about to be introduced in Congress by California Reps. Howard Berman and Howard Coble would allow groups representing copyright owners including the RIAA and the MPAA to disrupt peer-to-peer file-sharing networks if they have a “reasonable basis” to believe their works are being illegally copied, according to a CNET News.com report.

The bill will reportedly seek to immunize copyright owner groups from state and federal laws prohibiting computer sabotage in order to facilitate blocking or disabling of P2P networks suspected of piracy. According to the CNET report, anyone whose computer is damaged in such a counterattack would have to receive the permission of the U.S. Attorney General before filing suit, and permission would only be given in cases where damage exceeded $250. Also, the bill would limit users' rights to sue if files were to be “accidentally” deleted from their computers.

Those intending to bust a move on an offending P2P network would likewise have to seek permission from the Attorney General and divulge details about how a disabling attack would be carried out. Those details, however, would otherwise remain secret.

Fine. Might as well just unplug the whole damn Internet. See if we care.

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