Jul 23rd 2002, 23:27 GMT

Could Hollywood hack your PC?: “Congress is preparing to consider a proposal that would authorize copyright holders to disable PCs used for illicit file trading–a step critics say amounts to vigilante justice.”

There’s a great quote about halfway through the article:

[Quote] “I think it’s wildly overreaching,” Litman said. “Copyright owners are in essence asking Congress to say that peer-to-peer file trading is such a scourge, is so bad, that stopping it is more important than enforcing any other laws that federal or state governments may have passed on computer security, privacy, fraud and so forth.”

Litman said that even if a copyright holder accidentally deleted a home video titled “Snow White,” the owner of that computer could be out of luck. “Unless I can show economic harm, I can’t even be compensated,” Litman said. “Even if I want to be compensated, I have to jump through procedural hoops.” [Quote]

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Robert Belknap has been writing online sporadically since 2001. See the colophon for more details.

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