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Thursday, June 19, 2003

Hatch suggests PC destruction, but lives in a glass house
In a big shift from his earlier stance on digital file-trading, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch suggested that destroying computers containing copyright infringing materials might be a good thing. Expressing concerns about p2p-enabled copyright and privacy problems, Hatch explained his desire to consider attacking copyright violator's machines:

"No one is interested in destroying anyone's computer,'' replied Randy Saaf of MediaDefender Inc., a secretive Los Angeles company that builds technology to disrupt music downloads...

"I'm interested,'' Hatch interrupted. He said damaging someone's computer "may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights.''

After a Web-storm of reaction set in, the senator reiterated his stance:

“I made my comments at yesterday’s hearing because I think that industry is not doing enough to help us find effective ways to stop people from using computers to steal copyrighted, personal or sensitive materials. I do not favor extreme remedies – unless no moderate remedies can be found. I asked the interested industries to help us find those moderate remedies.”

However, the Senator's own Web site might be committing copyright infringement.

That MediaDefender outfit is pretty interesting, too.

(For another sign of previous Hatch, or Hatch 1.0, see chapter 13 of Lessig's Future of Ideas)
:: posted by Bryan, 1:19 PM |

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