Copyright bill poses threat to iPod's future

Popular consumer electronics like Apple's iPod could be in trouble. A new bill that is being pushed would make operators of P2P networks liable for users' actions. The fun doesn't stop there, no the bill is so broad it could even apply to makers of MP3 Players and CD/DVD recorder.

Apple's sleek digital audio device is one of the most successful tech toys, selling more than 3 million units since November 2001. But its future, with that of other new tech gadgets, could be in trouble if a controversial congressional bill passes. That's according to opponents of the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act in the Senate. It would make operators of media-swap networks such as Kazaa and Grokster liable for users' actions. It also would make it easier for entertainment companies to sue tech firms for copyright infringement.

Opponents say the language is so broad it could apply to makers of MP3 players, such as iPod, and CD and DVD recorders, as well as to media organizations that give consumers tips on using digital content. The recording and movie industries support the bill to help curb piracy. But the tech industry is worried. Internet search giants Google and Yahoo, chipmaker Intel, Internet service provider Verizon, auctioneer eBay, Web site operator Cnet Networks and phone company MCI are among 42 companies and groups who signed a letter that will be delivered Tuesday to bill author Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, requesting hearings on the issue.

News source: USA Today

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