New Bill Could Aid Music File Sharers

A bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate that could significantly curtail the Recording Industry Association of America's recent -- and quite successful -- offensive against individuals who share music files over the Internet. If passed, the legislation would end the RIAA's flood of subpoenas to Internet service providers demanding the identities of their customers who use such online file-sharing services as Morpheus and Kazaa .

Introduced by Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), the "Consumers, Schools, and Libraries Digital Rights Management (DRM) Awareness Act of 2003" would prevent copyright holders from compelling an ISP to disclose the names or other identifying information of its subscribers prior to the filing of a suit -- a tactic that critics and civil libertarians decry as unconstitutional and an invasion of privacy .

This issue has been hashed out in court and, in fact, is being reviewed again as Verizon argues before a panel of federal judges that the lower-court decision that required it to turn over its customers' names was incorrect.

News source: NewsFactor

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