Senators ask P2P companies to police themselves

A group of Washington lawmakers called on Friday for file-swapping companies to help stop distribution of copyrighted materials and pornography on their networks.

In a letter sent to the heads of several leading companies--including Grokster, BearShare, Blubster, eDonkey2000, LimeWire and Streamcast Networks--a group of six senators called for self-regulation of peer-to-peer software companies.

"Purveyors of peer-to-peer technology have a legal and moral obligation to conform to copyright laws, and end the pornographic trade over these networks," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-N.C., said in a statement. "These programs expose our children to sexually explicit materials and provide an anonymous venue for child pornographers to hide behind the veil of technology."

It's not the first time lawmakers have railed against the unregulated sprawl of file-trading communities. In previous salvos, legislators have called for criminal penalties for people trading copyrighted works online, and blasted file-swapping networks as facilitators of child pornography distribution.

Most recently, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D.-Calif.,--who also signed Graham's letter--introduced legislation that would impose criminal penalties on anyone who distributed a movie before the studios released it to the public. These prereleases often happen online, and the films often find their way to file-trading networks quickly.

News source: CNET News - Senators ask P2P companies to police themselves

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