Tech firms, Hollywood meet on copyright

Technology and entertainment lobbyists will sit down at the negotiating table Friday to seek a resolution to the long-running political spat over digital copyright. About 20 lobbyists are expected to meet at the Eye Street offices of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), just two blocks from the White House, to try to find common ground before the new Congress starts in January.

The companies and trade associations represented at the closed-door meeting include Microsoft, Verizon Communications, the Business Software Alliance, AOL Time Warner, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Fox Entertainment Group.

"We're pleased that so many people who are important players in this debate are willing to sit down with us to discuss the consumer perspective on digital copyright," said Alan Davidson, CDT's deputy director.

Political tension between the tech and media industries has rarely been more acute. Faced with mass piracy on peer-to-peer networks and increasingly efficient technologies under development, the MPAA and its allies in the recording industry have asked Congress for sweeping new laws. Senate Commerce Chairman Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., has introduced legislation to force the implanting of copy-protection technology in PCs and consumer electronic devices. Reps. Howard Berman, D-Calif., and Howard Coble, R-N.C., hope to allow copyright holders to disrupt peer-to-peer networks where infringing activity is taking place.

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News source: c|net

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