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Orrin Hatch: It's OK to destroy P2P pirates' computers



Hatch Takes Aim at Illegal Downloading

The Associated Press
Tuesday, June 17, 2003; 5:22 PM

[...] "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. One technique deliberately downloads 
pirated material very slowly so other users can't.

"I'm interested," [Orrin] Hatch interrupted. He said damaging someone's 
computer "may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights."
The senator acknowledged Congress would have to enact an exemption for 
copyright owners from liability for damaging computers. He endorsed 
technology that would twice warn a computer user about illegal online 
behavior, "then destroy their computer."

"If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we'd 
be interested in hearing about that," Hatch said. "If that's the only way, 
then I'm all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred 
thousand of those, I think people would realize" the seriousness of their 
actions, he said. "There's no excuse for anyone violating copyright laws," 
Hatch said. [...]


Sen. Hatch's statement today:


Washington – Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary 
Committee, today issued the following statement:

“I am very concerned about Internet piracy of personal and copyrighted 
materials, and I want to find effective solutions to these problems.

“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.”


It's conceivable that Hatch is talking about the same kind of proposal that 
Rep. Berman introduced last year:

It's a complicated bill and worth reading for yourself, but one section 
says "a copyright owner shall not be liable in any criminal or civil action 
for disabling, interfering with, blocking, diverting, or otherwise 
impairing the unauthorized distribution, display, performance, or 
reproduction of his or her copyrighted work on a publicly accessible 
peer-to-peer file trading network":


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