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File Sharing Companies Go On Offense

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Encouraged by the Grokster ruling, spurred by a new assault on sharers threatened by the RIAA, file sharing companies are banding together to lobby the U.S., Europe, and you mama:

    Internet file-sharing firms are forming a lobbying group in Europe to defend their business interests against media companies trying to force them out of business, a member of the coalition told Reuters on Monday.

    The move is the latest sign that file-sharing outfits, which until recently operated far away from the public eye to avoid litigation, intend to fight for their right to distribute software that enables computer users to share files online.

    ….Last week, file-sharing firms Grokster and LimeWire said that, along with an unspecified number of rival firms, they were in the process of forming a lobbying entity to convince the U.S. Congress of their legitimacy.

    The initiative won’t stop in Washington D.C., said Pablo Soto, a Madrid-based developer of file-sharing technology Blubster. European firms are forming a lobby group in Europe with plans to work with the U.S. group.

    “We are joining forces to make the U.S. Congress and the European Union listen to us and the hundreds of millions of voters who use our services,” Soto told Reuters.

    ….Soto argued that there are legitimate uses for the technology that could be snuffed out if the law suits are successful.

    He added the group does not intend to seek changes to existing copyright laws. He said the primary aim is to protect the privacy of individual users and keep them out of court.

    “It’s something we’ve got to do,” Soto said. [Reuters]

they sure as hell should be seeking changes to existing copyright laws – that’s a big part of the problem.

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