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Berman Bill May Be Beaten

Controversial bill enabling vigilante hacking may not be revived:

    Rep. Howard L. Berman said he may abandon his controversial proposal to help Hollywood battle Internet piracy, in part because of complaints from an unexpected source: Hollywood.

    Berman (D-Van Nuys) introduced a bill in July to give movie studios, record companies and other copyright holders limited immunity from lawsuits if they used technology to block piracy on file-sharing networks such as Kazaa or Gnutella. The immunity would not have applied to tactics that damaged users’ computers or legitimate file-sharing activities.

    The measure, which died when Congress adjourned last year, drew heavy flak from consumer advocates who said it would encourage copyright owners to become network-snarling vigilantes. Nevertheless, Berman was widely expected to try again this year with a revised version of the bill.

    This week, however, Berman said he may not revive the measure. For one thing, copyright holders may not need extra protection to combat file-sharing piracy, he said. And though Berman wasn’t deterred by complaints from consumer advocates, the concerns voiced by Hollywood studios — among the biggest beneficiaries of the bill, given their active anti-piracy efforts online —
    suggested that Berman was climbing out on a limb by himself. [LA Times]

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected],, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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