Terminator Four, starring Orrin Hatch

By Jon Newton 6/18/03

Senator Orrin Hatch says he's all for remotely destroying computers used by people who illegally download music from the Net.

Hatch (R-Utah) is said to be distantly related to rep Howard Berman (D-Ca). Last year, Berman, ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary panel on the Internet and intellectual property, proposed an act which would have allowed Hollywood to more or less slash and burn at will without fear of prosecution or retribution - from the law, at least.


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Hatch apparently came up with his ideas, which seem remarkably similar to Berman's, during a hearing on copyright abuses.

"During a discussion on methods to frustrate computer users who illegally exchange music and movie files over the Internet, Hatch asked technology executives about ways to damage computers involved in such file trading," says a June 17 Associated Press report by Ted Bridis.

It goes on that apparently, Hatch, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, "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'."

Rep Rick Boucher (D-Va) urged Hatch to reconsider.

"Boucher described Hatch's role as chairman of the Judiciary Committee as 'a very important position, so when Senator Hatch indicates his views with regard to a particular subject, we all take those views very seriously'," said the AP item.

By an amazing coincidence, Hollywood (music, tv and the movies) contributed $175,332 to Hatch in 2002, says opensecrets here.

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Jon Newton is the editor of p2pnet.net and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.

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