Copy Fights: Can Politicians or Entrepreneurs Best Protect Intellectual Property?

Policy Forum
September 19, 2002 11:00AM
Hayek Auditorium
Featuring Rep. Howard Berman, D-California; John Mitchell, Public Knowledge; Phil Corwin, Butera Andrews; Troy Dow, Motion Picture Association of America; Ed Black, Computer & Communications Industry Association; and James Miller, Smith College.

Hollywood and the copyright holders have won battles for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act and, of course, Napster. But nearly any song remains freely available on the Internet. Full-length movie downloads are on the rise. New legislation from Sen. Ernest Hollings would mandate government-approved copy protection technologies in digital devices, and a bill by Rep. Howard Berman would authorize copyright holders to begin “blocking, diverting or otherwise impairing” peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. Some say that content owners have at last gone too far. Others argue that consumers’ “fair-use” rights to make limited copies are being threatened. What is the role of legislation versus markets in resolving today’s “Copy Fights”? Join us for a lively discussion.