Half-Day Conference

The Law and Economics of File Sharing & P2P Networks

Date and Time
June 17, 2004 8:30 AM - 1:30 PM EDT
1st floor/Wintergarden
Featuring Jack Valenti, President and Chief Executive Officer, Motion Picture Association of America; and the Hon. Rick Boucher, U.S. Representative from Virginia.

Can copyright law and peer‐​to‐​peer (P2P) networks coexist? A bitter battle over this question continues to rage years after Napster introduced the world to the phenomenon of file sharing over P2P networks. Napster’s meteoric rise was quickly reversed, however, after the recording industry successfully litigated to shut down the site. But Napster spawned many P2P descendants that are more decentralized in nature and more difficult to shut down as a result. Nonetheless, content providers are again exploring legislative options and litigation strategies to stem what they regard as illegal piracy of copyrighted works. Will it work? Does file sharing really have a detrimental impact on music and movie sales? Can copyright law and affected industries adapt to live with P2P networks, or must file‐​sharing sites be shut down permanently? This Cato half‐​day conference will offer a balanced discussion of these questions and the future of copyright law in the post‐​Napster era.


8:30–8:50 a.m. Registration
8:50–9:00 a.m. Welcoming Remarks

Adam Thierer
Cato Institute

9:00–9:30 a.m. Morning Keynote Address

Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA)

9:30–10:45 a.m. Panel 1: Debating the Economic Impact of File Sharing

Moderator: Adam Thierer
Cato Institute

Koleman Strumpf
University of North Carolina

Eric Garland
Big Champagne

Sam Yagan
MetaMachine, Inc./eDonkey

Stan Liebowitz
University of Texas at Dallas

10:45–11:00 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m.-
12:15 p.m.
Panel 2: Can Copyright and P2P Coexist?

Moderator: Declan McCullagh
CNET Networks, News​.com

Matthew Oppenheim
Jenner & Block

Michael Weiss
StreamCast Networks/​Morpheus

Marty Lafferty
Distributed Computing Industry Association

Michael Einhorn
Brattle Group and author, Media, Technology, and Copyright: Integrating Law and Economics

12:15–12:45 p.m. Luncheon Address

Jack Valenti
Motion Picture Association of America

12:45 p.m. Lunch

Registration for this event has been closed.

Please arrive early. Seating is limited and not guaranteed. News media inquiries only (no registrations), please call (202) 789‑5200. If you can’t make it to the Cato Institute, watch this forum live online.