Saturday, September 20, 2003

Brownback bill would limit music industry's subpoena power

"Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas said he doesn't believe slapping preteens with subpoenas for illegally downloading songs is the way to solve the music industry's piracy problems.

"He said at a Senate hearing this week that the issue is privacy, not piracy.

"The Topeka Republican introduced legislation this week to make it harder for groups such as the Recording Industry Association of America to subpoena Internet service providers, such as Verizon Communications, to divulge personal information about their customers.

"Brownback fears those subpoenas, used currently to track down music file swappers, could be abused by others for a variety of purposes, some unsavory.

"I support strong protections of intellectual property," Brownback said on the Senate floor Tuesday, "but I cannot in good conscience support any tool...that can be used by pornographers, and potentially even more distasteful actors, to collect the identifying information of Americans, especially our children."

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