Tech execs lash into piracy proposals

A group of tech executives is asking Washington lawmakers to steer clear of regulations requiring them to develop products to stop piracy, especially those proposed by Hollywood studios:

During hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Intel Chief Executive Craig Barrett, incoming AOL Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons and Excite co-founder Joe Kraus reacted to Hollywood’s increasing pressure to place responsibility for preventing piracy on the shoulders of tech companies.

One of the most controversial proposals, the Security Systems Standards and Certification Act (SSSCA), would require companies to include government-approved anti-copying technology in computers and electronic devices and would make it illegal for consumers to remove it.

“Some in the content community have suggested that the IT industry does not care about reducing piracy of copyrighted works, that we actually promote piracy to grow our industry. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Barrett said in prepared testimony submitted before the hearing.

Barrett said his industry has responded to Hollywood’s concerns about piracy for more than six years and has developed a range of secure technologies. However, he said it is not the job of tech companies to police the Internet for pirated works, especially those available on peer-to-peer networks.

“Some content providers suggest that all digital devices could continuously examine all data downloaded from the Internet and analyze it to sort out copyrighted from uncopyrighted material,” Barrett said. “We don’t think this would work.”

Of course it wouldn’t work… Do they actually think that the millions of consumers who, for example, legally make an MP3 out of their audio disc for personal use will put up with this? How about an extra copy of your favourite (often expensive) audio disc for in the car? Will that become illegal too??