Crackdown on Free Music Downloaders

"We totally support the intention of it. We are just concerned about whether it makes sense to put another law on the books when we should wait for the Federal Trade Commission's compliance report," Lafferty told ABC News.

In his opening statement before the committee, Thomas Sydnor II, director of the Center for the Study of Digital Property, stated that since preteens and teenage children comprised many of the users of file-sharing programs, inadvertent sharing often effects entire families and the employers of family members.

Gorton insisted in his opening statement that LimeWire's security risks associated with inadvertent file-sharing were eliminated.

"I am happy to report that immediately after the committee brought the issue of inadvertent file sharing to my attention at the July 24, 2007 hearing on the matter, LimeWire began the process that culminated in all but eliminating inadvertent file-sharing with the LimeWire application," he said.

Persistent Problem of File Sharing

Sydnor warned against leaving regulation up to file-sharing software owners.

"The problem of inadvertent sharing has persisted for nine years because distributors of file-sharing programs like LimeWire LLC have repeatedly responded to even the most serious and well-documented concerns about inadvertent sharing with half-measures," he said.

"It would be absurd to, yet again, rely upon entities like LimeWire LLC to remediate inadvertent sharing. History suggests too well what the consequences of doing so could be: more breaches of national and military security; more needless damage to private enterprises that could otherwise drive economic recovery; more identity theft; more endangered children; more early-releases for dangerous pedophiles; and more needless lawsuits between copyright owners and American families."

Today's hearing comes two years after the Committee's chairman, Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., and ranking member Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., first launched an investigation of inadvertent file sharing on P2P networks in 2007, focused primarily on Lime Wire. Witnesses at a 2007 hearing said they were easily able to obtain bank records, health records, military files, tax returns, corporate documents and other private files through LimeWire.

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