Supreme Court Refuses To Hear P2P Case Even As Atty. General Ashcroft Promises To Step Up The Fight

FMQB reports that “days after the U.S. Supreme Court was asked to overturn a 9th Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision from August that ruled in favor of peer-to-peer networks, the court sidestepped the issue. However, the P2P issue could resurface in the courts at any time. The record industry wants the ability to directly identify those who are illegally downloading music, as opposed to using the “John Doe” method of lawsuits. “That is crippling the private copyright enforcement that Congress envisioned as a bulwark against Internet lawlessness, and allowing Internet piracy to metastasize,” Supreme Court justices were told in a filing by RIAA representative, attorney Donald Verrilli.

The Bush administration is in favor of changing the laws, but according to the Associated Press, it has encouraged the Supreme Court to wait on making a decision about the copyright laws.

Meanwhile, another member of the administration is set to kick off a major initiative against file sharing and piracy of music and movies. Attorney General John Ashcroft made an announcement today in Los Angeles of a new government initiative to fight the theft of intellectual properties, which the Los Angeles Times reports is costing U.S. businesses approximately $250 million a year. The new task force will not just crack down on individual file sharers, but international piracy crime rings.”

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