AOH :: IS2063.HTM

P2P bill could regulate Web browsers, FTP clients

P2P bill could regulate Web browsers, FTP clients
P2P bill could regulate Web browsers, FTP clients 

By Declan McCullagh
Politics and Law 
May 5, 2009

news analysis - The U.S. House of Representatives has scheduled a 
hearing Tuesday to examine a bill that would force peer-to-peer 
applications to provide specific notice to consumers that their files 
might be shared.

The hearing before a House Energy subcommittee comes about a month after 
reports that specifications about the helicopter used as Marine One may 
have been leaked through a P2P network. Meanwhile, a second House 
committee is probing whether LimeWire or another P2P application was 

Tuesday's hearing is expected to focus on a bill introduced in March by 
Rep. Mary Bono Mack, a California Republican. The catch: while it 
appears intended to target only P2P applications, the measure sweeps in 
Web browsers, FTP applications, instant messaging utilities, and other 
common programs too.

Bono's Informed P2P User Act says that it will be "unlawful" for P2P 
software to cause files to be made available unless two rules are 
followed. First, the utility's installation process must provide "clear 
and conspicuous notice" of its features and obtain the user's "informed 
consent." Second, the program must step through that notice-and-consent 
process every time it runs.


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