Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told a Judiciary Committee hearing this week that file-sharing networks may need to be shut down if they continue to traffic in illegal files.
The hearing involved the Supreme Court decision on MGM v. Grokster, which ruled that file-sharing services can be liable for their users' infringing behavior.
Feinstein said current law is not proving to be effective and cautioned that "if we don't stop it, it's going to destroy these intellectual property industries."
Her comments were largely met with derision by bloggers, who disagreed with both her fundamental premise and her proposed solution.
Blog community response:
"I think Feinstein is guilty of hyperbole here--last time I looked, Hollywood and the music industry weren't in trouble..."
"Even more importantly, at what point do people realize that 'outlawing' these things won't stop them at all? In fact, the Grokster decision (and the Napster one before it) is simply driving users towards more underground systems already."
"What is needed is a new way of distributing and paying for these services. We also need the politicians (who are voted into office to protect and serve the people, not corporations) to make sure that our fair-use rights are not compromised in favor of capital greedy corporate dinosaurs who ultimately want to reduce our freedom in order to improve their bottom line."
"There is undeniable truth to the assessment that the music industry has a legitimate gripe about consumers illegally acquiring music through file-swapping services. However, what they don't seem to realize is that throwing laws and lawsuits at the problem does nothing to help their cause.