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Industry leaders take on Decency Act

Industry leaders including Microsoft, America Online, and CompuServe will join together next week to file their own lawsuit to overturn the Communications Decency Act, sources familiar with the plan told CNET.

Industry leaders including Microsoft, America Online, and CompuServe will join together next week to file their own lawsuit to overturn the Communications Decency Act, sources familiar with the plan told CNET.

The suit will be filed next Monday, according to a source involved with the proceedings who asked not to be named.

The suit will also be supported by a variety of computer industry players and publications.

The participants want to file a separate lawsuit from the one currently being prepared for trial by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in order to focus on the nature of the Internet and force a legal precedent on the government's control of this new medium.

"The whole idea of treating the Internet as a broadcast medium is inappropriate. The Net should be in the same category as print," according to a source. "I think it will be decisive in helping the court see why the Communications Decency Act is unconstitutional."

In addition to legal arguments, companies that develop filtering software, for example, will try to explain to the court the technological reasons why the act should be overturned, sources said.