Content Cops

Friday, August 01, 2003

Publication:America's Network

Tom Lewry is quoted in this article that discusses whether ISPs should be responsible for the billions of files that are downloaded each month from popular P2P networks.

Lewry agrees with the ISPs when they argue that, just as telecommunications service providers have not been held liable for the traffic that travels across their networks, ISPs should not be liable for traffic in the data world. He commented, “The ISPs say, we`re not the Internet`s policemen, and I think that`s right . . . It`s not their responsibility to be the arbiter of what kind of packets are being sent through their networks.”

The article also discusses the issue of whether ISPs should install technology that cloaks the identity of users. “Lewry believes that if carriers implement this technology across the board, the courts will view it as a business decision, and ‘won`t step in and second guess that.`”

“If ISPs use technology that makes it difficult for them to learn who their users are and what they are transmitting, then technically, they will not be able to respond to these subpoenas . . . It becomes a technical barrier, rather than a legal barrier.”

Earlier this year, Lewry represented four college students sued by RIAA for copyright infringement.