The entertainment industry could be given new powers to deliberately sabotage internet music and movie file-sharing services, under proposed US legislation. Californian Congress representative Howard Berman has proposed a bill that would make it legal in the US for companies to disrupt peer-to-peer file-sharing to protect their copyright.
At a meeting with the Computer and Communications Industry Association, Berman said: "Copyright owners could employ a variety of technological tools to prevent the illegal distribution of copyrighted works over a P2P network - tools such as interdiction, decoys, redirection, file-blocking, and spoofs."
Peer-to-peer networks allow users to connect directly to each other's computers to search for and transfer files. Popular file-sharing networks such as Morpheus and Kazaa have come under legal scrutiny for allowing internet users to share copyright protected music and film.
Usually, the networks include a number of distributed servers that help computers to connect.
Berman said the legislation would not allow a copyright owner to cause damage to an individual computer or an intermediary server.