Congress must intervene to protect copyrighted content on the Internet, says News Corp./Fox Entertainment President Peter Chernin. He and "others in the industry" are working on proposals for the new president and Congress that would ensure that "the broadband Internet is not a copyright-free zone," Chernin said last week during a luncheon address at the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for National Policy in Washington.
Among Chernin's suggestions: Beef up the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The act is 2 years old, "a century ... in Internet time," he said. Since then, Web sites have sprung up to offer "unauthorized copies of copyrighted music to millions, [and] DivX and Scour.com are now trying to do the same with movies." Unless those sites are stopped, "companies won't make content available in digital form because there won't be an economic incentive to do so." That will hurt not only artists, but also companies and consumers, he said.
Content creators also must be allowed to safeguard their offerings with digital labels such as News Corp. is developing-and it must be illegal to remove or alter those labels, he said. In fact, Chernin said, copyrighted protection devices should be built into all computers. Meanwhile, ISPs should block Web sites "that infringe on the rights of copyright holders."
Along with Disney, Time Warner and the Motion Picture Association of America, FOX is party to a recently filed lawsuit against Scour.com.