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CONTACT: Amy Smorodin
October 17, 2007
(202) 289-8928
Sydnor Praises Congress' Call for Filesharing Investigation
House Oversight Committee Calls for Investigation of Inadvertent Filesharing

WASHINGTON D.C. - Today, Chairman Waxman, Ranking Member Davis, and 18 other members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging renewed investigation of the causes of inadvertent filesharing. The following statement may be attributed to Tom Sydnor, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for the Study of Digital Property at The Progress & Freedom Foundation:

"I applaud the members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform for their call for an investigation into inadvertent filesharing.

"Inadvertent sharing is a proven threat to personal, corporate, and national security that also creates needless conflicts between copyright holders and consumers. It is essential for both state and federal law-enforcement authorities to determine why distributors of popular filesharing programs have failed to eliminate a threat identified over five years ago.

"Indeed, in its recent Report, "Filesharing Programs and 'Technological Features To Induce Users to Share,'" the United States Patent and Trademark Office concluded that some distributors kept deploying ‘features’ that were known to cause inadvertent sharing--even as they told law-enforcement agencies that their prompt actions had made any further threat of inadvertent sharing a mere 'urban myth….'

"The USPTO Report also concluded that recurring, high-profile incidents of inadvertently shared governmental, corporate, and personal data may be just the predictable side-effects of deliberate efforts to trick consumers into inadvertently sharing popular music, movies and software. State and federal law-enforcement agencies must act swiftly to investigate this disturbing conclusion."

Sydnor is available for comment. He is also the lead author of the USPTO report on inadvertent filesharing. Please contact Amy Smorodin at 202-289-8928 or

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation