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Ashcroft Asked to Target Song Swappers

August 10, 2002|Reuters

U.S. lawmakers have asked Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft to go after Internet users who download unauthorized songs and other copyrighted material, raising the possibility of jail time for digital-music fans.

In a July 25 letter released late Thursday, 19 lawmakers from both sides of the aisle asked Ashcroft to prosecute "peer-to-peer" networks such as Kazaa and Morpheus and the users who swap digital songs, video clips and other files without permission from artists or their record labels.

The Justice Department should also devote more resources to policing online copyrights, the lawmakers said.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was among those signing the letter.

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