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NBC-Universal President Compares Copyright Filtering to Anti-Virus Protections

WASHINGTON, February 18, 2010 – NBC-Universal Vice President Richard Cotton on Wednesday called upon internet service providers to be permitted to filter content over their pipes for copyright violations, and compared copyright filtering to filtering for computer viruses.

Cotton’s statement was part of a briefing outlining the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s top 2010 intellectual property priorities.

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WASHINGTON, February 18, 2010 – NBC-Universal Vice President Richard Cotton on Wednesday called upon internet service providers to be permitted to filter content over their pipes for copyright violations, and compared copyright filtering to filtering for computer viruses.

Cotton’s statement was part of a briefing outlining the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s top 2010 intellectual property priorities.

The Global Intellectual Property Center at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce seeks to lobby Congress and the Obama administration to strengthen intellectual property rights in the United States and abroad.

The group’s 2010 intellectual property agenda includes improving enforcement of intellectual property rights at U.S. borders, fighting online counterfeiting and digital theft, concluding a comprehensive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, promoting intellectual property compliance by U.S. trading partners, fully funding and implementing the “PRO-IP Act”, expanding enforcement assistance available to U.S. businesses operating abroad, and preserving a strong international IP legal framework.

“It is simply ridiculous on any number of levels to compare filtering for copyright to viruses,” said Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn, in a statement. “ISPs are technically able to tell what is a harmful virus and what is not, unlike the situation for copyright content, which may be used legally. Viruses are a danger to the ISPs network, and it is in their best interest to protect against them.”

BroadbandBreakfast.com’s National Town Hall Webcast on January 19, 2010, address the topic of “Net Neutrality, Copyright Protection and the National Broadband Plan.”

Panelists included representatives from public interest groups and industry, including Data Foundry, Time Warner Cable, the Recording Industry Association of America, and Public Knowledge. A webcast of the event is available here.

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