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The Federal Trade Commission will host a public workshop, “Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Technology: Consumer Protection and Competition Issues,” to explore consumer protection and competition issues associated with the distribution and use of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing. The workshop will be held December 15 and 16, 2004. It is free and open to the public.

A Federal Register Notice to be published shortly says the workshop is intended to provide an opportunity to learn how P2P file-sharing works and to discuss current and future applications of the technology. The workshop will focus on:

  • The uses of P2P file-sharing technology;
  • The role of P2P file-sharing technology in the economy;
  • Identification and disclosure of P2P file-sharing software program risks;
  • Technological solutions to protect consumers from risks associated with P2P file-
    sharing software programs;
  • P2P file-sharing and music distribution; and
  • P2P file-sharing and its impact on copyright holders.

Interested parties can submit written comments to Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room 159-H (Annex B), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, DC, 20580. The Commission is particularly interested in studies, surveys, research, and other empirical data related to P2P file-sharing. Comments and envelopes should be marked “P2P File-Sharing Workshop – Comment P034517.” Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments electronically at:

Persons seeking to participate as panelists in the workshop must notify the FTC in writing of their interest in participating and describe their expertise in, or knowledge of, the issues.
Interested parties may submit requests to participate by mail, as indicated above, or electronically to: Panelists will be selected based on whether they have expertise or knowledge, and whether their participation would promote a balance of interests at the workshop.

Comments and requests to participate must be submitted on or before Monday, November 15, 2004. Panelists will be notified on or before Monday, November 29, 2004, if they have been selected.

A detailed agenda and additional information on the workshop will be posted on the FTC’s Web site at:

The commission vote to issue the Federal Register Notice was 4-0-1, with Commissioner Jon Leibowitz not participating.

Copies of the Federal Register Notice are available from the FTC’s Web site at and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints), or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

(FTC File No. P03 4577)

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Claudia Bourne Farrell,
Office of Public Affairs
Staff Contact:
Elizabeth Delaney,
Bureau of Consumer Protection