Lawyers representing independent filmmakers, including the studio that produced Oscar-winner "The Hurt Locker," might learn something from a document filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce today by music, television, and film industry trade groups.

The Commerce Department recently sent out a request for information, known as a "Notice of Information," on "copyright policy, creativity, and innovation in the Internet economy." What the Commerce Department intends to do with the information it obtains was unclear this afternoon, but it did receive a response from nine trade groups representing the entertainment sector. In that report were a few notable points.

"The role of lawsuits in solving the online theft problem is clearly limited," wrote the coalition that included the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). "For instance, bringing clear-cut claims against major commercial infringers is not by itself a solution in the long run," the coalition wrote. "These cases take years to litigate and are an enormous resource drain."

As an example, the coalition cited the litigation against the company behind the LimeWire file-sharing network, which concluded this year with a federal district court ordering the company to shut down the network. The coalition wrote that though the four largest recording companies prevailed in the case, "the LimeWire defendants were able to drag out the litigation for four years. Such massive civil cases do not provide a scalable solution to the full scope of the problem."

:stroy: Full story: c|net