Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah startled many people today when he suggested that destroying peoples' computers "may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights." Hatch is the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Legal experts say destroying a downloader's computer remotely is against federal anti-hacking laws. Hatch said copyright owners should get an exemption from such laws. He asked if there is a way users could get two warnings before wrecking computers.

Some say such exemptions are a liability because innocent downloaders could be affected. Hatch added: "If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we'd be interested in hearing about that."