Tough laws to protect the entertainment industry from copyright abuse online is bad for business and the economy, argues a special report from Washington.

The Committee for Economic Development is a business-focused US policy group. The report argues that by allowing the expansion of the number of restrictions the entertainment industry has available to it, consumer rights and business are adversely affected.

The report explains: "While copying and downloading of digital content does indeed represent a threat to the economic interests of content providers, the extent of the problem is still not clear. Policymakers and the parties involved must realize that hastily enacted laws and regulations could have unintended consequences and slow the pace of innovation and economic growth."

The New York Times states the group observed: "These problems – perfect copies of high-value digital works being transmitted instantly around the world at almost no cost – require clear, concentrated thinking, rather than quick legislative or regulatory action,"

"Innovation has always driven American companies. The Committee for Economic Development is a public policy group led by business leaders, and we are concerned about any roadblocks to innovation. Logical and fair solutions to the intellectual property rights challenges presented by the digital world are needed to ensure that this issue does not severely hamper economic growth," said Charles Kolb, CED's president.

The report argues for a more liberal middle ground between consumer and business rights and those of the copyright holders.

The group wants a two-year moratorium on copyright law changes to allow for more debate.