full article: http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9719339-7.html (news.com)
Apparently everyones favorite utterly inept (or completely corrupt, take your pick), attorney general wants congress to enact some new IP copywrite laws. lets take a look at some of the real beauties here.
" * Criminalize "attempting" to infringe copyright. Federal law currently punishes not-for-profit copyright infringement with between 1 and 10 years in prison, but there has to be actual infringement that takes place. The IPPA would eliminate that requirement. (The Justice Department's summary of the legislation says: "It is a general tenet of the criminal law that those who attempt to commit a crime but do not complete it are as morally culpable as those who succeed in doing so.") "
Why is this one so bad? well, what constitutes "attempting" to infringe on IP copywrites? clicking a link to download a movie? clinking a link you thought was to a review of a movie? this is one step away from thought crime. "you were thinking about clinking that link, therefore you go to jail". rubbish.
" * Permit more wiretaps for piracy investigations. Wiretaps would be authorized for investigations of Americans who are "attempting" to infringe copyrights. "
combine this with the "anyone using any real amount of bandwidth must be downloading movies illegally" argument and you get the feds listening in on every interent connection in the states. if they aren't already. i should write a packet filter that looks for "terror-related" material, then sell it to the feds. meh they probably have one already.
"* Add penalties for "intended" copyright crimes. Certain copyright crimes currently require someone to commit the "distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period of at least 10 copies" valued at more than $2,500. The IPPA would insert a new prohibition: actions that were "intended to consist of" distribution. "
oh here we go, actual thought crime. cool.
"* Require Homeland Security to alert the Recording Industry Association of America. That would happen when CDs with "unauthorized fixations of the sounds, or sounds and images, of a live musical performance" are attempted to be imported. Neither the Motion Picture Association of America nor the Business Software Alliance (nor any other copyright holder, such as photographers, playwrights or news organizations, for that matter) would qualify for this kind of special treatment. "
what? why the hell should the department of homeland security report anything to any commerical orginization? don't these guys have better shit to do??
and finally my favorite:
"* Create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software. Anyone using counterfeit products who "recklessly causes or attempts to cause death" can be imprisoned for life. During a conference call, Justice Department officials gave the example of a hospital using pirated software instead of paying for it. "
thats life in prison for using pirated software. but don't worry, in order for you to wind up in jail for your stolen version of windows, you have to kill someone with it. or "recklessly cause or attempt to cause death". here's a couple ways this could happen to you:
1) because you didnt pay for your windows, your outlook is broken. you don't get an alert to go perform brain surgery on your patient, who dies.
2) a pirated version of photoshop running on your machine produces pictures so horrendous, onlooker's heads explode.
3) a stolen video game is so realistic, you die in real life too. of course, thats more of a suicide.
i mean in all seriousness, how the hell can you kill someone with a piece of software? and if you manage to do that, why in gods name does it matter that the software was pirated?? if through some brilliance you can kill someone with a version of windows, does it really make any damn difference how you got your hands on that version of windows? People who shoot people don't get life cause they stole the gun. The only way i can think to kill someone with acrobat is to lodge the cd in their throat, which is death by cd, not software. this whole thing is completely absurd.
so why's it happenin?
movie and record labels apparently have a lot of lobbying power. big surprise there.
in any case, its kinda like prohibition. you can try to make this stuff illegal, it will just mean that most americans are breaking the law.