April 23, 2006 6:00 AM PDT

Congress readies broad new digital copyright bill

For the last few years, a coalition of technology companies, academics and computer programmers has been trying to persuade Congress to scale back the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Now Congress is preparing to do precisely the opposite. A proposed copyright law seen by CNET News.com would expand the DMCA's restrictions on software that can bypass copy protections and grant federal police more wiretapping and enforcement powers.

The draft legislation, created by the Bush administration and backed by Rep. Lamar Smith, already enjoys the support of large copyright holders such as the Recording Industry Association of America. Smith, a Texas Republican, is the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees intellectual-property law.

A spokesman for the House Judiciary Committee said Friday that the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006 is expected to "be introduced in the near future." Beth Frigola, Smith's press secretary, added Monday that Wisconsin Republican F. James Sensenbrenner, chairman of the full House Judiciary Committee, will be leading the effort.

"The bill as a whole does a lot of good things," said Keith Kupferschmid, vice president for intellectual property and enforcement at the Software and Information Industry Association in Washington, D.C. "It gives the (Justice Department) the ability to do things to combat IP crime that they now can't presently do."

During a speech in November, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales endorsed the idea and said at the time that he would send Congress draft legislation. Such changes are necessary because new technology is "encouraging large-scale criminal enterprises to get involved in intellectual-property theft," Gonzales said, adding that proceeds from the illicit businesses are used, "quite frankly, to fund terrorism activities."

The 24-page bill is a far-reaching medley of different proposals cobbled together. One would, for instance, create a new federal crime of just trying to commit copyright infringement. Such willful attempts at piracy, even if they fail, could be punished by up to 10 years in prison.

It also represents a political setback for critics of expanding copyright law, who have been backing federal legislation that veers in the opposite direction and permits bypassing copy protection for "fair use" purposes. That bill--introduced in 2002 by Rep. Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat--has been bottled up in a subcommittee ever since.

A DMCA dispute
But one of the more controversial sections may be the changes to the DMCA. Under current law, Section 1201 of the law generally prohibits distributing or trafficking in any software or hardware that can be used to bypass copy-protection devices. (That section already has been used against a Princeton computer science professor, Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov and a toner cartridge remanufacturer.)

Smith's measure would expand those civil and criminal restrictions. Instead of merely targeting distribution, the new language says nobody may "make, import, export, obtain control of, or possess" such anticircumvention tools if they may be redistributed to someone else.

"It's one degree more likely that mere communication about the means of accomplishing a hack would be subject to penalties," said Peter Jaszi, who teaches copyright law at American University and is critical of attempts to expand it.

Even the current wording of the DMCA has alarmed security researchers. Ed Felten, the Princeton professor, told the Copyright Office last month that he and a colleague were the first to uncover the so-called "rootkit" on some Sony BMG Music Entertainment CDs--but delayed publishing their findings for fear of being sued under the DMCA. A report prepared by critics of the DMCA says it quashes free speech and chokes innovation.

The SIIA's Kupferschmid, though, downplayed concerns about the expansion of the DMCA. "We really see this provision as far as any changes to the DMCA go as merely a housekeeping provision, not really a substantive change whatsoever," he said. "They're really to just make the definition of trafficking consistent throughout the DMCA and other provisions within copyright law uniform."

The SIIA's board of directors includes Symantec, Sun Microsystems, Oracle, Intuit and Red Hat.

Jessica Litman, who teaches copyright law at Wayne State University, views the DMCA expansion as more than just a minor change. "If Sony had decided to stand on its rights and either McAfee or Norton Antivirus had tried to remove the rootkit from my hard drive, we'd all be violating this expanded definition," Litman said.

The proposed law scheduled to be introduced by Rep. Smith also does the following:

• Permits wiretaps in investigations of copyright crimes, trade secret theft and economic espionage. It would establish a new copyright unit inside the FBI and budgets $20 million on topics including creating "advanced tools of forensic science to investigate" copyright crimes.

• Amends existing law to permit criminal enforcement of copyright violations even if the work was not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

• Boosts criminal penalties for copyright infringement originally created by the No Electronic Theft Act of 1997 from five years to 10 years (and 10 years to 20 years for subsequent offenses). The NET Act targets noncommercial piracy including posting copyrighted photos, videos or news articles on a Web site if the value exceeds $1,000.

• Creates civil asset forfeiture penalties for anything used in copyright piracy. Computers or other equipment seized must be "destroyed" or otherwise disposed of, for instance at a government auction. Criminal asset forfeiture will be done following the rules established by federal drug laws.

• Says copyright holders can impound "records documenting the manufacture, sale or receipt of items involved in" infringements.

Jason Schultz, a staff attorney at the digital-rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says the recording industry would be delighted to have the right to impound records. In a piracy lawsuit, "they want server logs," Schultz said. "They want to know every single person who's ever downloaded (certain files)--their IP addresses, everything."

CNET News.com's Anne Broache contributed to this report.

See more CNET content tagged:
DMCA, copyright law, intellectual property, copy protection, legislation

170 comments

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Here we go again
Just when you think they can't take this kind of thing any further
Posted by David Turner (114 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Its the GOVERMENT trying to brainwash america
They do it every day. Trying to convince us this war is about Terror, when its ALL ABOUT OIL.

Plain and simple..its reach people trying to get richer, by taking money from the poor people and the people that are capabaly of seeing past the crap the goverment wants the people of what used to be a great country, to believe.

I dont steal from the poor to better myself...thats why i am democrat. I hate H.Clinton and have no want what so ever to give all my money away to deadbeats. So dont even bother coming back with that crap. come up with a better defense. I want what is best for the people and Republicans ARENT IT
Posted by Zupek (85 comments )
Link Flag
Typo on story
"The draft legislation, created by the Bush administration and backed by Rep. Lamar Smith, already enjoys the support of large copyright holders such as the Recording Industry Association of America."

There's an extra "r" in the second word of that sentence.

Jim
Posted by poster48150 (167 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Toolbox (NT)
.
Posted by Gerald Quaglia (72 comments )
Link Flag
Wow - This is garbage
What is with this government? They always use the same two tired excuses to pass any bill they want. Terrorism and child pornography. They can pass any sort of spying law as long as they say it's to combat one of those fields. Funny, they never provide solid evidence or examples of how these bills would allow them to hinder either of them. It's basically just like an automatic excuse. "Um, yeah, we're going to do more illegal wiretapping because, uh, yeah terrorists.", so then people say "Okay!" Honestly, who wants go to up against an excuse of terrorism or child pornography? "I don't want to be a terrorist, so I wont say anything." That's why the government chooses those lame excuses to fatten their pockets and restrict our rights even more every single time and IT KEEPS WORKING. Well I say screw that! We all need to stand up and say: this is trash and not allow this crap to get passed. Remember, the government works for us, we don't work for the government and protecting the interests of the few is not the way things should be done.

Just my two cents :-D
Posted by PJDJ (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I agree
I'll we writing my congressmen expressing my concerns about this
proposed bill. Everyone should do the same.
Posted by vchmielewski (59 comments )
Link Flag
This IS garbage
yes, the gov't is doing this to protect us from the terrorists and child pornography...right...the gov't cannot even stop child pornography in their own organization and now they need to branch out to us? Apparently thats how things get done in the gov't now... "We need to make gasoline $3 a gallon because the terrorists and the child pornographers need to be stopped!" "By raising the prices of gasoline we will stop the pornographers from driving their cars as well as the terrorists because they will be too poor to get to their destination!" so the gov't sees this as rational and a bill becomes approved...brilliant! so thats how gov't works timmy...
Posted by krushyou (92 comments )
Link Flag
RIGHT ON
you are Right
they are Wrong
F. the lies
I want proof
People need to stand up and DEMAND PROOF before these kinds
of things are allowed. "Oh, we can't because the terrorists will
(whatever)" BS! If there's so many terrorists all around, why
don't we hear about them?
There's still a lot of time left in the Bush term, so we need to
protect our rights by questioning every new legislation that
takes away any rights. Demand proof of why the "new
protections" are needed.
Posted by booboo1243 (328 comments )
Link Flag
That is lame
That is a lame idea. Where is the consumer protection. We have rights too, not just the money stealing music industry. What good are MP3 and other players if we cannot use them with the music Cds we buy. Time to vote all current Congress members out of office if that even gets one vote cause they took money to pass it.
Posted by lotw_1 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
No bill# ?
"A proposed copyright law seen by CNET News.com "

This part makes think this article isn't exactly on solid ground.

The EFF has no info about this new bill on their site, and there is no bill # in the article to lookup for more information about it.

How can you write to your senator's about something if you don't even have the Bill # to reference?

I say shenanagins and FUD until something more concrete is given here.
Posted by DJ-Panic (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
There's no bill number because it hasn't been introduced yet...
Dear DJ:

You make multiple false assumptions. First, you assume that draft legislation that has not been introduced yet has a bill number (it doesn't). Second, you assume that something isn't real unless it appears on EFF's web site (also untrue, and silly to boot). The article quoted EFF's position on this, anyway, so that should be good enough for you. Third, you didn't read the article closely enough to realize that Gonzales has been talking about this for a while:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.cbsi.com/Justice+Dept.+pushes+stiffer+antipiracy+laws/2100-1028_3-5944612.html" target="_newWindow">http://news.cbsi.com/Justice+Dept.+pushes+stiffer+antipiracy+laws/2100-1028_3-5944612.html</a>
Posted by declan00 (848 comments )
Link Flag
Congress serves Mammon
Congress is controlled by monied interests. It always has been. So when industry lobbying groups come knockin', Congress bends over and says, "Give it to me! We'll do anything you want!"
Posted by stmon99 (32 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Copyright on viruses
Would this law make anti-virus activity illegal? I can just see it
now. Symantec in court defending it's reverse engineering of the
latest virus against the DMCA.

:-)
Posted by msiskin (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Only if the virus writer is filthy rich ...
... like Sony.
Posted by hadaso (468 comments )
Link Flag
Unconstitutional
"The draft legislation, created by the Bush administration [http://...|http://...]"

According to the Constitution of the United States, the executive
branch of the United States government cannot introduce bills in
congress. If the excerp quoted above is correct, then this situation
can be compared to the 2000 elections, when the judiciary branch
overstepped its Constitutional rights and decided the outcome of
the Presidential race.
Posted by publius1 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
*snrk*
Welcome to America, land of the Republicans.

Excuse me, I need to catch a flight to Canada.
Posted by nickymccloud (2 comments )
Link Flag
The president writes it, the congressman introduces it
You are of course correct that the president can not introduce legislation. Careful reading of the C/Net story says the legislations was "drafted" by the administration, but will be "introduced" by congressman Smith. The story was correct.

This happens all the time. Congressmen of the incumbent presidents party always introduce legislation on behalf of their president.

Congratulations to Declan McCullagh on a well written, thought provoking, article. Great reporting!
Posted by Don_Dodge (64 comments )
Link Flag
GOP - Lap Dog of Big Business
With the Republican Party controlling The Presidency, Congress, and The Supreme Court, whatever big business wants, big business gets. The fundemental philosophy of the Republican party is "screw the consumer".
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Democrats are saints?
If you think the Democrat Party are any different then you're being suckered. Washington D.C. is one big Good Cop/Bad Cop game. The only solution is to clean house...vote them all out and fire the unelected bureaucrats at all the bogus government agencies who use our money to maintain their gravy train no matter who's in power. Of course this will never happen, because the vast majority are comfortable with a false dichotomy.
Posted by converter42 (10 comments )
Link Flag
What year are you living in? Last time I looked, the Democrats control both the house and senate. When it comes to corporate pacs, there are lap dogs on both sides of the aisle.
Posted by ncgmcpherson (19 comments )
Link Flag
Will Microsoft have to follow the new laws?
Will Microsoft have to follow the new laws? After all, they've either bought, copied, reversed engineered, and drove out of business other companies and their products.

Examples: DOS, they bought that, and for peanuts. Windows, they copied both Apple and Xerox on that. The Windows layout was never copyrighted. Stacker, a disk compression program, they copied that, lost when sued, and then bought them out. The BEOS operating system, they drove them out of business, was sued and lost in court, and had to pay millions.

Microsoft has an on staff collection of lawyers. I'm sure they still research the copyrights and patents on products, then weigh in the costs of either buying, copying, or the penelties when sued, or if the company, whose product(s) they've copied, would, or even could sue them in court.

I don't know of anything that Microsoft came up with, from scratch. It's always been someone else's ideas that Microsoft built upon, which they've been very successful at.
Posted by GoHack1 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft?
This has little to do with Microsoft. But I don't disagree with your other points.

We have seen how the government (mis)handled dealing with Microsoft's misbehavior, so the only viable solution is a general boycott of their products. Spread the word!
Posted by freemarket--2008 (5058 comments )
Link Flag
tired of ms bashing
It's not that I disagree. But you made the point that Microsoft has been sued and lost over copyright issues. Thus they have not been held exempt from copyright laws. No reason to think they will be in the future.

As to the string of infringement you have alleged, the more fitting accusation is monopolistic and anticompetitive practices.
Posted by Xalorous (24 comments )
Link Flag
When will they get it?
When will politicians finally understand that copyright infringment shouldn't even BE a criminal offence. In my opinion, it should be, just like patent disputes, a matter of civil law, not criminal. If I decide to download a pirate copy of my favorite game/O.S./movie/ whatever, society as a whole is not wronged or at risk.
The only people who "lose" money here are the movie company or the software publisher.
Therefore, I fail to understand why congress is ready to even consider passing a bill that would put people in jail for 10 years just because of copyright infringement (hey, that's more than what some felons who committed assault get).
Posted by damienlittre (33 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Haha, you must be kidding...
They'll "get it" when they stop lining their pockets. The only reason the government is getting in on this is because if it were a civil matter, the government wouldn't get money from the entertainment industry to protect their creations.
Posted by nickymccloud (2 comments )
Link Flag
bad reasoning
Stop using convoluted reasoning to justify your behavior. Under that type of reasoning, burglary wouldn't be considered a criminal offense since society at large isn't at risk. After all, if a burglar steals your TV, stereo and computer, you're the only one who's lost money, right? Heck, that could be an economic boon, a benefit to society because you'd have to go out and buy replacements, right?

When are people going to get it? Theft is theft. Doesn't matter whether you appropriate your neighbor's car, a stranger's TV, or intellectual property. Taking it without payment or permission is stealing.
Posted by laurapwriter (6 comments )
Link Flag
Society not at risk?
"If I decide to download a pirate copy of my favorite game/O.S./movie/ whatever, society as a whole is not wronged or at risk."

Sorry, I have to take issue with that. A culture of piracy is a culture that kills creativity. How many new creative ideas do you see coming out of China these days? Not many considering the size, education, and technical expertise of the Chinese population.

It's like bootleg liquor. Taking a drink didn't impact society, but the organised crime that sprang up to supply those drinks was a catastrophy.

Who is going to sit down and write a novel, let alone make a movie, if they are never going to get paid for doing it? Unless you want such people retained by the state like the "People's Artists" of the Soviet Union, you need some sort of copyright enforcement. Leaving it to civil law means letting the fat cats win every time. A law that isn't enforced is a waste of time.
Posted by A.Sinic (13 comments )
Link Flag
Those naughty terrists are gonna get us
&gt;Gonzales said, adding that proceeds from the illicit businesses
&gt;are used, "quite frankly, to fund terrorism activities.

Oh really. Had to throw the old "but what about the terrists?" in
there. These SOBs will use that card to justify anything. He
forgot to mention the overwhelming role that $73 per barrel oil
plays in funding the terrists. He is either the most ignorant man
alive (were talking Lois Lane ignorant here) or an evil
Machiavellian liar. Either way, there is no excuse to have
someone like him as the US attorney general.

Vote Democrat in November.
Posted by Mystigo (183 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What - they couldn't mention kiddie porn too?
I was surprised that nobody managed to sow more fear by claiming feral gangs of kiddie porn producing copyright violators were gearing up to Steal Your Children. Still, they managed to squeeze terrorism in there, at least one hot button to push to make it easy to say "people who are against this love terrorism!"

Hell, a handbasket and the USA sure seem to have a lot in common these days.
Posted by lorcro2000 (71 comments )
Link Flag
RIP USA
Benjamin Franklin said it true that "those willing to trade security for freedom deserve neither." Our once great democracy has been compromised by fear mongering in Washington. I can no longer walk the streets or conduct my own business without fear of someone watching my every move all in the name of security. Terrorism has won. Fear reigns supreme. The once great bastion of freedom and democracy is no more.

Congress and the Bush administration keep trampling our rights because they are despots. They are ****** that depend upon the likes of the entertainment industry to keep their pockets lined. The citizenry has no say in a government that refuses to listen. Democracy, in that case, is dead.
Posted by MythicalMe (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
10 years in prison. for violating the GPL ...
Violation of the GPL or other open source or Creative Commons license is copyright infringement like any other kind of copyright infringement. If what's wtitten in the article is true even an attempt to violate the GPL would be punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

If 'copyright holders can impound "records documenting the manufacture, sale or receipt of items involved in" infringements' then the FSF would be able to do it with records related in violations of the GPL, including the source code of closed source applications suspected in violationg the GPL.

It works both ways.

Now tools should be made to protect open source software from being used in ways that are inconsistent with their licenses, so that DRM software/hardware that interferes with their function would enter the legal definition of what is not allowed by the new expanded DMCA. If redistribution is interfered with in any way the permisions granted by an open source license become void, and the tool that allows copying the software in this condition is trying to bypass the limitations that were set by the copyright owner. So it seems to me that these new laws in the right circumstances would make DRM tools into copyright protection circumvention tools.
Posted by hadaso (468 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Interesting...
I like your double-edged-sword thinking!

Under this expansion, First4Internet would have gone to jail and possibly SonyBMG for being co-conspirators.
Posted by epp_b (1 comment )
Link Flag
Migration is a solution ...
Several hundred years ago people that could not find enough freedom to excercise their beliefs have left Europe and migrated to North America were they found freedom.

Perhaps it's time for another migration...
Posted by hadaso (468 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's time...
Government is completely out of control. We have a president that consistently talks out of both sides of his smirk, that invades countries based on hopes (as in - they have WMD - yep, they sure do... I hope!) rather than evidence. Congress can't do crap anymore because the idea of a middle ground has been lost, the Supreme Court is being stacked by politicos, the executive branch and special interests are writing substantial legislation that affects EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN. The rest of the world hates our government and has no respect for the American people because we refuse to take back control of our government. Plans are underfoot to begin (or continue) jailing journalists that refuse to identify their sources when it's a government leak and then... this kind of news. We are becoming a fascist police state and we are LETTING IT HAPPEN.

Don't vote Republican this year or in 2008. Don't vote Democrat this year or in 2008.

VOTE INCUMBENTS (even the ones you like) OUT OF OFFICE. One way or another, we need change.
Posted by scottdavidlowe (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
this new copyright bill concerns me
I think your right about what you just said. I feel like that we as americans should think about voicoting every thing. We should go back to liveing like as people did before the advint of computers and tech. that means go back to our roots. that means live as the people did in the western days. We need to leave moderen scosity. We need to just let them do what they want and be nutral as like the aumish.
Posted by gumpman155 (19 comments )
Link Flag
What we really need...
is a 'None of the Above' entry on ALL ballots in this country. Eventually we might find someone who doesn't turn our stomaches to vote for.
Posted by freemarket--2008 (5058 comments )
Link Flag
One More Nail
This is just one more nail in the coffin of the US media and software industries. They don't know it yet but they are committing slow suicide. About 10 more years and it will be no more. No longer the world pervasive cultural influence that it once was.

Information, communication and the internet needs to be open and free, and other countries will develop a model to sustain these entertainment industries without copyright. Just one more industry that will go offshore, because it refused to adapt. (ghost town Hollywood)
Posted by bigpicture (145 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This is just one more nail in the coffin of the US media and software industries. They don't know it yet but they are committing slow suicide. About 10 more years and it will be no more. No longer the world pervasive cultural influence that it once was. Information, communication and the internet needs to be open and free, and other countries will develop a model to sustain these entertainment industries without copyright. Just one more industry that will go offshore, because it refused to adapt. (ghost town Hollywood)
<strong><a href="http://www.shoptiffanysilver.com/">tiffany necklace</a></strong>
Read more: http://news.cnet.com/2100-1028_3-6064016.html?part=rss&tag=6064016&subj=news&refresh=1286507350477#ixzz11jXcNZmu
Posted by xiaqingh1989 (2 comments )
Link Flag
Death to the Fair Use and ownership rules
Death to the fair use and ownership rules, including the rights to resell your property!

Ultimately force all consumers to upgrade to locked systems, just to view the contents, and if you sell it, the next owner has to repurchase the rights and keys for additional fees and charges, just the type of dream machines that control freaks like Howard Stringer at SONY central, will foist upon us all in the not too distant future!

Need one say more, congress weenies!, selling out our rights for one cent in the dollar, thanks guys for showing your true yellow colors to all, if you vote for this crap!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If you don't like it, do something
A few years ago, before Comcast bought TechTV and gutted it, I
was a regular viewer of The Screensavers. It was there that I first
heard about the EFF. After quite a bit of research, I decided that
they were worth supporting and I've been a member ever since.

If you don't like what's going on, you might want to check them
out. <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.eff.org" target="_newWindow">http://www.eff.org</a>
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
bitter irony
For a country based in freedoms we sure do pass a lot of laws taking those same freedoms away.
Posted by SeizeCTRL (1333 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Based in freedoms?
Hmm. American talks a lot about being based on freedom, but the evidence is a little shaky.

Freedom to drive native Americans off the land which they had been legally granted in treaties with the British?

Freedom to trade and keep human slaves?

Freedom to witch-hunt people for association with possible communists?

I really love America, but if you think that Freedom has ever been the real driving force, you need to take off the rose tinted glasses. Like EVERY other country, American is founded on "What's best for us" (and usually that means best for the ruling class).
Posted by A.Sinic (13 comments )
Link Flag
Based in freedoms?
Hmm. American talks a lot about being based on freedom, but the evidence is a little shaky.

Freedom to drive native Americans off the land which they had been legally granted in treaties with the British?

Freedom to trade and keep human slaves?

Freedom to witch-hunt people for association with possible communists?

I really love America, but if you think that Freedom has ever been the real driving force, you need to take off the rose tinted glasses. Like EVERY other country, American is founded on "What's best for us" (and usually that means best for the ruling class).
Posted by A.Sinic (13 comments )
Link Flag
Money and more Greed
Record labels, management and all, are already living the lifestye most of us will never dream to fathom. In my opinion, this "war" against illegal downloading as they call it is a bunch of crap. For me, and most people I know, downloads are simply to just to chill and listen to a bit of music or what ever,just like Radio, only without the commercials. If I am a die hard fan of any artist I buy their Cd's not cause it the right thing but because original's normally have more info on the artist, and it's worth paying for.I've never met anyone who really is a fan and don't have original CD's.
I got a few questions for you guys:
Who invented the internet? Who invented CD DVD burners and blank CD and DVD's? what about mp3? First they make all this great stuff but now they are saying, of no, it's illegal to use it? If this is the case, then that was their plan for the begining, cause any idiot knows, what good is a CD burner if you can't burn music? Similarly, they say DVD's are only to burn home movies, so what then, CD's are to burn home music? noone, nor myself what's to hear me sing, trust me.
It's all a big money scam to lure people who in essence would not even buy CD's to begin with to get them to pay for it all.
All the studies about CD sales falling are also nonsence, cause I dont see any Artist's living on welfare, do you? and have they taken into consideraing a large number of people went from buying legal CD to downloading legally?
If everone paid for every single download, the music biz would turn from a milti billion dollar industry to the multi- Trillion dollar industry, and that's what they want.


Money
- the more you got, the more you want.
Posted by revelation2us (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
10 years for $1000? !!!
Did I read it right? The penalty for re-posting a copyrighted news story "worth $1000" could be punishible by 10 years in prison!!!

Something's very wrong here. The punishment is WAY out of line with the crime.
Posted by GTOfan (33 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Time to rid us of Republicans
Looks like it's time to voet Demorat. The Republican extremists have gone too far again. They won't stop until all our civil liberties are gone. How about a brainscan to see if we have been thinking of copyright infringement?
Posted by GrandpaN1947 (187 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Aren't RIAA/MPAA == Democrats?
Aren't some of the labels and artists of RIAA/MPAA Democrats?
Posted by jeolmeun (49 comments )
Link Flag
No, Politicians and bureaucrats are the problem
No, Politicians and bureaucrats are the problem.

There is no distinguishable difference between the majority of the Democrats and the majority of the Republicans.

They are all Liberals who only desire to enlarge the power and authority of the State. They aspire to be viewed as the 21st Century versions of Lenin and Marx.

Remember, if you pass a huge number of laws then you can better control the people because when you have that many laws, someone will always be in violation of at least one so you always have cause to arrest anyone.
Posted by jimkress_35 (5 comments )
Link Flag
Time to rid us of Republicans
Looks like it's time to vote Demorat. The Republican extremists have gone too far again. They won't stop until all our civil liberties are gone. How about a brainscan to see if we have been thinking of copyright infringement?
Posted by GrandpaN1947 (187 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Time for change, but...
the Democritters are no better than the Republicrats. If we voters are serious about changing things we will get rid of the vast majority from both major parties and only elect people committed to the restoration of our Constitution. Very few of our legislators have shown the slightest concern for it, except when it can be construed to mean what they want it to mean. I sometimes wonder if these people can even read! Dear fellow voters, I implore you: study the Constitution *as it was written*, and the Bill of Rights. Then when some dingbat politician ignores it, campaign against him and work to get him voted out of office. I don't care what label they wear, Democrat, Republican, Independent, whatever... they've taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. Those who work to destroy it should be tried for treason, and traitors should not be excused.
Posted by alphtoo (16 comments )
Link Flag
No, Politicians and bureaucrats are the problem.
No, Politicians and bureaucrats are the problem.

There is no distinguishable difference between the majority of the Democrats and the majority of the Republicans.

They are all Liberals who only desire to enlarge the power and authority of the State. They aspire to be viewed as the 21st Century versions of Lenin and Marx.

Remember, if you pass a huge number of laws then you can better control the people because when you have that many laws, someone will always be in violation of at least one so you always have cause to arrest anyone.
Posted by jimkress_35 (5 comments )
Link Flag
these so-called "republicans"
Anything is better than a village idiot and his money-grubbing cronies pandering to big business, at the expense of civil liberties! Unfortunately a lot of the damage has already been done - I hope all the past-republican voters have realized their ignorance and stupidity and are ready to vote for a change in course!
Posted by AJCAL (4 comments )
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America - land of the free
America, land of the free, a land where guns are legal but a copy of DeCSS can get you 10 years in jail.

Over here we had a rapist let out after less than a year. It sounds like the legal system really has a priority problem.
Posted by bugmenot (10 comments )
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Land of the free - yeah right
The USA has the worlds highest imprisonment ratio per 100k people, and the amount of people in jail numbers in the millions. Still, this is all about money. A rapist may be a big problem for the rapee, but the politicians couldn't care less. They can't cash in on making rapists pay...
Posted by lorcro2000 (71 comments )
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