Gonzalez wants to criminalize attempted copyright infringement:
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is pressing the U.S. Congress to enact a sweeping intellectual-property bill that would increase criminal penalties for copyright infringement, including “attempts” to commit piracy.
“To meet the global challenges of IP crime, our criminal laws must be kept updated,” Gonzales said during a speech before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington on Monday.
What is an attempt to commit copyright infringement exactly? And why are Republicans pushing for these draconian copyright protections? Most of the people who benefit from these are core Democrat constituencies.
I’ll put my biases here up front, I believe in much weaker copyright laws than we currently have, but I also don’t think this is good politics for the Republicans. Also, we have this:
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.
In addition, it’s also calling for expanded civil asset forfeiture for DMCA violations. It also requires the RIAA to be notified by homeland security “when CDs with ‘unauthorized fixations of the sounds, or sounds and images, of a live musical performance’ are attempted to be imported.” I guess because terrorists aren’t as big a threat to the American way of life as copyright infringers. Seriously, when college kids who copied a song start getting thrown in federal prison for years, and have their lives ruined, something has gone horribly off the rails. I can’t blame Gonzalez for enforcing the laws Congress has already passed, even though I don’t agree with them, but asking for more is simply unconscionable.
It is time for Gonzalez to go.
3 thoughts on “Gonzalez Sucks Round II”
big media conglomerates are leftist entities now? are you sure those drugs you’re taking aren’t blue pills or something?
MPAA and RIAA have long ties to the Democratic party. Jack Valenti, former head of the MPAA was a ranking official in the Johnson Administration. Hillary Rosen was a consultant to the Democrats before joining RIAA. Other top Democrats, including Jenni Engebretsen, also work for RIAA. There’s also the fact that the entertainment industry tends to favor democrats by quite a margin in terms of funding.
Not that I think Republicans are paragons of virtue here either, but it seems to me this is one area they could be seen as sticking up for the little guy over big business, without too much cost in terms of political support or money.
Book publishers, major software corporations, and hardware (design and firmware) also favor strong copyright laws. There’s probably just too much money and interests for Republicans to safely ignore and expect to win. Plus, “profiting” is usually something the Republican party agrees is okay and why they want lower taxes.
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