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] 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... [and] 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."
"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."
So do a google search about how to copy a DVD, get your computer smashed with a sledgehammer and stuck in prison for 10 years. Seems fair.
Why do we need these "improvements" to copyright law? "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."
Oh right, terrorism. I almost forgot, Bin Laden raised the funds for 9/11 by pirating Disney DVDs.