Hiding an asinine law in the lame-duck senate sessions.

During the senate's "lame-duck" session that begins this week, they might be about to vote on HR2391, the Intellectual Property Protection Act, a comprehensive bill that will make many users of peer-to-peer networks, digital-music players and other products criminally liable for copyright infringement. The bill also plans to undo centuries of "fair use" - the principle that gives people the right to use small samples of the works of others without having to ask permission or pay.
The bill lumps together several pending copyright bills including HR4077, the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act, which would criminally punish a person who "infringes a copyright by ... offering for distribution to the public by electronic means, with reckless disregard of the risk of further infringement." That vague language basically makes it illegal, for example, to use Apple iTunes or to even own an iPod.

But the best part is this : using technology to skip any commercials or promotional announcements would be prohibited. That means that everyone who owns a DVR or TiVO, who uses it to skip commercials, is going to become a criminal.

No - wait - that's actually not the best part. The best part is the inclusion of the "Induce" act whereby any technology manufacturer who manufactures a device which could induce someone to steal copyright, will be held accountable and charged with copyright theft. That includes VCRs, DVRs, video cameras, tape recorders, DVD recorders, CD recorders, and if you read the wooly wording, pencils and paper.

And finally, under the proposed law, people who bring a video camera into a movie theater to make a copy of the film for distribution would be imprisoned for three years. Well it's nice to see those terrorist criminals are going to be dealt with accordingly! After all it's not like there's any real problems in the world to worry about.

The person behind this bill is Republican Lamar Smith, from Texas, obviously. And who are the main supporters of this Bill? Who do you think? The RIAA and the MPAA, natrually. Satan's left- and right-hand organisations.

I can't believe that the Senate is seriously considering wasting their time on this Bill. It serves no purpose other than to vindicate the RIAA and MPAA, it's unpoliceable and it will alienate just about every electronics manufacturer and user.
Hell - if you go strictly by the word of the Induce Act, it's illegal to use your eyes to view a movie, remember it with your brain, then write about it afterwards. In fact, my copy/paste at the top of this entry from the Wired news site has basically made me a criminal now.

Will the RIAA and MPAA never learn? What is it going to take for these morons to finally figure it out?


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