Congress appears to be preparing assaults against peer-to-peer technology on multiple fronts. Details in a story I just filed for Wired News.
A draft bill recently circulated among members of the House judiciary committee would make it much easier for the Justice Department to pursue criminal prosecutions against file sharers by lowering the burden of proof.
The bill, obtained Thursday by Wired News, also would seek penalties of fines and prison time of up to ten years for file sharing.
In addition, on Thursday, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) introduced a bill that would allow the Justice Department to pursue civil cases against file sharers, again making it easier for law enforcement to punish people trading copyright music over peer-to-peer networks. They dubbed the bill "Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation Act of 2004," or the Pirate Act.
The bills come at a time when the music and movie industries are exerting enormous pressure on all branches of government at the federal and state levels to crack down on P2P content piracy. The industries also are pushing to portray P2P networks as dens of terrorists, child pornographers and criminals -- a strategy that would make it more palatable for politicians to pass laws against products that are very popular with their constituents.
In defending the Pirate Act, Hatch said the operators of P2P networks are running a conspiracy in which they lure children and young people with free music, movies and pornography. With these "human shields," the P2P companies are trying to ransom the entertainment industries into accepting their networks as a distribution channel and source of revenue.
to Wired News story. Read the full text of Senator Hatch's remarks describing children as "human shields against copyright owners and law enforcement agencies," and the "piracy machine designed to tempt them to engage in copyright piracy or pornography distribution," here
UPDATE: link to full text of the PIRATE Act here.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
If you are camping during rainy season, or just want a TSA-approved lighter, these plasma torches make perfect travel companions. These gas-free lighters create a small plasma beam that’s safer than butane to use and more environmentally friendly. It creates a super-hot, splashproof flame so you can get a campfire going, or have a smoke […]
If you don’t want to get stuck footing the bill for a hit and run, this dashboard-mounted camera offers up to 2K resolution to make sure you always have a reliable witness, and it’s available in the Boing Boing Store for 30% off it’s usual price.The PapaGo mounts unobtrusively to your windshield to see everything […]
While some people still maintain that everything in Apple’s walled garden “just works” and is immune to the rampant malware of the Windows world, the reality is different. The Mac’s growing market share has made it a much more viable target for malicious actors, and its built-in tools aren’t always enough to fix things. Drive […]