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Congress May Outlaw 'Attempted Piracy'

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-see-what-you-were-trying-to-do-there dept.

The Internet 768

cnet-declan writes "Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is asking Congress to make 'attempted' copyright infringement a federal crime. The text of the legislation as well as the official press-release is available online. Rep. Lamar Smith, a key House Republican, said he 'applauds' the idea, and his Democratic counterpart is probably on board too. In addition, the so-called Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007 would create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software in some circumstances, expand the DMCA with civil asset forfeiture, and authorize wiretaps in investigations of Americans who are 'attempting' to infringe copyrights. Does this go too far?"

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Why does the law punish attempts at all? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129387)

By definition "attempts" are unsuccessful acts. Why should the law punish attempts at all? Why punish people for things that never happened?

Re:Why does the law punish attempts at all? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129411)

Attempted Murder?

Re:Why does the law punish attempts at all? (5, Funny)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129437)

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!

Better question... (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129745)

...why the HELL hasn't Gonzales been fired yet?!?!?!

Several reasons. (2, Insightful)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129577)

Generally attempting to do something is nearly as bad as doing it- for instance, if I tried to murder you I don't think you'd want me to get away scott-free. Likewise, someone attempting to steal my car and getting busted by the police should be punished almost as badly (if not as badly) as someone who actually stole my car. The only saving grace an attempted criminal had is that they were too stupid to get away with it.

Re:Why does the law punish attempts at all? (4, Insightful)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129615)

An attempt doesn't mean that the act was unsuccessful, it simply means that it was tried [m-w.com] . Success or failure are not part of the word (although legally, failure is usually implied).

And as one person said, attempted crimes are often persecuted, with murder as a clear example. Robbery is another.

I'd laugh if I saw this plea in court:
"Yeah I tried to rob the store, but the cop stopped me! Let me go free, I didn't actually do that"

Re:Why does the law punish attempts at all? (3, Informative)

mspohr (589790) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129735)

My credit card number was stollen (by an employee of a bricks and mortar store) and used to buy a bunch of cheap clothing at JC Penny. The credit card company was suspicious and called me for verification. I told them it wasn't me, etc. They canceled the transaction. I asked if they would prosecute the person who stole my card number and they said they couldn't because there was no 'use' of the number, only an attempt which was not a crime.

Re:Why does the law punish attempts at all? (1)

RiskyChris (999242) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129629)

Attempt implies intent. If one intended to commit a crime but failed, one should be punished so that ultimately it would be less likely to be attempted in the future.

Re:Why does the law punish attempts at all? (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129637)

Well if it's something like attempted murder, then most people probably don't want to run the risk of them trying again and succeeding next time.

Culpability (1)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129675)

To be convicted of a crime, you must be culpable (ie. you should have known better). If you're not culpable, you're not convicted, even though it happened.

Conversely, if you are culpable, you can be convicted of a crime even if it didn't happen. Seems fair to me.

Two Words: "Attempted Murder" (1)

CheeseburgerBrown (553703) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129679)

Do you think somebody who tried to kill you but muffed the job should be let free to take another stab at it?

Re:Why does the law punish attempts at all? (2)

Rukie (930506) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129699)

The laws on copyright infringement are ridiculous. I understand if you are making a profit stolen ideas, like stealing the clap on idea and making money on it. But, for the average schmoe who steals a song, I think the punishment should be the same as the shoplifter. Ban computer access for a week or something, but dont' give me a 719085798 dollar fine!

Yes, these laws are going too far. American Congress is going too far. Where's our American Revolution that is supposed to happen every 100 years to keep the people straight?

Yes. (4, Interesting)

Concern (819622) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129391)

Does this go too far?

Yes, this goes too far.

I promise vehement grass roots activism to defeat any elected official, Republican, Democrat, or Independent, who gets anywhere near voting for this. Full stop.

This will not sneak by in the dead of night. We are watching. You are either against this violent insanity, or you are against the voters.

Re:Yes. (5, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129599)

I wouldn't lose any sleep over this bill. It's basically the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006 [wikipedia.org] (text [publicknowledge.org] ) reincarnated as the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007. Don't you see how much better the new version is? It's got 2007 in the name! Congress, therefore, MUST pass it this time! :-/

As far as I can tell, Congress didn't even care to look at, much less vote on it. The only difference this time is that the Attorney General is attempting to submit the law himself to give it more credibility. (It was previously backed by Rep. Lamar S. Smith (R) of Texas.) My hope is that it will end up in the same dustbin as the last attempt.

Re:Yes. (5, Interesting)

NeoPaladin394 (1044484) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129681)

Why is this guy still in office? Is he trying to pass as much law for his puppet masters as he can before the angry mobs get to him? This is ridiculous! I'm not surprised at all that the President backs this.

FTA:

"Currently certain copyright crimes require someone to commit the "distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of at least 10 copies" valued at over $2,500. The [Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007] would insert a new prohibition: actions that were 'intended to consist of' distribution."

So not only are we going to punish thought crime and what big brother thinks you're going to do, but this bill would even require Homeland Security to inform the RIAA and associated companies if one of us imports discs with "unauthorized fixations of the sounds or sounds and images of a live musical performance." Why don't we just reorganize the RIAA as another extension of the federal government? They're practically there anyway, and they'd be able to add an RIAA Piracy tax to our paychecks.

This does not bode well. This does not bode well at all. It would be interesting to see how current presidential candidates handle this proposition, but am I too jaded if I think it will never reach any debate podiums?

Re:Yes. (0)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129687)

Yes and no...
Making attempted infringement illegal is ok, IMO, because people have the right to make money off of their work if they want to.

That being said, WTF, life imprisonment? What the hell kind of copyright infringement could warrant that, let alone attempted?

Why yes. (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129397)

Yes, it does go too far.

Re:Why yes. (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129627)

Are you sure? did you check? Twice?

This is nothing if not expected. The software/media companies are the new oil, and they will go to huge lengths to protect their interests. oil companies have manipulated politics and law, hell, even wars, for decades, why should these new guys be any different? It's all about money and power, powerful drugs for the corporate junkies.

Next up, legislation to *require* you to purchase certain pieces of software if you own a home computer, or at the very least, to have certain software installed. This will be both a means of monitoring and a covert way to try and kill linux.

God I love conspiracies, pardon me, I need to go light up.

Lifetime Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129413)

"would create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software in some circumstances"

I dont know what circunstances are those, but yeah right any judge would sentence that.

Re:Lifetime Crime (5, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129467)

"would create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software in some circumstances"

I dont know what circunstances are those, but yeah right any judge would sentence that.


RTFA

The proposal increases the maximum penalties for 5 2320 offenses from 10 to 20 years imprisonment where the defendant knowingly or recklessly causes or attempts to cause serious bodily injury, and increases the maximum penalty to life imprisonment where the defendant knowingly or recklessly causes or attempts to cause death.


And exactly how is someone going to cause death while committing criminal copyright infringement?

Re:Lifetime Crime (5, Funny)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129539)

I don't know ... distributing Gigli and Battlefield Earth might be a start.

Re:Lifetime Crime (3, Funny)

AllahsAvatar (887555) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129543)

FTFA:
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.

Life in prison? (5, Insightful)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129415)

Yet murderers and rapist get out in less than 5-10. WTF is wrong with our society.

Re:Life in prison? (1)

Logan Payne (1009387) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129477)

Yeah I was about to say... That's pretty funny considering that felons who inflict far more damage get far less penalty. I think it could just be money talking.

Re:Life in prison? (5, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129479)

Murder victims tend to lack the money and legal bribery to get laws made in their favour. Money speaks and dead people don't :)

Re:Life in prison? (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129501)

Because you only kill a human being, not the revenue stream of a corporation clinging to outdated business models. What do you think this is, free market?

Re:Life in prison? (4, Interesting)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129525)

They didn't say life in prison, so much as they said that they want to trigger repeat offender status [e.g. three strikes]. I'm sure if you were convicted of murder a third time you'd definitely get life.

That said, I agree that it's absurd that we can even think of locking people up for life for copying bits. There are easier and more humane ways to go about this. For example, probation, being forbidden to own/operate a computer, etc.

You can still be a totally productive member of society without a computer. Being locked up in a cell is hardly productive.

Tom

Re:Life in prison? (1)

dattaway (3088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129709)

For example, probation, being forbidden to own/operate a computer, etc.

This is funny. OK, mom. I won't use the computer. I promise!

Re:Life in prison? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129545)

First degree murderers get out in 5-10? I'd hate to live in your state. Thanks for the "not tough enough on crime" FUD.

RTFA (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129551)

Increase the maximum penalty for counterfeiting offenses
from 10 years to 20 years imprisonment where the defendant knowingly
or recklessly causes or attempts to cause serious bodily injury, and
increase the maximum penalty to life imprisonment where the defendant
knowingly or recklessly causes or attempts to cause death;

Re:Life in prison? (1)

Lord Sigma (781484) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129669)

The reason murderers and rapists get out in 5-10 and we are about to get life sentences for using pirated software is because our country is run by corporations. The rape or murder of an individual is not something a corporation worries about. Even if the victim is someone from within the corporation itself. What does worry corporations of loss of possible revenue. As corporations exist only to make money and gain power, anything that jeopardizes this will cause them to take action. Anything that does not affect the bottom line they don't care about.

Re:Life in prison? (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129705)

Easy solution... kill the first law enforcement orrificer who comes to arrest you. :p

I think it's fair (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129417)

"Does this go too far?"

No, I don't think so. Piracy is become rampant in today's world, and the government stepping up to make harsher penalties is fine by me. Piracy costs businesses money, as well as making it unfair to people who actually purchase legitimate goods.

But feel free to mod me down for a "wrong" opinion on slashdot, even though it's clear moderation abuse.

Re:I think it's fair (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129463)

It's assinine to make someone do time over Metallica or Halo.

It doesn't matter what sort of Puritanical worldview such eggregious crimes violate.

Piracy costs businesses money (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129529)

Piracy save a huge amount more businesses money that the number of businesses it cost money

Re:I think it's fair (2, Informative)

jkgamer (179833) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129691)

And if the RIAA mistakenly applies an IP address to you, its OK with you for law enforcement to break down your door and seize all of your computer equipment and software without ever charging you for a crime? We do that now when we suspect illegal drugs. Soon US law enforcement will do so because Microsoft 'suspects' that you are using a 'bogus' copy of Windows.

"What are you in for?"
"I downloaded Puff the Magic Dragon MP3 off the internet. Stay away from me mother @#^*@. I'm a bad ass."

Re:I think it's fair (1)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129697)

Piracy costs businesses money.

I'll feed you.

Fuck businesses. I'm so sick of greed-fueled policy to the exclusion of all else. We have problems with education, poverty, racism, disease, global warming, renewable energy, terrorism, and a host of other pressing issues. And yet, the God approved Constitutional right to make money trumps it all. How pathetic. We are doomed as a species --- and you know what? We deserve it.

An observation (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129419)

We have laws for attempted murder, rape, and arson so why not laws for attempted piracy. It sounds like a great idea to me and anyone who does not support it is nothing more than a criminal trying to justify criminal behaviors and activities.

Re:An observation (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129581)

...all violent crimes. All common law crimes.

None of them have been invented or re-invented in the last 200 years to suit the needs of particular, limited business interests.

Someone else framed this in terms of "unfairness" and economic damage. That really isn't good enough for the sort of consequences being comtemplated.

wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129423)

So I guess this means Congress will be able to see into our souls and say "You intended to copy therefore you go to jail."

Re:wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129761)

Not only that but you were filled with hate when you did this making it a hate crime! That's 2 life in prison terms.

This is brilliant! (5, Insightful)

dudeman2 (88399) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129425)

Once life imprisonment for piracy is passed, the only safe software to use will be Free/Open Source.

Re:This is brilliant! (3, Insightful)

Howitzer86 (964585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129449)

Correct. Because the second your legally purchased version of Windows goes haywire and declares itself invalid - you are boned.

Re:This is brilliant! (1)

Zardog (685943) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129455)

Ummmm, not according to Microsoft and it's patents anymore....

Re:This is brilliant! (5, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129521)

This is more true than most people think. Do you keep receipts for all the software you buy? Can you prove you have a license? The only safe software will be Open Source and Free. Anything else could land you in jail, because you can't prove that you actuallly have a license. This is why I think more businesses should be using open source software. It makes it a lot easier to keep track of licenses.

Re:This is brilliant! (1)

Goofy73 (1075725) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129549)

This seems to coincide nicely with the story about MS saying that some open source project violates over 200 MS patents.

Pay the MS tax or go to jail for life... hmmm

Sounds like there is a lot of cock being sucked for this one.

Re:This is brilliant! (3, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129563)

Until that's made illegal too.

Yeah, I thought life imprisonment and civil forfeiture for an attempted crime was impossible, too. Stupid me.

Re:This is brilliant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129609)

No, according to Microsoft.... Linux & other OSS contain copyright infringing code so anyone attempting to use it should also go to jail.

except (4, Insightful)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129763)

Except that Microsoft and other companies are trying to create the presumption that any and all open source software violates someone's copyrights or patents.

Microsoft is almost certainly already lobbying for laws that will place strong legal burdens and liabilities on open source software, with the intent of making it impossible for any serious business to run open source software.

Crazy (5, Informative)

Judg3 (88435) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129439)

If you aren't yet a member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, now would be a real good time to start. http://www.eff.org/ [eff.org]

Absurd (2, Informative)

Mr_eX9 (800448) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129445)

I don't understand why Slashdot has to report on every bullshit bill that comes before congress.

Lifetime imprisonment for using software, pirated or not? Gimmie a break. This won't pass.

Re:Absurd (4, Insightful)

AP2k (991160) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129489)

You give Congress too much credit.

Re:Absurd (2, Informative)

Mr_eX9 (800448) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129749)

No, no I don't. Congress only actually approves a very small portion of the bills that are put before them (like, a few hundred out of tens of thousands.) Source: http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aa010899 .htm [about.com]

You start to wonder how any bills ever become laws. Fact of the matter is, not many do. The 105th Congress (1997-98) considered 13,882 pieces of legislation. A total of 354 became Public Laws.
So please take your ignorance somewhere else.

Re:Absurd (1)

Nukenbar (215420) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129671)

I know this is Slashdot, but try to RTFA before you start flaming. The article clearly states that the 'possible' sentence of life in prison only applies to the following:


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.

i.e. manslaughter or attempted murder. Don't get me wrong, that is still tough, but its just the possible sentence. You are not going to get it for trying to burn Vista and failing.

Riiight... (5, Insightful)

frieko (855745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129683)

Need I remind you the DMCA itself started out as one of those "bullshit bills"...

Re:Absurd (1)

RiskyChris (999242) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129731)

Because otherwise, a significant portion of concerned citizens (Slashdot users) would not be aware such acts were taking place?

Or, alternatively, we can be ignorant for as long as it takes for the **AA to become too entangled in the government to oust.

Absurd indeed!

Tools in the fight against Organised Crime? (1)

wild_berry (448019) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129451)

I sincerely hope that this legislation is used to fight against the people who are genuinely getting rich from copyright infringement (the international organised crime rings) rather than individual consumers. That's to say, it's a good thing when used by government against drug and people traffickers for good ends rather than by the media cartels against their potential customers to make up for the cartel's failure to sell music, movies and television at market value.

Re:Tools in the fight against Organised Crime? (1)

milamber3 (173273) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129567)

How exactly do you propose to stop an INTERNATIONAL crime ring with US legislation? All they will be able to do is arrest the little guys that are actually selling the stuff here. The big fish will keep on running their criminal enterprises from some place outside our jurisdiction.

Minority Report anyone? (5, Interesting)

LoaTao (826152) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129457)

Attempted copyright infringement? When we can't get our elected officials charged with real, already committed and documented crimes? What is going on in this country!?!

This is what happens when you go to republican (0, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129459)

"anything good for business is good" - this is the logic. see where this leads. People are going to be slaves to "intellectual property holder" elite, a new class of elite. LIFETIME imprisonment. DMCA takedowns - get a load of that - what a way to suppress free speech if need be.

act now. blow your congressman's/senator's ear off.

Re:This is what happens when you go to republican (3, Insightful)

Paladin144 (676391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129659)

Actually, this might be a pathetic attempt by a wounded AG to appeal to the Democrats, knowing that many of them are in the pockets of the Hollywood elite (the RIAA/MPAA).

This is the type of thing that makes me wish we had a strong third party with different views on copyright. Right now, it's like the insanity of the war on drugs. You have one side that tough on drugs because it's politically smart and the other side is fucking frothing at the mouth because they're fascists. Where's the sanity?

Wonderful! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129465)

Step by step, the U.S.A. is turning itself into the radiant shadow of a Banana Republic. The Old World is catching up to you and it is killing you.

Enjoy your enslavement.

Homeland secuirty to be arm of RIAA !!! (5, Interesting)

RichMan (8097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129469)

FTA: Require Homeland Security to alert the Recording Industry Association of America.

Sure that is what everyone intended the anti-terrorism money to go to.

Wait, what? (5, Insightful)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129473)

All considerations about copyright infringement aside (legal, illegal, etc), this just makes my blood boil:

" Require Homeland Security to alert the Recording Industry Association of America. That would happen when compact discs with "unauthorized fixations of the sounds or sounds and images of a live musical performance" are attempted to be imported. Neither the Motion Picture Association of America nor the Business Software Alliance (nor any other copyright holder such as photographers, playwrights, or news organizations, for that matter) would qualify for this kind of special treatment."

Since when did Copyright Infringement become an issue for Homeland Security to work directly with a specific corporation?
 
    Why give only the RIAA this treatment? Do they notify Tropicana when off-brand OJ is smuggled in from Mexico?

"probably?" (5, Informative)

Richard (5962) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129475)

"his Democratic counterpart is probably on board too"

Would it be too much to ask that you find out Rep. John Conyer's position - hell, even his name would be an improvement, and perhaps understanding why Rep. Smith is considered "key" (hint: check the committees) - before you start tarring him with the same brush as Rep. Lamar Smith?

-Richard Campbell.

come and get me Gonzo! (1)

gargletheape (894880) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129481)

I intend to violate someone's copyright someday. In particular, I am going to go to a hospital that I suspect uses pirated Windows. Per you, they are 'recklessly endangering' life, and I am abetting them. Do your worst :)

Jackass.

Par for the course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129483)

Of course it goes too far. Electing George W. Bush was going too far. Appointing Alberto Gonzales Attorney General was over the top. This is a logical consequence of putting those baboons in charge.

How can software cause death. (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129487)

Anyone using counterfeit products who "recklessly causes or attempts to cause death" can be imprisoned for life.

How is this even possible?

Re:How can software cause death. (1)

Howitzer86 (964585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129631)

It's not. This part of the bill will be used for another purpose.
It seems like a really good way of imprisoning anyone they don't like. And just where are all these criminals going to go?

Guantanamo?!

Forward thinking (1)

u-bend (1095729) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129677)

They're trying to prevent the stuff that happens in Snow Crash and Neuromancer.

Here is exactly what is wrong with (5, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129491)

this legislative effort and *ALL* those who support it:

(The Justice Department's summary of the legislation says: "It is a general tenet of the criminal law that those who attempt to commit a crime but do not complete it are as morally culpable as those who succeed in doing so.")
You cannot and SHALL not legislate morality. Thought police should be shot on the basic premise that they cannot stop themselves from breaking the laws the are supposed to uphold. Witness so many big pulpit preachers that can't stay away from young men, drugs, prostitutes etc. If you look at all the crimes committed by elected leaders it will make you wonder how the US government can even operate. Thought crimes cannot be punished. Morality cannot be legislated.

If this is to pass, what immoral act would next be prosecuted? Being gay? Being obese? Being lazy?

This is clearly an admission by those who support it that they are UNABLE to enforce current laws, and even that they are trying to enforce laws that are thought to be bad laws by enough people that they can't possibly get 100% compliance.

Re:Here is exactly what is wrong with (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129743)

If this is to pass, what immoral act would next be prosecuted? Being gay? Being obese? Being lazy?

None of those are immoral. They are, however, "immoral" in the eyes of some; the same group that is just as immoral as everyone else.

Thought Crime (2, Insightful)

Mephistophocles (930357) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129503)

Does this go too far?

I assume that's a rhetorical question? This sounds remarkably like thought crime. What needs to happen here: immediately laugh this law out of congress, start a massive movement to make certain that no politician who has even spoken well of this bill is ever elected to any public office again, and immediately begin investigations for bribery into those politicians who voted for it or promoted it. Even suggesting life imprisonment for copyright infringement is simply ludicrous.

Re:Thought Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129625)

"Thoughtcrime" is not the same as physically attempting to commit a crime.

Re:Thought Crime (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129695)

I assume that's a rhetorical question?

No it's a Zonk question. There is a difference.

This has to be a joke of a add-on. (1)

Orclover (228413) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129515)

Life imprisonment? We would have to turn entire states into prisons to do anything remotely like this.

What other politicians are willing to end thier carreers by attatching thier names to this?

Re:This has to be a joke of a add-on. (1)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129611)

Sadly, this likely won't end careers. See, the RIAA and other folks who are lobbying this have a lot of money. And enough people vote on sound clips and "hot button" issues (you know, the ones that candidates talk about for 12 months while campaigning and then become the non-issues to them that they always were, aside from some token legislation?) that unless this directly impacts a large number of people, or something hideous (like death penalty for pirates) happens it won't get the attention of -most- people. The problem being, you or I and our circle of friends who for the most part *think* about what is going on (no matter the conclusion - I have friends who think that piracy in any form is bad for the economy, the idiots :) ) are not in the majority. I don't have a problem with differing, reasoning opinions, but it's far to clear that in the human population most people don't want to deal with anything outside of their bubble.

Not career-ending (1)

Tony (765) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129633)

Unfortunately, due to the apathy of most US citizens, this won't end the career of any politician. Oh, it'll end careers of people who try to participate in society, rather than just being well-behaved consumers of pop-culture.

Life in prison? What the hell? Seizure of property? That's even worse! It's so easy to abuse a law simply to seize property.

Re:This has to be a joke of a add-on. (1)

Oxygen99 (634999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129753)

No, wait! I've got it! Goddamn, I'm a genius. Why not put the INNOCENT people in prison. That way there'll be plenty of room for the law abiding and plenty of room for us copyright infringing, foreigner associating, freedom valuing, evolution accepting, internet surfing no-goodniks in the hellbound moral cesspit that is society today. Problem solved.

Next!

It doesn't go far enough (1)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129519)

It should go all the way to the death penalty.
Maybe THEN the American people will finally rise up and take back their freedom.
Godspeed.

Saddam belonged here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129527)

With this kind of totalitarian mentality, we may as well as should have brought Saddam over here to be our dictator. He'd have done a better job than the idiot dictators we have now trying to pretend to be democratic. If it smells like crap, may as well be honestly crap.

let them have it their way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129531)

Pay for the content or go to prison? is that the deal?

ok screw you, I'll bin my TV, never waste my life watching rubbish films again and read books, play video games or talk to my spouse.

see how they like that, I'm sure my life will be richer for getting rid of what is basically a waste of my time.

Good Grief (1)

jfade (1096961) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129535)

This just goes to show how ridiculous US society has become. What will this mean for anyone who uploads a video of something that is copyrighted to You Tube? Or even the poor sap that attempts to watch said copyrighted video? There are so many people that do this now, and I just don't see how it could be feasible for the Justice System (let alone the overcrowded prisons) to have to try to prosecute and imprison all of those people alone.

Re:Good Grief (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129651)

You do not understand. The purpose, and goal, of laws like these and others, is to make everyone a criminal, therefore turning the entire country into a prison.

Laws (1)

ShiNoKaze (1097629) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129537)

Ok according to the letter of this law, they could go in to any software company that has the means to reproduce anything and just seize everything if anyone has a mix tape somewhere in somebody's possession. This seems a little much... Somebody correct me if I read this wrong.

What I think is going to happen.... (4, Interesting)

arkham6 (24514) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129553)

If this law passes, I see the following.

(mp/ri)aa will flood the various file sharing networks with dummy files, aka 'master_of_puppets.mp3' that are actualy null files of a certain size.

Random user tries to download file from *aa over the network.

*aa records IP address of user

*aa submits IP information to DoJ

Random user goes to jail for attempted piracy and *aa also files a civil suit.

PROFIT!

Re:What I think is going to happen.... (1)

tech10171968 (955149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129759)

I think this is already happening (except for the going to jail part). Rumor has it that some Limewire users have been getting tracked just like that. Don't know if it's true, but I figured "why take the chance?" That's why I got rid of Limewire.

Wow (1)

twistedcubic (577194) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129555)

If my sole source of imcome were from copyright royalties, and some nut infringed and destroyed my income, I think I'd rather get a job than have him imprisoned for life. But that's just me.

Woh! That guy really hates the americans. (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129579)

Bin Laden should wake up and kill at least a few million people if he want to still be the most hated man on US ground.

Great. Another war escalation. (1)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129601)

Note to politicians:

Your children have overwhelmingly likely been "pirates" of content. Your other relatives and loved ones too. Ever tape a song off the radio? That's unauthorized copying. Ever make, or ask someone to make a copy of something for a hearing? That's unauthorized copying. You have overwhelmingly likely copied a lot of material that was not exempted from copyright protections... because virtually EVERYTHING that anyone creates is protected by copyright.

This idea of jailing people for 'attempted' copyright violation is so absurd, I have to ask: Is this just a distraction for some reason?

Ryan Fenton

Obligatory Simpsons (2, Funny)

Tridus (79566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129643)

Does this mean I can finally when a nobel prize for attempted chemistry?

Not yet. (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129653)

I am pretty sure that in view of the corporate copyright holder lobby, this is not yet far enough. Wanna bet with me ?

As for the public interest, it has long been lost from view by politician pandering to their corporate master. And no I am not exagerating. There is no way a sane person would make such heavy punishment for a so little crime, in comparison to other more grave crime. They HAVE to be paid to believe in that crap.

Fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129657)

This will just give me (and a hell of a lot of other people) more incentive to use linux/oss sotfware.

What is "attempted piracy" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129663)

Trying to download the winner of American Idol, only to return with zero results 'cause nobody but you thought it's worth the waste of bandwidth?

Intended consequences (1)

RichMan (8097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129689)

One current loss factor for the RIAA and ilk is independent artists who are able to home record and publish. With the current direction it will soon be impossible, or very difficult to home record and publish. I expect to see authoring tools require registration and be prohibited from the general public, or at least be made very expensive by limited distribution. This will push people back into the welcoming arms of the RIAA. I expect this to be all part of the plan.

The media revolution of making us all creators will be stifled in the name of control and profit by the media barons.

Not just a USA issue (1)

Coraon (1080675) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129717)

and with the americans pulling citizens of others countries out of their native soil to prosicute them this isnt just an american issue anymore. If there is anything your canadian brothers can do to help you defeat this law let us know.

What's up with Gonzales? (1)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129729)

I guess he figures everyone hates him already, anyway.

No, I don't think this goes too far.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129733)

I think the American people have got a government they deserve.

Try to run a country on a scrap of 200 year old idealistic claptrap, and a culture of the almighty dollar, and see where it gets you.

You're as screwed now as the Indians were when you raped and murdered them. Couldn't have happened to a better country!

Life for making a copy of "Ishtar"! (1)

zerrubabul (1050318) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129741)

We don't lock people away for life for any other kind of theft even if one buys the argument that all copyright infringement is theft. Sure we could have a "one strikes and you're out" rule for every civil or criminal infraction on the books but I suspect that might somehow work against society's interests. Whatever happened to the concert of a misdemeanor? One side of this debate has become unreasoning and irrational. When they come in off the ledge things might start to get better....

Death to tyrants (5, Insightful)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129751)

Not even 250 years ago, the founders of this country willingly committed treason and went to war over laws such as this. Life imprisonment sounds a lot worse than taxation without representation to me. The general population of the United States are not served by this law. We are not being represented. Now, we can't even get the offenders voted out of office. Never mind trying to incite a revolution.

The only good politician is tortured and dead.
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