US Attorney General seeks to punish attempted copyright infringement

US Attorney General Alberto Goncalves has presented the US Congress with a new bill called the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 1997 which would punish attempted copyright infringement in addition to imposing harsher penalties for other infractions of US copyright law. The proposed legislation will have the following effects:

  • Criminalize “attempting” to infringe copyright.
  • Create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software.
  • Permit more wiretaps for piracy investigations.
  • Allow computers to be seized more readily.
  • Increase penalties for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anticircumvention regulations.
  • Add penalties for “intended” copyright crimes.

In case you were wondering who was behind this latest set of draconian measures that are really intended to tighten the screws on the American consumer, the bill also includes a requirement that the Department of Homeland Security (the organisation formed in the aftermath of 9/11 to safeguard the United States against terrorists) to alert the Recording Industry Association of America, the reviled representative body of the American recoding industry, when anyone attempts to import “unauthorized fixations of the sounds, or sounds and images, of a live musical performance”. To put this in perspective, no other industry association has the Department of Homeland Affairs at its disposal quite like this …

(Source: Tech news blog)

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