Sunday, May 01, 2005

Downloading Gangs

I'm not sure if I find it more troubling that this new law was passed as rider on the user's rights oriented Family Entertainment and Copyright Act or that I had heard nothing about it until I saw something in the UK press. Here's the gist from cnet:

The law had drawn some controversy because it broadly says that anyone who has even one copy of an unreleased film, software program or music file in a shared folder could be subjected to prison terms and fines of up to three years. Penalties would apply regardless of whether that file was downloaded or not.
...The law's stiff penalties apply to "audiovisual" works, music and software that are "being prepared for commercial distribution." It's not clear how that would apply to fans who redistribute video files of TV shows aired in other countries first, or movies like Shaolin Soccer and Japanese anime flicks that can take years to arrive in the U.S. market.

: I don't know why anyone would ever think that lawmakers are just out to help business when there are violent crimes with smaller penalties. I found the most puzzling quote justifying the bill in the nme article:
Dan Glickman, president of the MPAA said: “There is evidence that criminal gangs use this kind of theft to support and expand their criminal enterprises.”
: So this is really about helping curb the gang problem. It all makes sense now...

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