April 24, 2006
which party is in favor of big government?
If you didn't like the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, get ready. A Republican bill sponsored by -- guess who -- James Sensenbrenner, would (if the reports are correct) criminalize even fair use, and transform the DMCA into the most draconian copyright legislation in United States history.
Some highlights from the proposed legislation (which has the backing of the Bush administration) include a toughening of the DMCA which would make attempting to infringe on copyright illegal. In addition, no one would be allowed to "make, import, export, obtain control of, or possess" hardware or software that could be used to circumvent copy-protection mechanisms. That's an expansion on the DMCA's current language, which prohibits the distribution of tools such as DeCSS that can be used to bypass copy-protection schemes.If, as Sensenbrenner thinks, even attempted copyright infringement should be punishable by ten years in prison, what about attempts to defeat such legislation? Shouldn't that also be a crime?
There's more here:
The 24-page bill is a far-reaching medley of different proposals cobbled together. One would, for instance, create a new federal crime of just trying to commit copyright infringement. Such willful attempts at piracy, even if they fail, could be punished by up to 10 years in prison.It's about time we cracked down on remanufactured toner cartridges! They are often used by terrorists, and in the wrong hands, why, they can be almost as deadly as sudafed!
Smith's measure would expand those civil and criminal restrictions. Instead of merely targeting distribution, the new language says nobody may "make, import, export, obtain control of, or possess" such anticircumvention tools if they may be redistributed to someone else.Unless I am reading this latest DMCA deal incorrectly, it seems pretty clear that the Republicans want copyright laws more draconian than the existing DMCA, while the Democrats (at least Boucher) favor at least fair use.
At times like this, I'm not even sure I'm comfortable being a RINO. (I guess I called myself a "Goldwater liberal" just in the nick of time!)
But maybe I'm being hysterical. Perhaps I should take a broader view of these things. After all, my dog Coco has been known to assert her rights under the DCMA. . .
posted by Eric on 04.24.06 at 10:47 PM
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