Leave it to Bush administration to find innovative ways to take away civil liberties of law abiding citizens. Just check out his newest bill – the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007. You read that thing and you get all the usual crazy ass bullshit – increasing penalties, increasing sentences, seizing your hardware and etc. He also has a clause in there that makes “attempting to infringe” illegal. What constitutes an attempt?
Is browsing a torrent site an attempt? Is clicking on the download link by mistake, and then canceling it an attempt? Or maybe Alberto wants to punish us for even thinking about infringement. But that’s all to be expected. One thing I did not expect though – Alberto asks us to:
Permit more wiretaps for piracy investigations. Wiretaps would be authorized for investigations of Americans who are “attempting” to infringe copyrights.
Because we clearly need more wiretaps right now!
By the way, there are two kinds of people in this world: those who infringe, and those who don’t know that they infringe. No exceptions. The copyright law is horribly broken, and there are hundreds of ways to break it without even knowing it.
Hell, some of our cultural customs require us to break copyright. For example, did you know that the “Happy Birthday” song is © ASCAP and brings them over $2 mill in royalties each year? Every public performance of the song is therefore a potential infringement – or an attempt if you will. Most of us probably infringe on ASCAP’s copyright several times a year, without even thinking about it.
Remember that mixed tape you made for your girlfriend back in high school? Yep – that’s an infringement!
Remember that time when you taped the song of the radio and played it to your friends? Remember that short video clip you recorded with your phone at that concert? Remember how you uploaded a video of your kid signing Happy Birthday to youtube?
I could go on, but I think you can see the pattern here. We are all guilty of some copyright infringement. It’s just a matter of how deep you are willing to dig, and how strictly do you want to enforce the copyright.
I see this as yet another way of legitimizing the illegal wiretaps they can’t justify with Patriot Act provisions. But that’s just me.
[tags]Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007, alberto gonzales, copyright, copyfight, wiretaps.[/tags]