Does Orrin Hatch get his name on the credit roll?

US cracks down on peer-to-peer pirates – silicon.com — As someone who creates content myself why do I not feel any more protected than before with this sort of law?

File-swappers who distribute a single copy of a pre-release movie on the internet can be imprisoned for up to three years, according to a bill that President Bush signed into US law on Wednesday.

The Family Entertainment and Copyright Act, approved by the House of Representatives last Tuesday, is the entertainment industry’s latest attempt to thwart rampant piracy on file-swapping networks. Movies such as “Star Wars: Episode II”, “Tomb Raider” and “The Hulk” have been spotted online before their theatrical releases.

The law had attracted controversy because it broadly states that anyone who has even one copy of an unreleased film, software program or music file in a shared folder could be subject to a fine and a prison term of up to three years. Penalties would apply regardless of whether that file was downloaded or not.

So is this a new trend in lawmaking? Laws against people interferring with marketing and roll-out planning? The first place I’d look for violators are the USA diplomatic corps. You know, the ones who come back from Malaysia with a suitcase full of bootleg DVD’s of pre-released films. Clean up your own backyard Congress!

Link to the law here

Who is behind it? The USUAL SUSPECTS.

S.167
Title: A bill to provide for the protection of intellectual property rights, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT] (introduced 1/25/2005) Cosponsors (4)
Related Bills: H.R.357
Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 109-9 [GPO: Text, PDF]
House Reports: 109-33 Part 1 COSPONSORS(4), ALPHABETICAL [followed by Cosponsors withdrawn]: (Sort: by date)

Sen Alexander, Lamar [TN] – 2/1/2005
Sen Cornyn, John [TX] – 1/25/2005
Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] – 1/25/2005
Sen Leahy, Patrick J. [VT] – 1/25/2005

The only one that makes logical sense is Feinstein. You can only guess why these others are stooging for Hollywood. But, hey, they get elected anyway.



  1. Jim Dermitt says:

    The bad guys will just ignore the laws. With all of this terrorism, the Iraq War, the country going broke, deficits and 1001 other rat races these people are working on protecting the entertainment gravy train. Next week, if some radical group blows up something major or launches a bio terrorism attack we’ll have strong copyright laws and the pretty people and stars will sleep well at night. Federal law enforcement was running over illegal tapes and discs on our local news this week with a backhoe. Talk about a waste of fuel, time and money, plus a real nice backhoe. A gallon of gas and a match would of done the job. Federal law enforcement has been reduced to staging RIAA media events for local media buzz. The other local story was that the airport TSA leadership is under federal investigation. What a circus, led by ringmaster W. Clowns to the left and jokers to the right. Comcast contractors blew a house completely apart a few weeks back digging for a line. They hit a gas line and didn’t bother telling anybody of the danger. DANGER: VIDEO TAPES AND ILLEGAL MEDIA.

    New term: Political Media Whores.

  2. Miguel Lopes says:

    This sort of preemptive action – against crime, against rogue states, agains whatever – seems to be an increasingly popular trend with US government. One day they’ll arrest you just for thinking about commiting a crime!

  3. Reminds me of a Star Trek: Voyager episode when B’Elanna gets arrested for “Aggravated Violent Thought”.

  4. Imafish says:

    No Hatch makes sense too, he’s actually a professional song writer. Lyrics that is.

  5. Thomas says:

    I know what we should do. We should put pirated copies of movies on Uncle George’s (Lucas) and Eisner’s (Disney)’s computer and send them to jail for three years. After all, it doesn’t matter how the file got there.

  6. Jim Dermitt says:

    Miguel,
    You can think about it. they encourge that commercially here.
    Murder, rape, robbery, drugs and the whole thing pays great in the U.S.. Television deals, movies DVD all sell.

    Once you think up a great plot, call Hollywood and you’ll make millions of dollars and have protection from the California legal community. I’m thinking of doing a movie.

    This woman gets gang raped and her throat is slit open in front of her kids and the kids are then killed with hatchets. Her husband comes home and is killed with a baseball bat after he finds his family all dead and starts crying. The killer then takes the family car and goes to McDonalds for lunch with the dead mans wallet and rapes a child after lunch and kills two more women before dinner and shoots himself in the head while watching a movie.

    This is the sort of stuff our American culture feeds on in between acting out their pathetic daily lives. The problem with terrorism is that they always get the wrong people. It seems like our culture is in the process of dying from self inflicted wounds, so the terrorists don’t really need to do a thing. The current government leadership is trying to help speed up the death, in the name of God. We have a basic goon squad government that operates like the goon squad movie business in Hollywood. They have Bush heading the whole thing up because he is like Reagan. They act like this country is full of greatness, when our greatness is mostly in our past. If terrorists blow the U.S. Capitol apart, we have people here who would go in and steal the wedding rings off of dead people for cash for meth or heroine. They’ll steal the fillings out of your teeth for some batch of dope. Other than that, it’s an okay country. The government really sucks and these are the people working on setting up a government in Iraq. It should be a long destructive and dangerous war. As a military guy told me, the Americans can be the worse than the terrorists. I think he might of been on to something. Peace!

  7. gquaglia says:

    This is absolutley absurd. As a police officer I see habitual thieves and scum bags get arrested time and time again without serving any jail. Now a non violent criminal is going to get 3 years federal time for sharing a movie. The world is really fucked up I guess.

  8. raddad says:

    Why not go that final step and make sharing a movie a capital crime. When the cost of copying nears zero (both in terms of price and time) do we really need copyright?

  9. Jim Dermitt says:

    The world is really fucked up I guess.
    You guessed right.

    The police not only have to fight the criminals, they have to fight the lawyers in many cases. Some of the lawyers are worse than the street criminals and far better equipped. In our area, they have given some of the lawyers deputy sheriffs badges. I’m talking about criminal defense lawyers. The FBI is now investigating the county sheriff and his office. The whole thing pissed some of the local police off and I can see why. We don’t smile when they bring evil. We aren’t the nicest people, but we do what we need to do.

  10. 2001: Princeton University professor Edward Felten received a letter from the Recording Industry Association of America pressuring him not to publish a paper outlining the weaknesses in the industry’s technologies for protecting digital music. (The industry later backed down.)
    http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/

  11. Ima Fish says:

    I have to wonder whether this will be a continuing trend or if this is merely a blip that will soon pass. If prohibition taught us anything, it’s that you cannot arrest everyone.

  12. Ston Miles says:

    Some diplomats from the US don’t buy the bootlegs. My wife and I are in the Philippines while I’m in school here. You can get a pirated dvd or just about any software for about $1 and we know several diplomats who just won’t buy ’em. Most embassies have an economics section with at least one diplomat who is to work with the local government to halt piracy.

    We even went on a vacation to Malaysia and didn’t buy a single pirated copy of anything!


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