More on Copyright Law and Government Semantics

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act basically criminalizes production and dissemination of copyrighted materials. According to CNET News, Congress is proposing measures to beef up the DMCA with new fun things like permitting the FBI to wiretap in investigations of copyright crimes, trade secret theft, and “economic espionage” (sounds so TERRORist!), allowing the copyright holder to impound records from the infringers (i.e. web server logs and all the IP addresses attached to them), and boosting the criminal penalty from five years to ten years.

Just to put it in perspective, if I go outside right now and punch a police officer in the face, I’ll get five years. Aggravated assault? Six years. Digital piracy? Ten years. I’m glad we have our priorities in order; I’d get less jail time for flying to L.A. and beating a teen pop idol to a bloody pulp than I would for illegally downloading his crappy album. Yes, friends, that’s COMPLETELY logical.

Now, on to the semantics about government. Lots of the articles related to the proposed DMCA changes make mention of how “the Bush Administration” is pushing these changes, “the Bush Administration” has created this draft legislation, “the Bush Administration” blah, blah, blah. Now, while I’m certainly not a big fan of our current administration in many ways, I find it fairly humorous that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was unanimously approved by the Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Even if the current administration is going crazy with wiretapping and ten year prison terms, they’re only following in the footsteps of governments that have gone before them.

P.S. I’m glad our government and the RIAA are so friendly. Who would look out for the little guy if not?