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U.S. House of Representatives votes to boost penalties for online piracy

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 28 Sep 2004 16:50 User comments (3)

U.S. House of Representatives votes to boost penalties for online piracy The U.S. House of Representatives voted to boost penalties for online piracy. The Piracy Deterrence and Education Act (PDEA) will make it easier for federal investigators to convict file-swappers. It also criminalizes unauthorized recordings made in movie theaters and encourages the Department of Justice to target Internet copyright infringements more. "Millions of pirated movies, music, software, game and other copyrighted files are now available for free download from suspect peer-to-peer networks," said Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, who heads a copyright subcommittee. "This piracy harms everyone, from those looking for legitimate sources of content to those who create it." Both the MPAA and RIAA are strong supporters of the bill.
Earlier in the day opponents to the bill had mounted an unsuccessful attempt to urge House leaders to remove the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act from the floor schedule. Letters signed by groups including four library associations, the American Conservative Union, the National Taxpayers Union, and Public Knowledge argued that the measure would "radically expand the scope" of copyright liability and divert $15 million in federal funds from the war on terror to "protecting Hollywood's and Big Music's parochial interests."

The bill punishes P2P users that distribute over $1,000 of pirated material with penalties from prison terms up to three years to fines of up to $250,000. If it became law, prosecutors would not have to prove that $1,000 in copyrighted materials was actually downloaded; they would need to show only that those files had been publicly accessible in a shared folder. With Tuesday's vote, the legislation now goes to the Senate, which has not yet held hearings on it.


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3 user comments

128.9.2004 17:35

I still say someone needs to come up with a virus that scans computers for any type of media, and then shares the files over a perticular network. At least that way there would a alibi for the defendents. It would'nt take long before defendents that were simply infected with this "share-virus" began poping up in these lawsuits. How knows, maybe one of the congressman or attorneys would pop up in a lawsuit eventually. Atleast the simple existence of this virus would make a possible loophole.

228.9.2004 22:59

@zombieman - well, that is until of course they macth the hash id of the file in question with the hash id of the a particular file on the P2P network and ask the simple question, where did u get the pirated file in the first place??? so that throws the aliby possibility right out the window. Actually writing a share virus would do more harm than good.... 1. It would discredit P2P even further, laws would be pushed thropugh the legal system easier, in the end, a lot of countries may see P2P file sharing criminalized altogether. 2. It would be extremely dangerous if it infected a lot of PC's as some more malicious versions of the virus could appear, using the same spreading techniques as the original, but with a lot more firepower in it. 3. Some innocent old men and women who have an internet service with a monthly upload limit could end up with a huge bill after their PC uploaded 300GB or so of their country music their sons/daughters ripped to the PC for them, so lets say the limit for month of upload was 20GB, and they uploaded 300GB at premium rate, lets say something like 3c a MB, works out at about $8400 there's just some examples of why this isnt a good idea :-) Other idea's exist, like the possibility of P2P2P - which is uploader --> idle bandwidth of another filesharer --> downloader. This seems like a safer approach as if the downloader was lets say the RIAA, they wouldn't get the source IP address and would have no case since i dont believe its illegal to setup some sort of proxy server to be accessed by general public (eg, other filesharers????). It would depend on fast connections so sorry 56k, you're out of that one :-) Another is P2P groups, where it is merely you and your buddys on your own little P2P network sharing files/streaming music with each other. A network exists known as Grouper that does just that!

329.9.2004 23:15

well there is only one way to finish it all- do not buy any music , movies for some time. then companies will beg to pass a law which will allow to share files. there is some trends going on, what these more-profit companies don't notice- tendency to get not paid, or paid- illegal stuff, but opensource or freeware. on my computer as of today there is only 5 % or less paidware(paid software which came with my computer, including OS). everything else is opensourceware or freeware. and gess what- i never regret that. good example- find me something better than archivating software like freeware TUGZip or IZArc. ------- with movies and music a little bit different. still now i am looking for some artists, which encourage downloading their songs. before cd purchase i carefully inspect cd if it wasn't published by RIAA. i don't buy such cd's. i think that it is time for other companies to sue their customers too- for example- brand X restaurant can sue customers, who infringe with their trademark hamburgers because such customers make something similar at home....:)

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