For the last few years, a coalition of technology companies, academics and computer programmers has been trying to persuade Congress to scale back the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Now Congress is preparing to do precisely the opposite. A proposed copyright law seen by CNET News.com would expand the DMCA's restrictions on software that can bypass copy protections and grant federal police more wiretapping and enforcement powers.
What does this have to do with music?
If you're feeling guilty about all the music you're downloading without paying for it, perhaps reading about new attempts to double down on the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) will help assuage that guilt. The "Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006" includes some frightening expansions of current anti-piracy efforts, making it illegal to "make, import, export, obtain control of, or possess" anything that can be used to circumvent copyright protection. It also allows authorities to use wiretaps whenever copyright infringement is suspected (as opposed to in general, without permission?), doubles copyright-related prison terms, allows for the seizure and destruction of anything used for copyright infringement, and more.
The new law would send you to prison for attempting to infringe copyright. It would make it even more illegal to own tools that could be used to remove copy-restrictions, like DVD-ripping software -- it could even bust Symantec for making software that removed the Sony rootkit malicious software that the company distributed with its CDs last year.
And why are they doing this? Back to WiredBlog:
According to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the problem is that the money made by infringing businesses is being used "quite frankly, to fund terrorism activities." Sure, buddy.
I'm trying to comprehend where the money comes in with peer to peer sharing .... but OK. Go delete Limewire from your computer right now or the terrorists win.