Back in March we discussed a positively moronic bill being proposed in California that would require anyone passing on an electronic version of any commercial audio-visual file to include their real name and email address. If you don't - you can face a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Note that this law doesn't make a distinction for fair use, or pay attention to whether or not you actually have the right to pass on or share that file. There are so many problems with this law, it's hard to figure out where to start. It's basically the "incriminate yourself" law. Next thing you know, they'll pass a law saying that if you intend to rob a store, you'll be required to leave a card with your name and address. Basically, anyone who's doing something illegally will ignore the law - while anyone who is doing something legally will be bothered by needing to do this while also giving up their privacy for no good reason. In fact, it's especially problematic for children - who shouldn't be giving out their names and addresses to anyone, but who may have perfectly legitimate reasons to pass on an audio-visual file. There are probably fifty more such problems with this law which, of course, is why the California Senate approved it today. It is beyond moronic, and it may soon be law.
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